Low Carb Beer
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Low Carb Beer

If you like your beer or you nightcaps from time to time (or even all the time), you might be in for a big surprise when you go on the low carb diet. Alcohol is forbidden – at least in the early stages. Later, after you get out of induction, you can add a little alcohol a couple times a week, but you still have to be careful about what libation you indulge in.

Along those lines, let me say that studies have been shown that it’s harder to lose weight when you have a lot of alcohol your system. This is because the body will burn the alcohol before it burns the fat.
Low Carbohydrate Beer

There is not a zero carb beer that I have found yet, and there probably never will be**. By the nature of the ingredients, it probably couldn’t happen. But there are some “low carb” beers available. You have to be careful though because some companies will try to convince you that the 12 grams of carb in their beer is ‘low carb’. Yes, it is compared to an entire pizza, but not for a beer. So read the labels.

pure blonde - low carb beerProbably the most popular low carb beer are Pure Blonde, Hahn Super Dry and Bondi Blonde, which as of this writing had approx 1-2 grams of carbs per 100ml.

  • Pure Blonde – 0.9g carbs per 100ml
  • Bondi Blonde - <2g carbs per 100ml
  • Hahn Super Dry - according to their website, it 1/3 the carbs of a std full strength beer... whatever that means?

The rest of the beers had 5 or 6 grams of carbohydrate, and most of them ran from 7 grams to over 16 grams of carb.

Here is a comparison list of international low carb beers:

Beer Carbs Beer Carbs
Accel 2.4g Labatt Sterling 2.5g
Amstel Light 5g Michelob Light 11.7g
Aspen Edge 2.6g Michelob Ultra 2.6g
Bud Light 6.6g Michelob Ultra Amber 3.7g
Bud Select 3.1g Mike's Light Lemonade 6g
Busch Light 6.7g Miller Lite 3.2g
Coastal Light 3.9g Milwaukee's Best Light 3.5g
Coors Light 5g Natural Light 3.2g
Corona Light 5g Rhinebecker Extra 2.5g
Edison Light 6.5g Rock Green Light 2.6g
Guinness 17.6g Sam Adams Light 9.7g
I.C. Light 2.9g San Mig 3.2g
Heineken Light 6.8g Sleeman Clear 2.5g
I.C. Light 2.9g Thin Ice 1g
Keystone Light 5g    
Labatt Blue Light 8g    

So you do have choices for the occasional beer, just make the right decision about which you choose, and don’t go overboard with the amount you drink.

Hard Liquor

Hard liquor has essentially no carbohydrates, so would make for a good occasional mixed drink or nightcap. Off course, if you drink it neat of on the rocks, you don’t have to worry about a mixer (which can add carbs). Some people like to drink their hard liquor with mixers such as diet coke or diet 7-UP, but my problem with that is the Aspartame. It’s not good for you. If you drink whiskey, vodka or something similar, maybe you could try your hard liquor with club soda a squeeze of lemon or lime. Important: don’t confuse club soda with tonic water – tonic water has carbs in it.

Whatever you do, don’t confuse hard liquor with schnapps, liqueur or other flavored drinks. They are all going to have carbs in them and that will stall your ketosis.


There are cheap flavored wines and there are white wines and red wines that don’t have all the sugar in them to make them more palatable. Cheap wines generally have added sugar and thus carbohydrates. If you like wine and want a glass for dinner, or else wise, don’t get a $3 bottle of wine and expect it to be low carb. Get a nice bottle of wine and it will have less carb in it. You can enjoy this a few days a week, and more if you are in maintenance rather than induction.

Now that we’re all set up as to what we can drink, I think it’s time we hit the local pub and share a few drinks together. I’ll buy (mine, that is).

See also Low Carb Snacks

Click here to find out how to brew your own beer.

** There is now a zero carb beer from the Burleigh Brewing Co called Bighead Beer... Australia's first no-carb beer.. http://www.bigheadbeer.com.au