We define light bitters as any bitter with an ABV of 3.4% or lower or an original gravity (OG) of 1034 or lower. By light bitters, we generally mean low gravity or low strength, but they do also tend to be lighter in colour than stronger bitters.
Originally these beers were most prevalent in the West Country where they were colloquially known as Boy's Bitters. Other names that have been used over the years are Family Ales or Luncheon Ales.
Recent years have seen a reduction in the number of traditional West Country light bitters, most notably the tragic demise of Palmer's Bridport Bitter, although St Austell IPA and Arkells 2B still fly the flag. Other parts of the country have seen the reintroduction of lower strength family ales such as Weltons Pride and Joy, mainly from small independent brewers.