In the modern world many things have become “the enemy”. Carbs have came into the firing line for helping to cause your beer belly. Diets like Keto popularise low carb diets. This means that beer companies have been trying to reduce their carbs and then marketing heavily their new product if they manage it.
But which beer company has won? What is the lowest carb beer?
What is the lowest carb beer?
The lowest carb beer on the market today is Bud Light Next. It actually has zero carbs making it the only alcoholic beer to have achieved this feat. There is a non alcoholic beer, Partake Pale, which has also been brewed with zero carbs.
To get to grips with just how impressive this is, we can have a closer look at the whole topic of carbs in beer.
Why are there carbs in beer?
Carbs are integral to the brewing of beer. Without starting out with carbs, you can not make beer.
The carbs come from the cereal grains, wheat, barley, rye, rice etc. They are “malted” to produce starch which is the turned into sugar. It is the sugar that the yeast feeds on to convert it into alcohol.
No carbs = no sugar = no alcohol.
Apart from the alcohol, one of the 2 key flavourings of beer is the cereal/malt used. Along with varying degrees of hops, these are the two basic flavours.
How many carbs are in the average beer?
We all know the beer contains carbs and perhaps isnt the best for someone on a diet (especially a low carb one). Just how many carbs does the average or standard beer contain tho.
The USDA state the average alcoholic beer has 3.55g of carbs per 100ml and 12.6g of carbs in a 12fl oz serving.
This is an average with some beers being a lot higher and some being lower.
What else do carbs add to a beer?
If the amount of carbs can vary, then what is the point in having a high carb beer? What does it add?
The answer is flavour and body.
The carbs carry a lot of the malt flavour from the gains and can give some sweetness. The big thing i have found is a that you get a much fuller mouthfeel with a higher carb beer.
The mouthfeel isn’t as noticeable for an alcoholic beer as the alcohol itself will produce this but the massive difference you will find is in the low and non alcoholic beers. These are the beers where low carb really matters and some of the beers can feel very thin and watery.
Is there any sugar in beer?
Generally there is no sugar component in most alcoholic beers. The next question you will have is why?
You start with a carb source like a grain and turn it into a sugary “wort” ready for the yeast to turn the sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide. The yeast are very good at this and turn all available sugar into alcohol.
If you want a more alcoholic drink, you start with more sugar, if you want a weaker one, less sugar. The one basic universal truth is, the yeast will convert all the sugar into alcohol.
How many carbs are in a light beer?
Light beers are designed to be lower in calories than regular beers. They usually do this from a combination of lower alcohol levels (alcohol is calorie dense) and lower carbs. So just how many carbs are in a light beer?
A Bud Light has 11g of carbs per 12fl oz
A Coors Light has 5.3g of carbs per 12fl oz
In general you might expect a light beer to have between 5-10g of carbs per 12fl oz vs 12.6g+ for a regular beer.
Are they any other zero carb beers?
Bud Light Next is the only zero carb alcoholic beer on the market.
It has 80kcal per 12fl oz and 4% alcohol by volume.
It has taken 10 years of brewing chemistry from one of the biggest out there, to finally crack this and they aren’t for sharing their secrets with us.
We know they use “Water, Malt, Rice and Natural Flavors” which is the same ingredient list as their regular beers and even their non alcoholic ones.
Are they any zero carb non alcoholic beers?
There is one zero carb non alcoholic beer as well.
PARTAKE PALE – It has a frankly mystifying 0g of carbs per 100ml and 0g of carbs per 12fl oz.
To put this into context, no other non alcoholic beer has zero carbs.
Just how they produce this beer and manage to both limit the carbs in the first place and then remove them to zero is a closely guarded secret at Partake but it is certainly a huge selling point.
With zero carbs, the knock on effect is for the total calorie count to be 10kcal per 12fl oz which is also a world leading low calorie count for a beer.
If you want a diet, keto friendly beer, then Partake Pale with zero carbs and the lowest calories per serving in the world, has to be near the top of the tree.