Just saw one of those ridiculous fucking commercials where a guy was working out in the middle of a party because his low-carb beer had more calories than his “cooler” friend’s beer. I won’t even deign to say which beer was being advertised because I refuse to give any free marketing to these shit-ass beers (also I don’t remember which beer it was…they’re all kind of the same to me).*

*Admittedly, the picture accompanying this article clearly shows a Michelob Ultra even though I just said I wouldn’t give any free advertising to low-carb beers. But I had to include this image for two reasons. First, the dude is doing crunches so that he can receive his “reward” of Michelob Ultra for leading an “active lifestyle”. What is he? A rat in a fucking cage? You don’t need a reward for being active! You’re a grown man! If you want a beer, go get a fucking beer! And what kind of reward is Michelob Ultra anyway? If I work out for two hours and you hand me a low-carb beer…I’m going to smash that goddamn bottle over your head. Get me a real beer! Second, the Michelob Ultra bottle seems to be strategically placed to represent this virile man’s erection. So low-carb beer will not only transform you into a fit, 20-something, it will also give you boners. Good to know.

Low-carb beers just make me angry. To be fair, lots of things make me angry. Other drivers make me angry. Tea Partiers make me angry. Giant oil slicks make me angry. Slouch Sixpack makes me angry. People make me angry.*

*The sad thing is that most of the other Aleheads are even more sociopathic than me.

But low-carb beer is high on the list of things that piss me off. Why? I’m glad you asked…even if you didn’t. Here’s an off-the-cuff top ten list of why something so trivial bothers me so much.

1. It’s beer. Beer is made of grain. Grain is made of carbs. Making a low-carb beer is like making low-carb bread, pasta, or pastries. You’re trying to reduce the very thing that the product is made of. What the fuck?

2. Beer is supposed to taste good. That taste mostly comes from malted grain (which, as I just mentioned, is the source of carbs in beer). By stripping beer of its carbs, you’re reducing it to lightly-hopped, brown water. So now you’ve killed any “taste” the beer might have. What the fuck?

3. The malted grain also gives beer its distinctive, sweet aroma. Remove the carbs and you minimize the aroma. So now you’ve killed any “nose” the beer might have. What the fuck?

4. Malted grain also gives beer its color. By limiting the carbs, you also reduce much of the beer’s hue. So now you’ve killed the beer’s visual aesthetic. What the fuckety fuck?

5. Beer is supposed to have “body” and a noticeable mouthfeel. Low-carb beers, by design, have no body and a minimal mouthfeel. So now you’ve killed any “textural” enjoyment of the beer. Seriously…what the fuck?*

*For those scoring at home, low-carb beers are less appealing in terms of four of the five senses. The only one we didn’t touch upon is hearing. And to be honest, if low-carb beer could talk, it would probably sound like Fran Drescher on PCP.

6. Low-carb beers are advertised to work-out fanatics. I have no problem with people who take care of themselves. It’s a noble and important goal. But there’s a difference between folks who regularly go to the gym to keep in shape and the freaks in the low-carb beer commercials who appear to do nothing BUT work out. They seem like obsessive, narcissistic fruit-baskets. So low-carb beers are apparently the beer of choice for obsessive, narcissistic fruit-baskets. Awesome.

7. I hate hate hate the escalating arms race between the low-carb beer producers. “My beer has 64 calories!” “My beer has 55 calories!” At a certain point, the beverages these companies are creating cease being beer and simply become water with a touch of alcohol in them. If you’re only drinking something for the alcohol content and not for the enjoyment of the beverage, you’re an alcoholic.

8. The low-carb beer commercials show people making fun of one another for drinking a slightly higher-carb beer than their own. I can’t even describe the rage I feel when one guy mocks another guy for drinking a beer that has 9 more calories in it. These are supposed to be men! Men don’t give a flying fuck how many carbs are in their beer! Do you know how many carbs were in the Highland Oatmeal Porter I drank last night? No? Well neither do I…and I don’t give a shit.*

*While I’m on this point…does drinking low-carb beer REALLY make that big a difference in your caloric intake? According to this site, Michelob Ultra has 95 calories and 4.1% ABV. Meanwhile, Sam Adams Pale Ale has 145 calories and 5.25% ABV. I’m no math major, but it looks like you’d have to drink 1.28 Michelob Ultras to equal the alcohol impact of 1 Sam Adams Pale Ale. Drinking 1.28 Michelob Ultras would add about 122 calories to your diet (1.28 X 95 calories). So the “true” difference between the two beers (if you normalize the alcohol intake), is only 23 calories…which is the equivalent of eating 2 Peanut M&Ms. While I love Peanut M&Ms, I’d rather drink the Sam’s Pale Ale than 1.28 Michelob Ultras and 2 Peanut M&Ms. Fuck it, I’ll eat the M&Ms anyway. They’re delicious.

9. Drinking beer is not supposed to be a chore. It’s not supposed to be something you feel guilty about. Beer should be savored, enjoyed, and experienced with all of the senses. Low-carb beer eliminates all of the reasons to drink beer and implies that people should be paranoid about the number of calories they ingested in their night out with friends. If you live your life counting calories, you probably shouldn’t be drinking beer because you obviously have mental problems. Beer, in moderation, doesn’t make you fat. Those fucking cheese fries you crushed at 2am after 20 low-carb beers are the problem, asshole.

10. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but Dogfish Head doesn’t make a low-carb beer. Stone doesn’t make a low-carb beer. Russian River, Founders, Three Floyds, Allagash, AleSmith, Terrapin, Rogue, Deschutes, Victory…they don’t make low-carb beers either. The only breweries making these abominations are the swill-producing shit factories that epitomize all that is soulless and wrong in the world of beer. If the only companies making a particular version of a product are the worst producers of said product, chances are it’s a terrible idea.

And that’s why low-carb beers make me angry. I thought this would be cathartic, but I’m even angrier having written this. What the fuck?


  1. Hey, how do you feel about Malternatives? They’re a malt beverage with all of the malted sugars removed, which are then generally replaced with grain alcohol. Super idea…Please discuss.

  2. You have just wasted an hour of your life on this topic. Any person who drinks this swile voted for W. twice and then put out a cig on your sister’s leg. Any person that drinks such beverages deserves a kick to the ‘nads or a shot to back head. Thankfully, I have yet to see such things regularly available at any bar I frequent, but if I see anyone drink them I will mock them openly no matter how big (thankfully Samoans do not buy into such gimmicks).

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