Turn on the Light: The Rise of the Low-Alcohol Craft Lager

 Photo: Olivia Rae James

Photo: Olivia Rae James

Scroll through Instagram, peruse Twitter and tiptoe through Untappd, and you might assume that beer fans have blinders on for everything but IPAs and pastry stouts. Blow hype’s smokescreen aside, however, and you’ll see the light: Americans love low-ABV lagers. In January, sales data revealed that the country’s best-selling beers are Bud Light, Coors Light and Miller Lite, the first time the top three were all light. With lower-calorie beers ruling the land, craft and independent brewers are making unlikely moves, especially as conglomerates increasingly encroach on their turf. “They’re firing shots, so we’ll fire shots back,” says Night Shift co-founder Rob Burns.

Enter the era of light lagers, low-calorie craft beers and nonalcoholic sips suited for one and all. My Imbibe feature awaits your clicking finger.