(NEXSTAR) – Trying to be a bit healthier as part of your New Years’ resolution, but having a hard time giving up your beer? A new drink from Bud Light may be your solution.
Bud Light NEXT, the brand’s first-ever zero-carb beer, is hitting the market after spending nearly 10 years in the making. The company describes it as a beer “offers the sensibility and stats of a seltzer.”
Most beers are made by fermenting grains like barley or wheat, which contain carbohydrates, aka carbs. A 12-ounce serving of Bud Light, for example, contains about 6.6 grams of carbs.
How does Bud Light NEXT have no carbs? Bud Light head of innovation Paul Scholz says that is still a secret.
Scholz describes the beer as being crisp and light.
If you aren’t a big fan of the taste of beer, you may actually like the 80-calorie, 4% ABV Bud Light NEXT. It lacks the characteristically strong beer flavor, which is usually sweet and malty, in the opinion of this avid beer drinker from Wisconsin. Bud Light shipped over some samples to taste test. Instead of that malty flavor, I noticed how crisp the beer was on the first taste – sort of like a seltzer – followed by an almost hoppy flavor that’s a bit bitter with a citrus-like overtone.
The 4% ABV isn’t far off from other beers under the same family of Anheuser-Busch. Bud Light, a light-lager, is 4.2% while Busch Light is 4.1%. Lagers Budweiser and Michelob Light stand at 5% and 4.3%, respectively. Compared to other low-carb beers, Bud Lite NEXT is again about average – Miller Lite, at 3.2g of carbs, has an ABV of 4.2% and Miller 64 Extra Light Lager has 2.4g of carbs and 2.8% ABV.
With its 4% ABV, you may not feel much of a buzz after one or two cans of Bud Light NEXT, depending on your tolerance. Since the goal of the zero-carb beer is to attract younger Americans – 21 to 27-years-old – who are hard-working and caught up in the stresses of today, that may be appealing for some.
Bud Light NEXT isn’t just light in carbs, it’s light in color. Beer can range in color, like some imperial stouts that are nearly black, to various light beers that are a light orange or amber. This new beer has the faintest hint of an amber color but appears more clear than others.
The photo below shows Miller Lite, left, compared to Bud Light NEXT, seen on the right. Bud Light NEXT appears almost watered down, with a similar flavor.
While Bud Light NEXT may be appealing to health-conscious drinkers who prefer a beer over a seltzer, I would personally stick with original Bud Light or Miller Lite. But if you are a seltzer drinker trying to become a beer drinker, Bud Light NEXT could be a good starting point for you.
If you are interested in trying Bud Light NEXT for yourself, you’ll be able to find the tall, skinny cans reminiscent of Bud Light Seltzers in both six and twelve-pack options starting Feb. 7.
To celebrate its first-ever zero-carb beer, Bud Light is also rolling out an NFT project: Bud Light N3XT Collection. It features 12,700 unique tokens. If you purchase one of the NFTs (or nonfungible tokens), starting at $399 a pop, the company says you’ll have the opportunity to vote on Bud Light NEXT merchandise, access special events, and other surprises.