One of the first lessons learned when lunging into maturity? Pleasures can have penalties. Yes, most of us have learned that lesson more than once. Considering beer consumption can occur nightly, we might learn that lesson every day, as our beer bellies defeat our belt buckles. But luckily, thanks to our century’s constant concern with keeping us healthy as ever, now the beer-versus-six pack battle can end.

LOW CALORIE:

MAHR’S BRAU LEICHT

Everyone knows that Germany is an immediate contender for a celebrated nation of best-breweries-ever and this brewery’s got two award-winning beers under it’s belt already, one of which donned the title "Best Brewery in the world." Reasonably priced and unreasonably low in calories, this lightly colored beer takes the sting out of compromising thick, malted beers for a more health conscious option. Considered an ideal palate starter, this brew is crisp, refreshing and served both in bottled form and on-tap, with a light honey-esque sweetness and a quick snap of peppered pizazz for an aftertaste.

BEAMISH IRISH STOUT

Next to Germany, there’s Ireland and here, we have our beloved stout. This belly-friendly choice is a light to medium tan, coffee-esque in appealing beer bitterness, spiced, roasted and smokey smooth. This guy scored an overall 89 with beer reviewers (here), which ultimately means that, when counting calories, it’s an ideal option. Like it’s german pal, both these beers carry around 130-150 calories a pop – the equivalent of a protein bar from the health food store. There are, of course, brews like MGD 64 and Budweiser Select 55 with calorie counts as low as 50-65, but unfortunately you’d be happier drinking water. As health and beer expert Bob Dkilnik says, "The calories are in the alcohol, and the only way to come down to 64 or 55 is to step on the beer and add more water to bring it down." So, if you’re strong enough to stomach the dirty-water-taste in order to maintain a strong stomach, do it. If you’re human, however, go for the 150 calories and cut out the nut, popcorn and cheese puff snacking while sipping.

ORGANIC:

FULLER’S ORGANIC HONEY DEW BEER

While the word "organic" may make us cringe in anticipation of leaf-tasting tribulations, brewmaster Greg Noonan reassures us. “Craft beer should mean natural beer brewed in a non-automated brewery of less than 50-barrel brew length, using traditional methods and premium, whole, natural ingredients, and no flavor-lessening adjuncts or extracts, additives or preservatives.” Translation? The best beers, in both taste, experience and bodily benefit, are organic anyway, because the use of natural ingredients actually prevents compromising flavor. Known particularly for its intriguing, zesty flavor is Fuller’s organic honey dew brew. There is a touch if sweetness balanced by a depth of flavor. It should be served chilled – a particularly ideal summer sort of beer.

ST PETERS BEST ALE AND BITTER

The St Peter’s Best Bitter brewery has long impressed beer critics with its varieties of brews and wall of awards. Their mission is to produce "the most comprehensive and out of the ordinary selection of superb quality beers," and they certainly prove themselves powerful in this instance. Using completely organically grown Chariot malted barley to the make the mash, St Peter’s creates an incredible ale, full, perfectly bitter and aftertaste-free. Plus, it comes in a super cool flask-like bottle, which obviously signifies the best of manly decorum and dignified drinking.

GLUTEN FREE:

GREEN’S GLUTEN FREE BEERS

Nowadays, it seems that every other person has some kind of horrendous food allergy preventing poor lads all over from beer indulgence. But with the rise of raw, purified food options, gluten-free beer has moved from a place of ridicule to real necessary. Most beers are made from starch-based materials, grains, barley and wheat (which contains gluten), but this purified version uses only natural tannins, which are suitable for both vegetarians and vegans. Green’s Gluten Free Beers promotes its brew as "inspired by strong European beers and developed to a closely guarded secret recipe," meaning "a strong body, crisp taste and a refreshing flavour, losing none of the taste but all of the allergens." 

MOST LOVED:

MAHARAJA IMPERIAL INIDIA PALE ALE

The recipient of rave reviews from both health-lovers and beer-fanatics, the Maharaja Imperial is beloved for its %10 alcohol level, high hop-content of polyphenols (meaning virus-fighting compounds) of up to 80 times more than regular leading brands like Miller or Coors, and its dark, creamy thickness uncharacteristic of most healthy beers. This is an ideal healthy choice to use when truly in the mood for beer, not light and diluted refreshers, but solid, savory flavors. This way, instead of sipping cocktails with a massive sugar content, Maharaja Imperial can be used as a strong foundation for beer-based cocktails, which taste just as exciting, but allow you firstly, to fit back into your best work clothes and secondly, to safely make it home. Same amount of fun, only less fat and no fat penalties.

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