What’s the Difference Between Light & Regular Beer?

Top selling Beers in the US

image: Vox Media

Did you know that in the US, 7 of the top 10 beers, are light beers? They accounted for a whopping 46 percent of units sold last year. One in 5 beers sold is … Bud Light.

It may initially seem odd that light beers are outselling regular beers in a country where most everything else is not light but rather heavy. Which begs the question, what exactly is a light beer?

What you need to know:

A 12 fl. oz. regular beer has 150 calories, whereas a light beer has only 110 calories. In both beers, most of the calories are from alcohol. The rest of the calories are from carbohydrates. Regular beer has 13 grams of carbs (52 calories), light beer – only 5 grams (20 calories).

Diet soft drinks achieve calories reduction by substituting sugar with artificial sweeteners; light beer is simply brewed a bit differently than regular beer.

Light beer contains less alcohol, which may be a good thing or a bad thing depending on your goal for the night. If you want to get a fun light-headed buzz from a light beer, you may discover that one isn’t enough, and end up drinking two, which are more caloric than one regular beer.

When it comes to flavor, light beer tastes watered down compared to regular beer, but as the stats show, America is fine with that. Hundreds of Bud Light commercials over the years have helped Americans acquire the taste.

If you are drinking light beer despite its watered down flavor, just to keep the pounds off, maybe you should rethink that strategy. Just drink less of the regular stuff you enjoy, or at fewer occasions.

In any case, remember that when it comes to beer, you are not getting any nutrition. It’s just another “snack”. And always drink responsibly.

  • Karrina

    Hah tell this to my dad.

  • Tom L

    Beer is a good thing when consumed responsibly. It is a bad thing when misused. This can be said for many things in life.

    • Jeef


  • rbthe4th2

    Those are not beers, those are pee in a bottle. Ok Sam Adams, Stella Artois, Sierra Nevada, the crafts, but anything else, its not worth it.

  • timlockk

    Bud light tastes like metallic flavored water to me. I’m amazed to see that it holds such a dominance in the US beer drinking culture. Give me a good, hoppy IPA any day over that crap.

    • Jeef

      it’s cheap, advertised, and common

  • Passthebacon

    Bud Light? Coors Light? Really? Don’t Americans like beer?? That’s

  • chiefbailey

    Years ago, when light beer came on the scene, a Brewer told me that it would be the biggest income producer for the beer producers. Why, you say? Because when men arrive home and want to kick back they used to buy a bottle of beer. Now, they buy 2 bottles of light beer to get the same effect as 1 regular. You know who made light beer and shrinking balls popular.