Please Stop Selecting Your Beer Based on Calories Alone.

Recently, I likely offended a friend who showed up to a party with a case of Corona Light. I casually asked if that case of Corona Light was a piñata for the party. Because that’s all a case of Corona Light is good for, in my humble opinion. I told her I’d piss in some empty beer bottles if she’d like something with a little more substance.No Corona Light.jpg

I realize to some, I may sound like a bitchy beer snob… but honestly? I simply believe that friends don’t let friends drink shitty beer.

Listen up, calorie-conscious friends — I do get it. As someone who lost 50lbs 3 years ago, then proceeded to gain half of it back in correlation with a growing obsession with IPAs… I am familiar with watching [and panicking over] my caloric intake.

But when it comes to consuming beer, I will choose to make other sacrifices, such as skipping fried-bar-food in favor of sipping and savoring a delicious 400-cal pour of a double or triple IPA. Or… choose to accept the fact that my passion for craft beer may mean my belly will never be flat again. Decisions, decisions…

*Grabs megaphone*
Life is too short for shitty beer!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy more women are letting their hair down & drinking beer with me… Momma Needs a Beer, right?! But how many times will these mass-produced beers send you to the bathroom to pee? How many of those 100-calorie, watered-down beers will you have to consume in order to match the delicious beer I’m savoring?

As Fred Willard would say “Why don’t you just drink poison?”

I think I’d have more fun smashing every bottle in a case of shitty beer than drinking it.

But that’s me.

And while yes, I believe everyone’s palate is different — maybe you do actually prefer drinking a mass-produced beer for various reasons — I know that some people fear that all craft-beer is full of calories, heavy & rich. So, I’m here to hold your hand through it… because there are actually low-calorie craft-beer options that aren’t as intimidating as one may think. But enough pussy-footing around…

It’s Beertervention time, bitches!

Here are 5 Beer City, USA Beers containing 150 calories… or less!!

Instead of Corona Light 4.5% ABV at 110 calories, try Brewery Vivant Farmhand 5% ABV or Perrin Grapefruit IPA 4.7% ABV at 140 cal/pint.
The extra 30 calories in these two Grand Rapids gems are worth every flavorful sip. Farmhand is a light Belgian that’s easy to drink on a summer afternoon, with a hint of banana (yes, I said banana) in the finish. Perrin Grapefruit IPA packs a punch of citrusy goodness that isn’t watered down & may actually open the door for you to try more bold flavors such as…

Founders All-Day IPA 4.7% ABV, also at 140 calories instead of a Bud or Miller Light 4.2% ABV at 110 cal.
It’s amazing how much flavor can be packed into a seemingly small package, yet still tastes like… get this… BEER. Citrus & hop lovers can absolutely agree on splitting a case of All-Day IPA anytime of year.

Instead of Guinness 4.2% ABV at 125 cal, try Harmony’s Black Squirrel 5.01% ABVat 150 calories.
This smoky porter is actually an ingredient in Harmony’s awesome Bloody Marys… and dayumn, it is a welcome addition. I wasn’t a huge fan of the Black Squirrel at first, but the VanDyke brothers have improved the recipe. The smoky flavor doesn’t overpower the beer, but you know it’s there, like you’re driving past a campground. Very smooth & surprisingly light, despite it’s dark, smoky color. More bang for your buck than the over-rated Guinness, IMHO.

Instead of Michelob Ultra 4.2% ABV at 96 calories, try Schmohz Oktoberfest 5.4% ABV at 125 calories.
Finally! A “light” craft beer that doesn’t look or even taste light. I had the pleasure of savoring this medium-bodied, malty beer recently with Chas at Schmohz. Chas said that as a brewer, he loves the challenge of creating low-alcohol beer: “There’s nothing to hide behind!” Whereas beers with a higher % of alcohol can be enhanced with extra hops & flavor… and alcohol… and calories. Not that there’s anything wrong with that… says the curvy, IPA-loving Momma.

Kelli Birthday Beers

What’s your favorite craft-beer containing under 150 calories?
Let me & other readers know in the comments below!


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  1. Posted August 26, 2013 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the suggestions! I will say that I will enjoy corona light with a lime on the boat.. the only time it tastes good to me! 😉

    • Posted August 26, 2013 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

      Enjoy expanding your palate!! Hope some of these alternative options help guide your journey into the wonderful world of craft-beer. CHEERS!

  2. Michelle Johnson
    Posted August 26, 2013 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    I love reading your blog. My brother and I were just talking beer yesterday. I love IPA’s and Porters. I also love light colored beers. Not light as in caloric intake. My husband is not a fan of brewed beer. We can’t seem to find one that doesn’t take “hoppy” in his opinion. Can you give me some good lighter tasting beers that he might love that are Michigan brewed? Plus do know of a brewer by the name of Matt? Can’t remember his last name. We used to work at the Jackson Brewing Co. in Jackson a few years ago. He was our main brewer and I was a bartender. I miss Matt.

