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A decade or so ago, the “light beer” world was about as exciting as the world of “low-fat potato chips” or “gluten-free cookies.” In fact, light beers called themselves “lite,” as if exchanging a “gh” for a “t” could act as some marketing slight of hand to distract you from what these beers actually were: weaker substitutes.
Light—excuse me—Lite beers continued to hold popularity throughout the craft beer boom of the 2000s, but as one camp separated by drawn battle lines. Lite beers came from big “macro” breweries—Goliaths of the industry. Non-lite beers (double IPAs, saisons, porters) came from scrappy “micro” breweries, underdog Davids.
And, David, for the most part, prevailed. Or, is in the process of prevailing, rather. Craft beer sales continued to grow, even though overall beer sales dropped in 2019, according to the Brewers Association.
Onward chugs craft beer—which brings us back to low-calorie, “light” offerings. Within the last five years, craft breweries have turned their expertise toward beer styles previously considered too mass-market to touch. Namely, light beers.
It might surprise you that many of these lower-calorie beers actually taste really, really good. But it shouldn’t, largely because the craft breweries making them now have a solid track record of fine-tuning delicious offerings. So, by now, any style they touch largely turns to gold.
And that means that right now, we’re living in the golden age of light craft beer. These 10 picks are proof.