21st Amendment Bitter American: 160 Calories
Credit: Photograph by Michael Pirrocco

Since all the calories in beer come from the malts it's a no-brainer that beers emphasizing hops would make great low-calorie options. Just don't assume that your favorite India Pale Ales fit the bill. IPA's typically feature big malty backbones and high amounts of alcohol to balance out the intense hop assault. What you want to look for instead is a more sessionable beer that still features hop flavor without turning everything up to 11. We'd prefer to call beers in this style hoppy American Pale Ales, but the term Session IPA seems like it's here to stay.

One of our favorite beers in this category is 21st Amendment Bitter American. The beer's 160 calories are actually a little high for it's 4.5 percent alcohol, but they're still a far cry from the 250-plus calories that most India Pale Ales pack. Other sessionable hop-forward beers like Founder's All Day IPA (4.7 percent ABV and 147 calories) shave off similar amounts of calories while preserving a good dose of the citrusy hop flavor that IPA lovers crave.