This post contains links through which we may earn a small commission should you make a purchase from a brand. This in no way affects our ability to objectively critique the products and brands we review.
Evidence Based Research To fulfill our commitment to bringing our audience accurate and insightful content, our expert writers and medical reviewers rely on carefully curated research.
Read Our Editorial Policy
Welcome to our Athletic Lite review!
The next stop in our colorful tour of Athletic Brewing Company’s non-alcoholic brews takes us to a popular, but often skimped-on classic: the light beer.
Athletic Lite, which contains 25 calories and just 5 grams of carbs, quietly but convincingly throws down the gauntlet to its underwhelming competitors, as if to say, try this.
The surprisingly full-bodied, but very clean flavor and equally clean ingredient list won our review team over, earning Athletic Lite an A+ rating.
And hey, considering the “chuggability” of light beer, the almost unnoticeable lack of alcohol is definitely going to be your friend.
Athletic Brewing Company Athletic Lite
- Crisp, clear taste
- Clean ingredient list
- Site content issue (see below)
Ingredient and Nutritional Quality
Athletic Lite’s completely clean ingredient list incorporates several organic ingredients while staying away from cheap fillers and additives.
Here is the ingredient list for Athletic Lite:
Water, Organic Malt, Organic Rice, Organic Wheat, Hops, Yeast.
Both from a brewing and a nutritional perspective, this is the model ingredient list for a light beer.
We may not be veteran brewmasters, but as partakers of the occasional revelry (who doesn’t love a good revelry?), we know that some light beers contain propylene glycol, corn syrup, genetically modified ingredients, antifoaming agents and other undesirables, which is what makes this list a refreshing read.
There are no sketchy additives or low-quality grains to be found, and the organic rice and wheat provide a clear competitive advantage over so many corner-cutting light beer makers.
The lack of alcohol and toned-down hops in Athletic Lite naturally slims the calorie count down to 25, which trounces the vast majority of light (alcoholic) beers.
If you’re looking for a light beer with a bit of clove or a splash of fruity flavor, this straightforward light beer may miss the mark, but for everyone else, we can’t find a legitimate complaint based on the ingredient list.
Hence, Athletic Lite earns an A+ for ingredient and nutritional quality.
Our review team unanimously agrees that this non-alcoholic brew is crisp, refreshing, and a very easy drinker.
We’re as tired of the beer marketing buzzword echo chamber as you are, but there’s simply no getting around them in this case—Athletic Lite is impeccably crisp, clear, and refreshing.
You won’t pick up any strong notes of anything outside of that classic “bready” taste, which is why this beer is so easy to have several of (i.e., sessionable).
The light body and minimal foaminess—common attributes of the light beer—also bode well for easy drinking, whether you’re just having one or going for more of a Wade Boggs situation.
Our review team quickly came to the consensus that this is a no-nonsense brew suitable for both pickier (as in, not fond of hoppy/bitter beers) and less discerning drinkers.
As for the minutia surrounding our purchasing and using experience, we had no issues in the following areas:
- Ordering process
- Condition of packaging
- Shipping window time
- Use and storing
The labels provided all the basic product specs (ingredients, nutrition facts, etc.), and along with the cans, they weren’t cheap or quick to break down.
Overall, our review team had a top-notch experience with Athletic Lite, which earns an A+ for user experience as a result.
The Athletic Brewing site and return policy could use a few tweaks, but otherwise, our review team found a pro-consumer experience waiting for them.
If you have to slog through a confusing online shopping experience and/or deal with anti-consumer policies, it doesn’t really matter how great any given product is, which is why we consider brand experience in every product review.
Capturing brand experience requires casting a fairly wide net, which, in this case, consists of the following buckets:
- Online shopping experience
- General website experience
- Customer support
- Shipping/return policies
Despite having several kinds of NA beers, a selection of sparkling waters, and assorted merch, shopping the Athletic Brewing Company catalog is made easy with the help of simple filters.
The e-commerce setup is fairly standard; rows of attractively photographed product images link to individual product pages when clicked, and checking out takes you through the usual series of information/review pages.
We also appreciated the beginner-friendly hops/malt/body slider, which made all the selections and beer lingo a little less intimidating.
We had no immersion-breaking pop-ups or strangely situated web pages to contend with, and the product page content was ample and personal, if not a little brief.
General site content also runs a little on the thinner side, though Athletic Brewing does provide a substantive introduction to the team as well as the brand philosophy.
There was no reason to contact customer support in the case of our Athletic Lite review, but as we cover in our Athletic Brewing Brand Review, the email and phone systems promptly delivered helpful responses to our questions.
However, the return policy isn’t clearly expressed on the site, but Athletic Brewing Owner Bill Shufelt explained that most issues result in a complete refund.
Along with the lack of a satisfaction guarantee, this is our only gripe on the brand experience end.
Taking into account the site experience, customer service, and more, we landed on an A for brand experience in our Athletic Lite review.
What seems like an inflated price point at first is fully justified by subscription savings, lower calories, superior ingredients, and the excellent taste of Athletic Lite.
Just like the Free Wave IPA, the Run Wild IPA, and most of their other beers, Athletic Brewing charges $13.99 for a six-pack of Athletic Lite (12oz cans).
Ameliorating this steep price point is free shipping and steady discounts (marked down to $12.59) offered to Athletic Club members, who can customize their standing orders over time to tour as many beers as they like.
Even discounted to $12.59, though, Athletic Lite isn’t coming anywhere near the price point of major brewing companies, which often charge as little as half this amount for a six-pack of light beer.
But the list of advantages that Athletic Lite has over the cheap swill dominating the beer cooler shelves is nothing to be scoffed at, including the following:
- No alcohol
- Far fewer calories
- Superior ingredients (organic, no fillers)
- Better taste and body
If we only had one or two of these key points to work with, we would certainly be in B territory or even lower, but all four of these potentially game-changing factors together keep Athletic Lite at an A+ for value.
What does Athletic Lite taste like?
According to our reviewers, Athletic Lite has a very clear, crisp, and characteristically “bready” flavor to it, with very little in the way of bitter, fruity, or other accents.
Is Athletic Lite gluten-free?
Though some of Athletic Brewing’s beers are claimed by the brand to be “crafted to remove gluten,” citing lab-verified parts-per-million figures under 10, they do not make this claim for Athletic Lite.
Is Athletic Brewing organic?
Most of Athletic Brewing’s beers contain one or more organic ingredients, often including organic grains, malt, and rice.
Is Athletic Brewing really alcohol-free?
Athletic Brewing beers are officially classified as “non-alcoholic,” meaning they can legally contain up to 0.5% alcohol, as opposed to completely alcohol-free beverages.
Is Athletic Brewing beer good for you?
Beer contains several antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds, and non-alcoholic beer removes the obvious drawback, but whether or not Athletic Brewing beers are healthy for a person depends on their own health-related circumstances.
An excellent product on its own can only take a review so far, but Athletic Brewing backs up their light brew with top-shelf customer support, website experience, and value.
The website could use a bit of beefing up and some polishing on the review policies, but our experiences with the human side of Athletic Brewing Company have reflected a decidedly pro-consumer air.
Athletic Lite outperforms both non-alcoholic and alcoholic light beers across every category we measure, including taste, ingredient quality, and more.
Our review team thoroughly enjoyed this beer, which earns an overall grade of A+ in our review, and will recommend it to anyone looking for an easy drinker without the drawbacks.