Healthiest beers lined up

Yes, Beer Can Be Healthy. Here’s 11 With Surprising Benefits

Get buzzed without the guilt.

Beer gets a bad rep as a high-calorie, high-carb beverage often paired with just as delicious—but not always diet friendly—calorie and carb-filled foods. 

While it’s true that overconsumption can contribute to liver damage, weight gain, and reduced testosterone levels, several studies suggest that the essential minerals and antioxidants hiding in your favorite brew can actually support your gut and heart health and more.

Don’t believe us? A study in the journal Nutrients found that moderate beer consumption may reduce LDL oxidation, a process that causes plaque-forming inflammation in the arteries (1). By preventing these blockages, you lower your chances of heart attack and disease. (Just don’t go wild; drinking too much can trigger chronic inflammation).

And a recent article in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Safety suggests that both non-alcoholic and alcoholic beer “increased gut microbiota diversity” which supports healthy intestinal barrier function (2).

Just a few nutritional tweaks, like opting for a no-carb or gluten-free alternative, could make a daily beer part of your healthy eating plan. These are the best-tasting, healthiest beers you can buy. 

How to Choose a Healthy Beer

Most of beer’s great health perks come from phenols, natural antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties. Upping your phenol intake reduces your risk for heart disease, promotes healthy digestion, and improves brain function, according to one study (3).

While darker beers like stouts and porters tend to have more phenols, light, hoppy brews like Imperial IPAs also hold great health benefits. Hops, which give beer its distinctive taste, can even help prevent bacterial growth in your gut and reduce inflammation (4).

From gluten-free IPA alternatives to low-calorie light brew options, here’s what to look out for on your next grocery run. 

gut health

11 of the Healthiest Beers on the Market

Best Gluten-Free: Ghostfish Shrouded Summit White Ale

Reducing gluten can support weight loss and increase energy, according to the Mayo Clinic. 

Ghostfish’s Shrouded Summit White Ale has the taste of a classic wheat ale without the gluten. It’s brewed with millet, rice, and buckwheat, making it a great option for anyone with gluten intolerance or Celiac. Untappd calls out notes of “juniper and citrus” in this golden ale.

At a Glance:
ABV: 4.5%
Carbs: 8g
Calories: 125

Best Non-Alcoholic: Athletic Lite Non-Alcoholic Brew

Love the taste of beer but want to skip out on the alcohol entirely? Athletic Lite Non-Alcoholic Brew is a vegan, low-calorie option that has reviewers raving that it helped them “give up beer and lose a few pounds.”

Beer Advocate reviewers say it “tastes of sweet cereal grain” and lemon.

At a Glance:
ABV: 0
Carbs: 5g
Calories: 25

Best Post-Workout: Rally Trail Blazer Golden Ale

Rally Beer Trail Blazer Golden Ale is an electrolyte-packed brew perfect for post-workout recovery. Reviewers say this slightly-sweet brew is “smooth” and “creamy” with a slight grapefruit flavor. Crack one open after a long run.

At a Glance:
ABV: 4.9%
Carbs: 16g
Calories: 200


Best Low-Calorie: Budweiser Select 55

Most low-cal brews sit around 70 to 100 calories. At just 55 calories, Budweiser’s Select 55 is one of the lowest calorie options money can buy. The light-bodied golden lager has zero grams of fat and features notes of “white bread dough, lightly toasted biscuit, and light caramel,” according to Beer Advocate.

At a Glance:
ABV: 2.4%
Carbs: 1.9g
Calories: 55


Best High-Phenol: Guinness Extra Stout

Guinness Extra Stout is packed with antioxidants and malt-derived phenols that can help your body crush free-radicals. Better yet, this beer also contains a decent amount of folate, which has been linked to boosting sperm count and healthy erections (5). Drizly reviewers call this a smooth beer, with notes of roasted coffee and bittersweet chocolate.

At a Glance:
ABV: 6%
Carbs: 14g
Calories: 176

Best For Your Gut: Hoegaarden Original White Ale

A professor at Amsterdam University presented his initial findings that drinking a Belgian beer may be just as good at introducing beneficial bacteria to your gut as taking a probiotic supplement. Strong Belgian beers like Hoegaarden’s Original White Ale are double-fermented, which means that you’ll be consuming a small amount of gut supporting live yeast while you enjoy your brew. This sweet and sour brew features hints of orange and coriander.

At a Glance:
ABV: 4.9%
Carbs: 11g
Calories: 150

Best Zero Carb: Bud Light Next

Reach for this if you’re looking for a low-cal, zero carb option that won’t totally mess up your macros. Bud Light Next sits at just 80 calories and has a lighter, crisper taste than other beers in the Bud Light family. One reviewer on Beer Advocate says this beer “tastes more like a seltzer than a brew with a super light beer flavor” and gives it the stamp of approval “for hot days of long sessioning.”

At a Glance:
ABV: 4%
Carbs: 0g
Calories: 80

Best Low-Carb, Keto-Friendly: Blue Moon LightSky

Reviewers say this low-carb, low-cal rendition is a great diet-friendly alternative to Blue Moon’s classic brew. Blue Moon LightSky features solid notes of tangerine and tropical hops, all while keeping it under 100 calories.

At a Glance:
ABV: 4%
Carbs: 3.6g
Calories: 95

Hoppiest: Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA

This 120 IBU ale is packed to the brim with gut-supporting hops. Reviewers say Dogfish Head’s annual small-batch brew is hoppy without being too, too bitter, pointing out notes of caramel.

At a Glance:
ABV: 15-20%
Carbs: 22.5%
Calories: 450

Best Beer-That-Doesn’t-Taste-Like-Beer: Abita Purple Haze

If you want to reap the gut-boosting benefits of beer but aren’t a fan of the taste of glorified fizzy wheat water, look no further. Abita Purple Haze is a favorite amongst guys who prefer a sweeter beer with a fruity flavor. It’s brewed with fresh raspberry puree (you might even spot pulp in the bottle), which introduces essential B and C vitamins into the mix.

At a Glance:
ABV: 4.2%
Carbs: 11
Calories: 128

Best Non-GMO: Heineken Light

This refreshing, light beer is an obvious choice for environmentally and health conscious drinkers. While all Heineken beers are made with non-GMO wheat, yeast, and hops, Heineken Light clocks in at just 90 calories and 6 grams of carbs without compromising the brand’s classic crisp taste.

At a Glance:
ABV: 3.3%
Carbs: 6g
Calories: 90