We ask a lot of our beer these days, and rightly so.
It’s no longer the strict domain of bar leaning blokes drinking from the bottle. There’s always room for those blokes and their beers at the party, but there’s a new breed of beer drinker who not only wants great taste from their beer, they want it to be a little lighter too.
And, when it comes to beer, lighter can mean many things. It can be lighter in carbs, lighter in sugar or lighter in alcohol.
So the smart light beer drinker learns to read labels. For a start, in New Zealand, to be deemed ‘low alcohol’ a beer must have an ABV of 2.5% or less. Another good tip is to ask in store if you’re after a lighter option that meets a particular need, such as being low carb or low sugar.
Growing demand for lighter beers of all varieties has led to a really good selection to choose from. Those in the know say you can tell a really good brewer by the quality of his or her light beer because a high alcohol content tends to overpower subtleties in the flavour of different beers.
Here are few to try:
Speight’s Summit Ultra - low carb
This crisp and refreshing low-carb lager is brewed longer and has 75% less carbs content than the average found in other beers. It’s great with spicy food too! 1.5g carbs (per 330ml bottle), 0.3g sugar (per 330ml bottle), 4.2% ABV
Export Citrus - low alcohol
For something completely different, combining the clean, crisp taste of DB Export with natural lemon juice. A delicious thirst quencher on a hot day. 6.56 carbs (per 100ml), 5.56g sugar (per 100ml), 2.0% ABV
Tuatara Iti - lighter alcohol
Iti, meaning small in Maori, uses a US hops base with a lighter malt base to showcase the hop flavour in a tasty APA. Mango and citrusy flavours keep it fresh. Try it with bangers and mash. 4.0g carbs(per 100ml), >1g (per 100ml) 3.3% ABV
Export 33 - low carb
It’s name comes from being naturally brewed for 33% longer to remove all the carbohydrates you don’t want while keeping that classic Export flavour. 1.5g carbs (per 100ml), >1g (per 100ml), 4.6% ABV
Pure Blonde - low carb
Another low-carb gem is Pure Blonde. Produced in Aussie, this crisp, easy drinking tipple is another that has undergone a longer brewing process to reduce carbs. Try it with wood-fired pizzas or seafood. 1.7g carbs (per 330ml bottle), 4.6% ABV)