Take it Easy: Low alcohol beer options abound

Take it Easy: Low alcohol beer options abound

Adulthood is overrated. The constant 24/7 commitments and responsibilities that come with working for the man, trying to put a roof over your head, raising children, operating a business or simply existing in this increasingly ludicrous world can really cramp your style, right?

Especially if you’re a craft beer fanatic. Because if you’re not careful, indulging in this fun little hobby of ours can seriously impact your ability to “adult” the next day (and the day after, if you’re over 30). Admit it, you’ve been Fat Tugged before.

But just because we have shit to do in the morning doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy a craft beer or three tonight! Thankfully, the days of 12% ABV mocha barrel-aged pastry stouts (which are wonderful in moderation) are giving way to a new, more sustainable trend: low-alcohol craft beer.

I’m not talking alcohol-free, here. Alcohol tastes good, and beers without it invariably taste like they are missing something. I’m talking about craft beers that land in that middle ground of 2-4% ABV. They actually have flavour, and it doesn’t feel like you’re drinking hop-scented soda water. It wasn’t so long ago that these options simply didn’t exist. “Light” beer was lager in the 4-4.5% ABV range and then there was nothing until you hit O’Doul’s at 0.5% ABV.

Thanks to the craft beer revolution, today, there are a myriad of options for those of us that want to drink delicious craft beer and also want to be functional human beings tomorrow. 

Here are some of our favourite low-test options that you might find during Victoria Beer Week and beyond.

Goldynwell by Driftwood
Brewery (Victoria)

3.0% ABV • West Coast table beer

Light, refreshing, citrusy and delicious, Goldynwell has all the makings of a perfect spring patio beer. And at just 3.0% ABV, you won’t have to worry about falling off your bike on the way home.

Tous Les Jours by Dageraad Brewing (Burnaby)
3.2% ABV • Mixed culture table beer

Dry-hopped and fermented with brettanomyces, this “everyday” ale is light and fruity with almost champagne-like effervescence. Notes of pineapple and crabapple, with a slight funk and high crushability.

Berliner Weisse by Settlement Brewing (Vancouver)
3.5% ABV • Berliner weisse

This delightful German-style sour wheat ale style has been called the “champagne of the north,” which might be overstating it a tad. That said, Settlement’s take is tart and refreshing, having been aged on preserved lemon peels and plums for added complexity.

Magic Hour by Vancouver
Island Brewing (Victoria)

2.4% ABV • Grapefruit gose radler

Whoever thought to cut a salted wheat ale with grapefruit juice is a gosh-darned genius because it doesn’t get much more refreshing than this. Who needs the ABV when you have this much flavour?

Working Class Hero by
Riot Brewing (Chemainus)

3.8% ABV • Dark mild

Now this is a proper pint. The English pub ale was designed so working folk could park their arse at the bar and drink until closing time, but still make it in for work the next day. Riot has faithfully reproduced it here, with notes of toast, jam and blue collar solidarity.

Småll by Slow Hand
Beer Co. (Vancouver)

3.5% ABV • Kveik farmhouse table beer

This spritzy little number is the perfect thing to help you forget the long miserable months of rain—it’s basically sunshine in a can. Floral notes of citrus and tree fruit, with a dry, zesty finish. 

Lemon Raz Radler by Russel Brewing (Surrey)
3.5% ABV • Radler

With a fruity blend of lemon and raspberry, this refresing radler is sure to become your new summer spritzer. 