Low Alcohol Beer Drinks

Written by pat kelley
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Low Alcohol Beer Drinks
Microbeers labled as "session" beers often have low alcohol content. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Beers can vary greatly in alcohol content. The average alcohol content of a light beer is 4.1 per cent. It's about 5 per cent for regular beer, but the range of alcohol contents in regular beer ranges from 2.2 per cent to 9.5 per cent. For those of you trying to avoid brews with a heavy alcohol content, take note that drinking one beer with a 9.5 per cent alcohol content is like having four beers with the least amount of alcohol.

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Lowest Regular Beers

Coming in at 2.2 per cent alcohol content, the fairly obscure LA Anheuser Busch Premium Pilsner is the lowest alcohol content beer found in a sample of 163 brews analysed by the University of Connecticut's Agriculture Extension. Next on the list: Beamish Irish Cream Stout, which boasts about 3.7 per cent alcohol. Sol's Cerveza, from Mexico, has an alcohol content of 3.9 per cent. Two other Mexican beers also rank fairly low. Tecate and Carta Blanca both had alcohol contents slightly above 4 per cent.

Light Beers

Molson Light, with just 2.4 per cent alcohol, has the least alcohol of 26 light beers sampled by Connecticut's Agriculture Extension. Pabst's Extra Light Low Alcohol brew has about 2.5 per cent alcohol. Bud Light, Genesee Light Beer and Watney's London Light Beer all have alcohol contents around 3.5 per cent. Stay away from Stroh's Light if you are avoiding high alcohol beers. It has an alcohol content of 4.9 per cent.

Microbeers and Imports

American consumers have developed a growing love of microbrews and rare imports. Belgian beers have found a devoted following, but they often have high alcohol contents. There are, however, a growing number of beers in this category that defy these trends. The Shipyard and Harpoon breweries both make "milds" with alcohol contents below 4.5 per cent. When looking for microbrews with low alcohol contents, keep an eye out for beers that are labelled "session" ale or "session" lager. They generally (but not always, read the label) have alcohol contents of less than 5 per cent, and some as low as three per cent. They are called "session" brews because they are designed to allow drinkers to have several of them over a drinking session.

Beer Cocktails

Beer can be mixed into cocktails to further dilute alcohol content. Beer drinkers in Mexico often make a Michelada, which involves mixing beer with tomato juice. Some variations include hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, Clamato juice and lime juice. Premixed versions of these brews are available, but its unclear if these drinks have less alcohol than other beers. Budweiser Clamato, for example, has an alcohol content of 5 per cent.

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