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Like India Pale Ale? Here are the lowest calorie choices...

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  • slider728slider728 Member Posts: 1,494 Member Member Posts: 1,494 Member

    ...

    There is a handy chart:

    cal-chart.jpg


    I use this for getting a pretty good idea of the calorie count in a beer. I don't know what I'd do if I were faced with a bomber of a 15% beer. It might be worth the calories just to see if I could possibly finish it.

    Love the chart. Thanks for sharing!


  • sgt1372sgt1372 Member Posts: 3,932 Member Member Posts: 3,932 Member
    Why? Does higher alcohol content generally mean more intense flavor... or whatever proper wording won't upset the nitpickers?

    As to "why bother"... it's temporary, at least for me. In weight reduction phase, I'd still like to have something.

    In general, I do find beers with higher alcohol content has more "flavor" -- at least for IPAs. They taste more hoppy/bitter to me, which I like. I also like Islay single malt scotch which has a distinct peaty flavor. So, it's that flavor connection for me.

    As for "why bother," if you need to watch your beer cals, so be it but I don't drink enough beer anymore for it to matter to me. Only 1-2 beers every weekend or so now.

    But, if you're drinking 3-6 (and sometimes even more) beers a day, like I was at one point in time -- which is why I tried O'Doul's for awhile -- then it would definitely matter.

    edited May 2017
  • heiliskrimsliheiliskrimsli Member, Premium Posts: 735 Member Member, Premium Posts: 735 Member
    sgt1372 wrote: »
    I prefer IPAs when available and always go for the highest alcohol (cal count) content when it's known.

    Why? Does higher alcohol content generally mean more intense flavor... or whatever proper wording won't upset the nitpickers?

    As to "why bother"... it's temporary, at least for me. In weight reduction phase, I'd still like to have something.

    There are very different flavors for different styles of beer which don't really exist in low ABV beer. You're not going to find a 3% ABV beer that tastes like an 8% IPA at 90 IBUs. It's a very different flavor when you're at the range of 10 IBUs. The closest you get are session that's IPA style or an XPA - and they don't taste the same as IPAs. Even an APA isn't going to give someone who really likes hops what they're looking for.

    The difficulty is that while the bitter hops are what people who love IPAs, Imperial or Double IPAs, are looking for the bitter flavor has to be properly balanced - which means using the right malt proportions and getting the fermentation working - which raises the ABV.

    To create a beer with the flavor of IPA and the ABV of a light beer would be a whole new category of beer.
  • JruzerJruzer Member Posts: 3,493 Member Member Posts: 3,493 Member
    There is certainly a fashion among craft beer enthusiasts for the most massive offerings available - look at the trend toward "imperial" everything. What are people waiting in line for? Big offerings like Dark Lord, or Pliny the Elder, or Darkness. I just had Boulevard's Imperial Pils at 7.5% abv, and it was pretty good too. I've got a Belgian Quad aging on my shelf at 16% abv! I even had an Imperial Milk Stout recently.

    Typically the more massive beers do offer a greater variety of flavors, as there's more depth to play with. You can mix in barrel aging, adjuncts like maple or chocolate, funky yeast strains, multiple hop additions, and so on. The higher alcohols can stress the yeasts and make more esters and side flavors.

    It's just much more difficult to do this with lower alcohol beers. Not to say you can't get good flavor, because you certainly can. You can make a good argument that the more modest beers offer less room to hide behind and are better examples of the brewer's craft. That's why a true pilsener is so hard to pull off - you've got to get water chemistry, mash, hops, and yeast all right to pull it off. Likewise, a properly mashed decoction bock is a rare find and a huge treat.

    But poorly made lower alcohol brews are common, and they can be just awful if done wrong. There's a reason that "small beer" is an epithet.
  • Emily3907Emily3907 Member Posts: 1,460 Member Member Posts: 1,460 Member
    I will have to show this to my husband. He is a HUGE IPA fan (me, not so much) and is just finishing off his Hopslam haul from this past January.

    It took him all last year to work off his Hopslam gut, so he was smarter about it this year and limited his consumption to only a couple a week. He is running low now though, and probably planning a memorial for his last can, but I am sure he will be looking for something to fill the gap until next year.
  • PatanjaliTwistPatanjaliTwist Member Posts: 485 Member Member Posts: 485 Member
    Sgt, Heilis & Jruzer... Amazing info, thank you! I'm going to intuit that I'm not going to enjoy non-IPAs because they just have the best flavor to me. I was a Guinness drinker for years, but suddenly tired of the taste. As an experiment, I'll still give one of the low cals a test... I'm just curious.

    Thanks everyone for all the info you've taken the time to post! I'm sure it's helpful to many.
  • Kimblesnbits13Kimblesnbits13 Member Posts: 369 Member Member Posts: 369 Member
    slider728 wrote: »

    ...

