There is difference in colour:
Тёмное пиво (left) светлое пиво (right)
I have never, ever heard the term 'pale beer'. It's either light beer or pale ale.
Getting descriptive about beer you could say it-- but no one calls beer by that term I agree. If someone told they liked 'pale beer' I'd think they were probably underage, a girl pretending to like beer, or foreign.
I don't know what "pale" beer is either. "Light" beer makes more sense, though.
For those of us who are alcohol Illiterate like me, what is the difference between light beer and pale beer? I guess that светлое refers to pale and not light?
Light beer usually means low-calorie, but that doesn't necessarily apply to all beers that are light in COLOR. I think that may be why my "light beer" answer was incorrect. For example, Budweiser and Bud Light are both pale in color. The same goes for Miller and Miller Lite. The difference in both cases is that the light beer is supposedly not going to make you as fat.
The difference lies in the marketing buzzwords used by brands of beers, « light beer » should be an accepted answer here.
Would a different word be used in Russian if the meaning had been "low in alcohol"?
Reading https://www.duolingo.com/comment/11754722 I would think "I like the pale beer" (ignoring the nomenclature issues) would be preferable, as нравится refers more to liking in a specific instance of something than liking it in general? Am I missing something?
Regarding nomenclature, Multitran and Reverso both seem to indicate that "светлое пиво" might be a fairly standard equivalent for "lager," in addition to "лагер."
Translation: "Are you a gopnik?" gopnik is like a guy who sits/squats/stands around and tries to take stuff. They're people who are rather poor, and don't go to work that often. Some of the stereotypes are that the drink vodka, light beer, smoke cigarettes, and squat around on their heels.
Noooo, anyone can be a gopnik! Unless, of course, you cannot squat... :D
"легкое пиво" is beer with low alcohol content (e.g. 4-5%); "крепкое пиво" is beer with more alcohol
"легкое пиво" is also used for beer that's easy to drink, e.g. not bitter
does this mean the word светлое only can be used when referring to beer or can it be used to describe other things as well?
"Светлое" (or "светлый", "светлая" in the masculine and feminine forms respectively) means "light" (as opposed to "dark", not as opposed to "heavy"), thus it's a common word overall.