Heard it a thousand times: The old joke goes “Light beer is like having sex in a canoe… It’s f**king close to water!”
Sure the flavor is somewhat more mild, but the common misconception about American light beer is that “light beer” = low alcohol content of around 2% – 2.5%. Beers of this variety do still exist in some countries, however it’s a bit different in the USA. While it’s true that “light” beer may have slightly lower alcohol content (about 0.4% lower), the primary difference is that it actually on average contains 33% fewer calories, and 50% fewer carbohydrates! And this is the real reason why it’s called “light” beer here.
Let’s do the math:
6 regular lager beers x 150 calories = 900 calories
6 “light” beers x 100 calories = 600 calories
A night out can easily put a person 1000+ calories (or 50%) over the normal recommended daily caloric intake. Our best guess is that the average able-bodied New Yorker goes out drinking an average of 3-4 nights per week. NY’ers are a rather vain (er, health-conscious) bunch, and that’s a lot of calories.
Most importantly, thanks to the “less filling” nature of “light” beer a person can drink significantly more of it (for much longer) without ever feeling uncomfortably full, tired, or bloated, and that’s a BIG advantage. Try it.