    There is a handy chart:

    cal-chart.jpg


    I use this for getting a pretty good idea of the calorie count in a beer. I don't know what I'd do if I were faced with a bomber of a 15% beer. It might be worth the calories just to see if I could possibly finish it.

    Love the chart. Thanks for sharing!


    Oh very interesting! I'll have to use this when I go out for beer because I can never find local craft beers on the mfp food data. Thanks for this little chart lifesaver!
  • mbauer013mbauer013 Member Posts: 37 Member Member Posts: 37 Member
    I know this struggle well as a homebrewer and a craft beer fan ( I have three friends who all work at different breweries). Have you tried Sour beers at all? Some of them are much lower in calories and alchohol but have very interesting flavor profiles. Berliner weiss is one of my favorite summer beer styles and is light (usually around 3% abv) but has a tart taste kind of like lemonade and really works in the heat. There is really no substitute for an IPA (Jai Alai is awesome, my favorite right now is Molotov Lite) but mixing it up with styles can help. Even some lagers are actually quite hoppy.
  • OhwhynotOhwhynot Member Posts: 368 Member Member Posts: 368 Member
    Jruzer wrote: »
    My personal opinions: I don't think I've had a "session IPA" that I particularly enjoyed.

    Heavy Seas Crossbones IPA is really good, but IDK if it's available outside of the Baltimore area.

    edited May 2017
  • enterdangerenterdanger Member Posts: 2,445 Member Member Posts: 2,445 Member
    I've tried all of these and they aren't IPAS with the exception of the Ballast Point and the Evil Twin. I rated them accordingly.

    Bikini Beer, Evil Twin Brewing, Brooklyn, NY (88 cal) - meh and it's super bitter
    Brooklyn ½ Ale, Brooklyn Brewery, NY (102 cal) - I generally love Brooklyn, but again this was not a good full calorie beer replacement. Besides, Brooklyn makes my favorite Saison with their Sorachi Ace. I rather go for a run and drink the sorachi.
    O’Reilly’s Stout, Sly Fox Brewing, Pottstown, PA (108 cal) -okay, but there are much better stouts for like 40 more calories. Like Lancaster Milk Stout. It's 158 calories if memory serves and is much yummier. It's also from PA.
    Even Keel Session IPA, Ballast Pt, San Diego, CA (114 cal) - Decent for a session. I'm just not a huge fan of sessions or APA's in general.
    Oarsman Ale, Bell’s Brewery, Kalamazoo, MI (120 cal) - crisp with a nice sour at the end, but this tastes more like a witbier. It's particularly good on a very hot day.
    Baba Black Lager, Uinta Brewery, SLC, UT (120 cal) I know this is weird, but I've never had any beers from Uinta that I loved.

    edited May 2017
  • sgt1372sgt1372 Member Posts: 3,932 Member Member Posts: 3,932 Member
    My favorite IPA currently is Sculpin at 7% with 240 cals/12 oz bottle/serving. Just had a bottle yesterday. :)
    edited May 2017
  • Emily3907Emily3907 Member Posts: 1,460 Member Member Posts: 1,460 Member
    Since we are on the subject, does anyone know of a good craft brewery in the Outer Banks area (Corolla) with a good IPA?

    We are headed there in June, and I know my husband will be on the hunt.
  • SweatsOnSundaySweatsOnSunday Member Posts: 514 Member Member Posts: 514 Member
    Love this thread, and that handy chart!
  • U2R2U2R2 Member Posts: 259 Member Member Posts: 259 Member
    Not the biggest of IPA fan but Bell's Two Hearted Ale is my favorite.
    2HD_WebPic_736X736.png
    edited May 2017
  • PatanjaliTwistPatanjaliTwist Member Posts: 485 Member Member Posts: 485 Member
    sgt1372 wrote: »
    My favorite IPA currently is Sculpin at 7% with 240 cals/12 oz bottle/serving. Just had a bottle yesterday. :)

    Oh, I love the Sculpin IPA. So far, I haven't found it in Boca... just moved here. I just wish it didn't cost upwards of $15/6-pk.

    SweatsOn... love your profile pic!

    Thanks for the recommendations, All... I'm note taking. :smiley:
  • sarahbri923sarahbri923 Member Posts: 45 Member Member Posts: 45 Member
    U2R2 wrote: »
    Not the biggest of IPA fan but Bell's Two Hearted Ale is my favorite.
    2HD_WebPic_736X736.png

    Agreed! That's my "go-to"
  • midlomel1971midlomel1971 Member Posts: 1,272 Member Member Posts: 1,272 Member
    Emily3907 wrote: »
    Since we are on the subject, does anyone know of a good craft brewery in the Outer Banks area (Corolla) with a good IPA?

    We are headed there in June, and I know my husband will be on the hunt.

    I don't know about their IPA specifically, but Outer Banks Brewing Station is always fun...good food and drinks.
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