The main benefit of the non alcoholic beer world is the lack of alcohol but the next best benefit is the absolutely huge calorie savings on offer.
The USDA say that the average alcoholic beer has 43kcal per 100ml which works out at 153kcal in a 12fl oz serving. I calculated that the average non alcoholic beer has 80.1kcal per 12 fl oz (based on 110 beer sample here).
The list below is 10 of the best non alcoholic beers with under 50kcal per 12fl oz can. That is an impressive 25% or less of the calories of the average alcoholic beer. This is brilliant if you are trying to watch your waistline or generally just want to be fitter and more healthy.
|Beer||Type||ABV||Kcal per 12fl oz|
|Partake Pale||Pale Ale||0.3%||10kcal|
|Drop Bear Tropical||IPA||0.5%||23.1kcal|
|Nirvana Hoppy||Pale Ale||0.5%||32kcal|
1. Partake Pale
Partake Pale is one of a pair of Partake beers, along with their IPA, that has the frankly crazy low calorie total of just 2.8kcal per 100ml and 10kcal per 12fl oz.
It manages this by having 0g of carbs. Yes, you read that right, 0g of carbs. It is the only beer in the world, to my knowledge, that has managed this feat.
Whilst i have not been able to review it myself so far, the online and social media reviews are very positive.
2. Partake IPA
The other side of the matching pair of Partake beers, their IPA also have a mental 2.8kcal per 100ml and 10kcal per 12fl oz. That is quite extraordinary, isn’t it.
Their IPA has just 2g of carbs, which is still probably the 2nd lowest out there but they have got the total calorie count to equal the Pale.
Similarly with their Pale, i have not managed to review it yet (geographical issues) but it was impossible to leave out of this list due to its world leading calorie count. Internet and social media reviews are more that positive so if you like low calorie beers, this is a must try if you can get it.
3. UNLTD. IPA
Finally that lowest calorie non alcoholic beer which i have personally reviewed.
UNLTD. IPA weighs in with 4kcal per 100ml and 14.2kcal per 12fl oz. Whilst this is still mind-blowing, it is somehow 40% higher in calories than the Partake pair.
UNLTD. have gone the route of adding maltodextrin to the beer. Maltodextrin is a white powder made from corn, rice, potato starch, or wheat. It has been added here as it is flavourless and doesn’t contain calories but will add to the body and mouthfeel of the beer.
They thought their beer needs some bulking as there are only 1g of carbs per 100ml or 3.55g per 12fl oz. I thought it tasted fantastically and it made it into number 14 of my best beers list
4. BrewDog Nanny State
This is probably the most widely available low calorie non alcoholic beer in the world and one of the originals.
With 6kcal per 100ml and 21.3kcal per 12fl oz, it is still hugely low in calories. It has only 3.55g of carbs per 12fl oz, just like UNLTD but instead of going for maltodextrin, they have gone crazy on the flavour with 8 malts and 5 hops combining to a special brew.
It snuck in at 11th on my overall list of best non alcoholic beers
Rounding out the top 5 is this tropical IPA from Drop Bear.
This has 6.5kcal per 100ml and 23.1kcal per 12fl oz. It also only has 0.5g of carbs per 100ml and 1.8g carbs per 12fl oz.
Unfortunately, and unlike Nanny State and UNLTD. i did not think Drop Bear got this right. It was certainly hoppy and bitter but i didn’t think it was in balance and felt quite thin.
With an impressive 32kcal per 12fl oz, Nirvana Hoppy Pale Ale is the lowest calories beer from the up and coming Nirvana Brewery.
I found this the be a very easy drinking and middle of the road IPA. It is perhaps not the most hoppy and bitter version if you are looking for an uber IPA but if you want a beer you can drink a few off in a session with hardly any calories then this is a good shout.
Aegir Minus is one of the few Norwegian beers which i have tried or even heard off but it comes in at a low 35.5kcal per 12fl oz can and for that you get a massive amount of flavour.
The hops is definitely more on the pine side just like the smell. It isn’t very citrusy and certainly I wouldn’t be saying im tasting all sorts of tropical notes, but that is ok. What is has is excellent.
It does have a surprising amount of nice malt with a touch of caramel too. Often IPAs are all about the hops but you shouldn’t discount the malted grains to contribute their fair share and that happens well here.
Sometimes you find a crazy brewery which as just aced all their range, Infinite Session is one of these breweries. Their IPA has 35.5kcal per 12fl oz can but it tastes and feels so much bigger.
This is quite a refined IPA. When you bring the glass to your nose you get the fragrant hops before the first sip.
When you get the beer in you mouth, the citrus hops, with hints of pine, builds up over the next second or so but then stops just when you think it might go overboard or become too bitter.
The mouthfeel is quite creamy and luxurious and the body is pretty full despite the calories.
Hot on the IPAs heels is the Infinite Session “Helles” Lager. It has the same skinny 35.5kcal per 12fl oz and is one of the best non alcoholic lagers i have tried.
Right from the first sip, there is a massive amount of malty grain flavour which imparts a nice sweetness despite just 0.4g of added sugar.
I am normally a pilsner lager man, I prefer the added mix of bitter hops on top of the malt. You don’t really get any noticeable hops here but the huge malt flavour more than makes up for it.
I don’t think I have drank a “Helles” or pale lager with quite so much malt and flavour.
Big Drop are a fantastic non alcoholic craft brewery with a high strike rate of making excellent beers. Coba Maya is one of their best and it only has 39kcal per 12fl oz.
It has quite a big malty lager taste. More than I thought it would and frankly more than most non alcoholic lagers on the market.
There is plenty of body which must be helped from the lactose as the overall calories and carbs are very low. Nicely done there Big Drop.
The IBU – bitterness score related to how much hops, is only 11 so you would not expect a big bitter hoppy hit, but then again you shouldn’t in a lager anyway.