    • Posted August 26, 2013 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

      Thanks, Michelle!! If your husband is looking for something less hoppy, but lighter in flavor, I would recommend trying Brewery Vivant’s Farmhand. It is distributed in cans… which is better for the beer’s longevity, better for the environment, etc. Founders may be easier to find, but the All-Day IPA, while delicious, may be too hoppy for your husband’s palate. Good luck!!


  3. Tim
    Posted August 26, 2013 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    This is awful. Great concept, terrible execution.

    I love craft beer. I spend too much money on it. I have it shipped to me.

    I also enjoy PBR. Love it actually. Bud too. If you like down on me because I’m consuming what I enjoy, you can go fuck yourself on your high horse. I’ll be doge where else having a great time.

    • Posted August 26, 2013 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

      Woah, Tim, but how do you *really* feel?! This post was meant to be a funny jab at people who specifically choose their beer based on calorie-content instead of flavor… I am simply offering alternative, flavorful craft-beer selections in the style of Drink THIS, Not THAT. Yes, craft-beer is an expensive treat… but that’s another post entirely. Put a little alcohol on it, Tim.

  4. Posted August 26, 2013 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    Couldn’t agree more. Macro-brewed light beer SUCKS. Awesome recommendations Kelli!! I think All-Day IPA is the only one I’ve tried. More to put on my ‘must-drink-before-I-die’ list!

    • Posted August 26, 2013 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

      Thanks SO much, Alexia!!! I think I need to start one of those beer-life-lists. 😉 CHEERS!

  5. Posted August 26, 2013 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    Mkay well, I don’t know beer, but LOLZLOLZLOLZ. This was great!

    • Posted August 26, 2013 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

      Thanks so much, Rhonda!!! What’s life without a little alcohol-laden humor, right?

  6. Matt
    Posted August 26, 2013 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    Firestone Walker Pale 31 is 120 calories…and damn tasty!

    • Posted August 26, 2013 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for the suggestion, Matt!! I’ll have to check that one out. CHEERS!

  7. Jacqi Schaller
    Posted August 28, 2013 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    Just started following your blog.LOVE THIS ARTICLE! My friends make fun of me all the time and call me a “beer snob”. I love craft beer. I spend WAY to much money on it!Try Short’s The Locals Light beer at 120 calories some call it “the training wheel beer”.

    • Posted August 29, 2013 at 6:48 am | Permalink

      YES!! Thanks for the local addition! Whenever I’m up in that area, we tend to do a Shorts/Pearls loop. Beer snobs? BAH! We’ve just been around the block a few times & stopped wasting our time & $$ on shitty beer! CHEERS!

  8. James
    Posted January 27, 2014 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    Not to rain on anyone’s parade here, but I’m really curious where your calorie numbers came from. Some of the calorie numbers you are quoting aren’t scientifically possible based on the laws of fermentation, and others seem unlikely based upon the style of beer you chose.

    • Posted January 29, 2014 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      Thanks for the inquiry, James. I cross-checked many of these numbers with Beer Advocate, Rate Beer, and the breweries themselves. Since most of these beers contain less than 6% ABV, based on a 12 oz pour, the calorie content will be lower than one may think. Now if only I could find a double IPA under 200 calories, I’d be one happy (and skinnier) Momma.

      • James
        Posted January 29, 2014 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

        That’s fair, but those websites can be deceiving at times. Unless the brewery releases all the stats on the beer, it’s really impossible to guess at the calories. The Schmohz Octoberfest for instance can’t be 125 calories and 5.4% ABV. Even if every single sugar fermented out, the most ABV you could get out of a 125 calorie beer would be 5.2%, and that would resemble a Bud Light more than a medium-full bodied beer like an Octoberfest.

  9. Forrest
    Posted July 9, 2016 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Founders is a very great tasting IPA for a hophead like myself but I do wish I could find a lower calorie one to help lighten my beer belly though. Just like you I sacrifice other things (cheese,sweets, chips etc) to be able to enjoy my hops. I now live in California but was born and raised in Michigan so supporting Founders makes me feel like I’m helping the economy of my home state. The founder of Founders also came out to my liquor store to promote his product which I thought was awesome! CHEERS!

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    Kelli Williams

    Keeping up with 2 little girls, writing assignments, music gigs, the house, laundry, ETC, backwards, wearing ass kicking boots and a smile, without spilling my beer. Ok, ok, so I spill my beer, but my floors have never been more germ-free since I started putting a little alcohol on them. Who needs ammonia...

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