The 10 Most Popular Light Beers in America, New Data Says
Light beer is one of those drinks that many people love, but aren't really supposed to admit if they want to be considered a "serious" beer drinker. Despite being known for not tasting great (or, at least, not like the real thing), light beer certainly gets the job done of cooling you down and turning your buzz up on a hot day. Whether the taste is up to par or not is irrelevant. Simply put: Light beer is here to stay.
YouGov, which gathers data to rank products based on their popularity, ratings, or fame, has an ongoing list of 75 of the country's top beers per quarter. What follows is a ranking of where the most popular light beers in America fell on that list by the end of 2021. Keep reading to see where your favorite bottle landed. And next, check out 6 Things You'll See at Costco This Year.
Bud Light Platinum – Anheuser-Busch – 6% ABV
Bud Light Platinum is a light beer with a real kick of alcohol. It's the newest beer on the lighter side, having been introduced in 2012, and is a curious one in that it actually has a higher ABV than its real Bud counterpart, 6% ABV vs 5% ABV, and only 8 fewer calories.
How does it taste? This Serious Eats review says it's better than Bud Light, having shed some of Bud Light's "telltale weaknesses" with "a little bit more malt sweetness and a tiny hop kick at the end." But for 8 more calories, you can have the real thing, so whether it's worth it is up to you.
Bud Light Lime – Anheuser-Busch – 4.2 ABV
Bud Light Lime hit the shelves in 2008, likely to compete with the growing popularity of Corona Light (which was introduced in 1989). Reviews on Beer Advocate liken the lime flavor to Skittles and other lime candies, but this one is the most descriptive: "Does it taste like a regular macro light beer mixed with Fruit Loops? You bet! Are there better or more flavorful beers. Sure! This is singularly the best, most refreshing summer beer ever to have existed. I'm a self-proclaimed beer snob, but man do I love this beer from June-August!"
Amstel Light – Amstel Brouwerij B. V. – ABV 3.5%
The distinct amber-colored bottle hit the shelves in 1980 after Amstel merged with Heineken in the late '60s. Amstel Light is a very good beer as far as light beers go, and has the benefit of not being compared to its "real" counterpart (since traditional Amstel lager is not sold in the U.S.).
Amstel Light ranked third in our light beer taste test. And, consider this review from Beer Advocate: "Sweet and mild. The flavor follows the nose, mostly just flavors of sweet corn, white bread. It ends on very gentle flavors of slightly spicy, floral hops. No off metallic or sour flavors. Not watery."
Busch Light – Anheuser-Busch – 4.10% ABV
Busch has been both praised and criticized for not tasting like anything at all. One reviewer states, "It almost literally tastes like ice water. I know what the ingredients are, but when consumed ice cold, nothing really stands out at all."
Michelob Ultra – Anheuser-Busch – 4.2% ABV
Michelob Ultra burst on the scene in 2002 as one of the lowest-carb options in the light beer world aimed at the active, athletic beer drinker. Most reviews of this beer note its distinct lack of flavor and ethereal lightness. One reviewer sums it up: "Very watery, but not really in a bad way. Wet hay, corn flakes. Hint of sweetness. No bitterness."
Coors Light – Coors Brewing Company (Molson-Coors) – 4.20% ABV
Coors Light is the fifth most famous beer on the list, but has fallen out of popularity. This beer is known for being light to the point of not tasting like anything. In our light beer taste test, Coors Light ranked the worst due to its bitter and sour notes that couldn't be overlooked. A Beer Advocate review summed it up: "Its best qualities are its carbonation and ability to drink cold on a hot day."
Heineken Light – Heineken Nederland B.V. – 3.3% ABV
If you haven't added Heineken Light to your light beer list, it may be time to start. It won second place in our light beer taste test. Like this reviewer points out, it's "like a crisper, cleaner Heineken. Watery, but it works." Also, note that this beer has the lowest ABV of all of the beers on this list, if that is something that factors into your choice of light brew.
Miller Light – Miller Brewing Co. – 4.17% ABV
Miller Light claims to be the original light beer, having been introduced in 1975. It fared well in our beer taste, coming out as "better than expected." While many Beer Advocate reviews slam the beer for being too "light beer-like," this review is closest to the truth: "It's light beer. And it's really good compared with the category competition (Bud Light, Coors Light, etc.). Crisp and clean with a nice light flavor. If you don't compare it to an IPA you'll agree it's pretty damn good."
Bud Light – Anheuser-Busch – 4.2% ABV
Bud Light is the most well-known light beer and third most famous beer overall, according to YouGov's list. But, it's not taking the top ranking amongst beer drinkers. What is? Keep reading…
Corona Light – Grupo Modelo S.A. de C.V. – 4.1% ABV
Maybe it's the association with the beach or that Corona is just different from other beers, but Corona Light is the #1 most popular light beer in America, according to YouGov's data. Coincidentally, Corona Extra is the most popular and most famous beer overall, and Corona Light, when served with a lime to offset some bitter notes, is a good approximation of the real thing.
For more beer news, don't miss 10 Discontinued Beers That Returned to the Shelves.