When it comes to imbibing healthfully, beer isn’t usually the first thing that comes to mind. Many beers are void of any kind of nutrition, offering empty calories that can leave you feeling bloated and heavy after knocking back even just one or two.
Because of this, we’ve all heard the same suggestions when it comes to keeping things light during happy hour: vodka waters with lime for something super low-cal, red wine for optimal heart health, Bloody Marys for a serving of veggies while you get your buzz on.
And while all those options are great, sometimes there’s nothing more refreshing than a crisp, icy beer on a hot summer day, at a tailgate, or with a slice of pizza.
The next time you’re in the mood for a brew, forget the watered-down keg beer you drank in college and consider one of these better-for-you brewskis you can feel good about.
Perfect for: Some added digestion benefits
If you’re already part of the kombucha kraze, then you’ll love kombucha with a kick. Kombrewcha is a slightly alcoholic blend of fermented organic tea that’s packed with probiotics and a tangy flavor. Each bottle is only 65 calories. The makers of Kombrewcha “set out to create a new kind of brew that you can indulge in without compromise, and with just enough alcohol to give you a healthy buzz.” Now that’s something we can get behind!
Magic Hat #9 Not Quite Pale Ale
Perfect for: When you want something sweet
Rather than giving in to a sugar-bomb cocktail or overly sweet malt beverage the next time your sweet tooth hits, opt for the Magic Hat #9, which is brewed with real apricots. Besides giving the drink a sweet taste and aroma, apricots are rich in iron which helps to stimulate cell growth and strengthen your immune system. They’re also high in potassium, which can regulate your blood pressure. Not bad for a bottle of beer.
Perfect for: Your next beach trip
This Mexican-brewed beer is perfect for any fiesta in the sand. Everyone knows beach vacations and Coronas are an iconic combination, and if you make the simple swap from a Corona (148 calories) to a Corona Light (99 calories), you’ll save yourself 50 calories a pop, keeping this choice ultra bikini-friendly. Add a lime wedge for an extra pop of flavor and vitamin C, and you’ll be on island time in no time.
New Planet 3R Raspberry Ale
Perfect for: The gluten-free beer fan
There’s no reason why the gluten-free crew should have to steer clear of beer. Case in point: New Planet’s 3R Raspberry Ale is gluten-free and also loaded with antioxidants, since it’s brewed with raspberry puree and orange peel. When New Planet founder Pedro Gonzalez was diagnosed with celiac disease, he was determined to find a way to still enjoy craft beer, and voila! This bright and well-balanced beer is the perfect fruity complement to a healthy and gluten-free summer meal, like grilled chicken with a fresh salad.
Left Hand Good Juju
Perfect for: Ginger lovers
Left Hand Good Juju is brewed with fresh organic ginger, so it’s literally a “ginger ale.” Ginger has long been a favorite among the wellness community and praised for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and for easing digestive issues. At only 130 calories, this beer delivers a spicy ginger kick and all the benefits of consuming ginger, one of the world’s healthiest foods.
Perfect for: Keeping the St. Patty’s vibes going year-round
This one may come as a surprise, since its thick, dark body and filling nature might make you feel like it’s laden with calories and carbs. However, Guinness actually contains less than 10 grams of carbs and only 126 calories per serving. So feel free to keep sipping it long after St. Patty’s Day (but you don’t always have to wear green when you drink it).
Peak Organic Winter Session Ale
Perfect for: After your Whole Foods run
If you live for all things organic, then you’ll be happy to know there are more breweries popping up across the U.S. that use only ingredients from certified organic farms. What this means is that the barley, wheat and hops are all free of fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides. One of these breweries is Peak Organic. It’s based in Maine and usually available at Whole Foods and similar stores. Don’t miss the Winter Session Ale, which is a great seasonal selection you can cozy up with over the holidays.