Despite the huge increase in the availability of craft beers over the last decade, a simple lager is still the most popular type of beer in the UK. In fact, a study showed that 71% of Brits will choose a lager over any other type of beer. For many people, the simple taste of a lager is how beer should taste. Unfortunately, so many of the lower-calorie lagers we found seemed to mean a reduction in taste or alcohol content, neither of which we should have to compromise on.
Luckily, there are some low-calorie lagers out there which manage to both taste great and still retain a reasonable level of alcohol, the best of which we wanted to highlight in this article. If you want to know how we put this guide together then you can learn more about our testing process here. Now, let's get into the full guide:
Tennent's Light - 20kcal per 100ml- Lowest calorie beer
The lowest calorie beer we could find in the UK which still had a reasonable alcohol content is Tennent's Light - at 20 calories per 100ml and 3.5% alcohol, with this beer you can enjoy a good-tasting lager at a relatively normal alcohol percentage with almost half the calories of most standard lagers.
Not only is it the lager with the lowest calories, but it was also one of the best tasting on this list.
You can buy Tennent's Light in 300ml bottles, which makes it really handy to keep track of how many calories you're consuming (60 calories per bottle).
The taste is definitely lighter, but still has the alcoholic taste that you'd expect from a lager. Tennent's is a Scottish brand, but you can find their beer sold in pubs across the UK and elsewhere (it is quite common to see Tennent's sold in Italy, for example), plus Tennent's Light can be bought online.
View the product here - tennents.co.uk
Skinny Lager - 27kcal per 100ml
We were surprised to see that Tennent's Light contained fewer calories per 100ml compared to the popular Skinny Lager brand, but one thing that really impresses us about Skinny Lager is that it manages to be low calorie but still has a relatively high alcohol percentage (4%).
This lager also contains 0% fat, and actually doesn't really taste like a light beer in the way that some of the beers in this list do. It is only 7 more calories per 100ml than the lowest calorie beer here.
Bud Light - 27kcal per 100ml
In terms of a lager that you'll easily find at your local supermarket which is low in calories and 3.5% alcohol, Bud Light is probably your best bet.
Again, it has a distinctively light taste but definitely isn't weak, and at 27 calories per 100ml, you'll probably accept the slightly lighter taste for the calorie saving you'll make.
We actually find Bud Light to have a similar taste to something like Tiger lager, but the difference in calories between these 2 beers is huge - Tiger has 14 more calories per 100ml. So if you're wanting a low-calorie to accompany your curry, maybe try Bud Light instead.
Buy yourself some Bud Light here - tesco.com
Genius craft lager - 27kcal per 100ml
You might have spotted the guys from Genius Brewing on Dragon's Den a couple of years ago - they didn't manage to secure an investment, but they did impress the Dragons (especially Tej) with the taste of their beer.
We really like the taste of the Genius lager and think it definitely has that slightly fuller taste you'd expect from a craft beer.
The only downside would be the alcohol percentage at 3%, but if you're wanting to enjoy a lager without going too overboard on calories or alcohol, this is a great option.
Learn more and buy it here - geniusbrewing.com
Coors Light - 32kcal per 100ml
Similar to Bud Light, Coors Light is another of the light lagers which gets a bad reputation. But we actually find the taste to be pleasantly refreshing. It is not the lowest-calorie beer, but one of our favourites.
In fact, the only thing we found a bit surprising was the calorie content - 32 calories per 100ml is low, but not very low by any means. 6 more calories per 100ml than Bud Light means more than 30 extra calories per pint of Coors versus Bud Light, which across an entire night could really add up.
Tennent's - 30kcal per 100ml
When we were researching this article, we really didn't expect to find a nice lager like Tennent's with so few calories - 30 calories per 100ml is very low, especially given that this is a flavoursome lager which, unlike something like Bud Light, really doesn't have a "light" taste.
Tennent's wouldn't be the best-selling beer in Scotland if it didn't taste good. In terms of taste, it's a pilsner-style beer which is apparently inspired by 19th-century Bavaria lagers.
We certainly get that sense and think this is probably the best-tasting low-calorie lager you can buy in the UK in terms of very low-calorie content without compromising on alcohol content (4%). You'll definitely find Tennent's in Scotland, but it's also popular elsewhere in the UK.
Learn more and buy it here - tennents.co.uk
Beck's - 33kcal per 100ml
Beck's is a German pilsner (pale lager) which has a distinctively sharp and crisp flavour. It's also low in calories at just 33kcal per 100ml, 1 more calorie per 100ml than Coors.
Beck's is another one of those lagers which you'll easily find in most supermarkets and served at most pubs and bars, so if you're looking for a low-cal lager to enjoy while you're out and about it's a safe bet.
They're also sold in 275ml bottles which clock in at under 100 calories (92 per bottle), so you can enjoy a beer and know that you've consumed fewer than 100 calories which is a nice feeling.
Learn more and buy it here - amazon.co.uk
Carling - 33kcal per 100ml
Carling is already one of the most popular lagers in the UK, so to find out that it's also relatively low in calories is an added bonus.
At just 33 calories per 100ml, Carling is 6 calories lower per 100ml than Stella Artois and 3 calories lower per 100ml than Fosters.
We wouldn't describe Carling as a taste sensation, but the slight tang is quite enjoyable and it is very drinkable. Learn more and buy it here - sainsburys.co.uk
How did we choose the lowest calorie lagers for this guide?
It was actually quite simple to create this guide - we just checked the calorie content of a number of lagers, and cross-checked a few different sources to ensure that the calorie content listed on the label was accurate. We tried a few lagers which were low in calories but in our opinion tasted absolutely horrible, so they didn't make the cut. Tasting the lager was great fun!
So hopefully this post has proven that there are lots of lagers you can buy in the UK which are low in calories but also taste great. Obviously, if you don't mind forgoing the alcohol entirely you could save even more calories by opting for an alcohol-free beer instead. If you want to track carbs instead of calories then we have a guide to the best low carb beer you can buy.