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Our Favorite Session Beers For Spring 2021

As the weather starts to warm up, we find ourselves craving crisp, fresh, light beers. We’re talking IPAs, pale ales, bocks, wheat beers, pilsners, and lagers. But with the days getting longer and hangouts becoming a thing again, it’s nice to sip something that doesn’t knock you on your butt.

That’s where session beers come in. For the unaware, a session beer is defined as a beer that has an alcohol content in the lower range — meaning you can drink multiple cans or bottles in a single session. While there’s no official cutoff, most people would agree that any beer that sits below 5% ABV fits the criteria.

Session IPAs are one of the most common versions of this genre. Loaded with bright flavor notes, juicy on the palate, and often possessing a piney (vs. overly dank) hop presence, these beers are well suited for warm-weather imbibing. But Session IPAs aren’t the only sessionable brews out there — there are plenty of styles that fit this descriptor. Check out our favorite session beers to drink this spring (and well into the summer) below!

Founders All Day IPA

Founders

ABV: 4.7%

Average Price: $10 for a six-pack

The Beer:

It’s right there in the name. This beer is lower in ABV so you can enjoy it all day long without fear of getting overly tipsy. This highly-rated 4.7% session IPA is known for its well-balanced, subtly hoppy features.

Tasting Notes:

On the nose, you’ll find aromas of earthy grass, lemon zest, and pine needles. The palate is filled with rich malts, ripe oranges, zesty grapefruit, and subtle, floral hops. The finish is crisp, clean, and ends with a pleasing hint of hop bitterness.

Bottom Line:

When it comes to session IPAs, Founders All Day IPA is the gold standard that every other session beer compares itself to.

Anchor Steam

Anchor

ABV: 4.9%

Average Price: $10 for a six-pack

The Beer:

Recently, Anchor made some major packaging changes. This means that you might not immediately recognize the iconic Anchor Steam on shelves. This 4.9 brew is brewed with pale and caramel malts before being fermented with lager yeast. This gives its flavors of both caramel and crisp, fresh cereal.

Tasting Notes:

Take a moment to breathe in the aromas of sweet malts, fresh-baked bread, and subtle citrus hops. On the palate, you’ll find flavors of resinous pine, ripe tangerine, and a nice floral kick. It all ends with a nice combination of caramel malts and piney hops.

Bottom Line:

There’s a reason this is one of the longest-standing beer recipes in the US — it’s refreshing, malty, and a perfect session beer for the spring months.

Lagunitas Daytime IPA

Lagunitas

ABV: 4%

Average Price: $9 for a six-pack

The Beer:

This 4% session IPA proves that you can make a low alcohol, low-calorie IPA that actually has a strong, refreshing hop flavor. It’s light, thirst-quenching, and highly crushable on a warm evening.

Tasting Notes:

The aromas of ripe pineapple, fresh-cut flowers, and bright pine fill your nostrils. Take a sip and you’ll enter a world of tropical fruits, citrus zest, and sweet malts — with a nice kick of floral hops. The finish is clean, bright, and highly drinkable.

Bottom Line:

When it comes to IPAs, this is about as light as they come. But unlike a session pilsner or pale ale, Daytime IPA still has a nice hoppy backbone that should appeal to IPA drinkers.

Firestone Walker Easy Jack

Firestone Walker

ABV: 4.5%

Average Price: $10 for a six-pack

The Beer:

Firestone Walker Union Jack might be the most well-respected West Coast IPA ever made, but at 7% it’s definitely not a session beer. To make Easy Jack, the brewers lowered the ABV to 4.5%, but kept the major hop presence with Amarillo, CTZ, Simcoe hops and dry-hopped the brew with Mandarina, Melon, Mosaic, Citra, and Amarillo hops, too.

Tasting Notes:

On the nose, you’ll find scents of grass, baked bread, sweet malts, and floral and piney hops. The palate is filled with hints of lemon zest, clover honey, ripe oranges, and features a nice malt throughline. The finish is crisp and fresh with a strong, subtly bitter hop presence.

Bottom Line:

When it comes to session IPAs for hop heads, it’s really hard to beat the pleasingly bitter flavor of Firestone Walker Easy Jack.

Jack’s Abby Post Shift Pilsner

Jack

ABV: 4.7%

Average Price: $7.99 for a 4-pack of 16-ounce cans

The Beer:

Jack’s Abby is well-known for its refreshing, crisp lagers. When it comes to session offerings, its Post Shift Pilsner with its Bavarian hops and malts, and easy-drinking, fresh flavor is a real winner. It’s 4.7% ABV and full of bright, light, refreshing flavors.

Tasting Notes:

The noticeable aromas are those of sweet corn, lemon zest, and resinous pine. The flavor profile is filled with sweet German malts, ripe pineapple, juicy tangerine, and subtle floral hops. The finish is clean and dry.

Bottom Line:

We can’t think of a better beer to drink after a long day of work. Take off your boots, kick up your feet and take a moment for yourself.

Harpoon Rec. League

Harpoon

ABV: 4%

Average Price: $9 for a six-pack

The Beer:

If you’re anything like us, you probably played beer league slow-pitch softball, kickball, or even horseshoes at some point. You probably also drank a low-ABV macro brew in the process. Harpoon realized this was an untapped market, so the Boston-based brewery created a light, refreshing, low alcohol beer to be enjoyed while playing in a rec league.

Tasting Notes:

Nose this beer and you’ll be struck by the tropical flavors of mango and guava as well as slight citrus and crisp pine. On the sip, you’ll find yourself immersed in a world of citrus zest, orange peels, and ripe grapefruit — with just a hint of juicy papaya. The finish is crisp, light, and mellow.

Bottom Line:

Even if you aren’t currently (or never have) participated in a beer league, that shouldn’t stop you from imbibing this thirst-quenching, session brew.

Bell’s Light Hearted

Bell

ABV: 3.7%

Average Price: $10 for a six-pack

The Beer:

There are session beers and then there are beers that are so low in alcohol, you feel like you could drink ten cans (although we strongly discourage this). Bell’s Light Hearted is the low-ABV, low-calorie version of Bell’s popular Two Hearted Ale. It’s also only 110 calories per can, but the addition of Galaxy and Centennial hops give this beer the bright, citrus aromas IPA drinkers expect.

Tasting Notes:

On the nose, you’ll find aromas of caramel malt, fresh pineapple, and bright lime zest. The palate is brimming with notes of tangerine, lemon, juicy orange, and bright, spicy pine. The finish is crisp, clean, and ends with a nice hint of bitter hops.

Bottom Line:

Fans of Bell’s Two Hearted who are looking for a lighter, sessionable beer should definitely grab a sixer of Light Hearted for the warm days to come.

Drake’s Kick Back IPA

Drake

ABV: 4.3%

Average Price: $10 for a six-pack

The Beer:

Drake’s didn’t want anyone to be confused when they crack open one of these bad boys. It’s called kick back because this session IPA — brewed with a smattering of Cascade, Simcoe, Mosaic, Chinook, Pekko, and El Dorado hops — was literally made to be enjoyed after a long day of work.

Kick back and sip on this hoppy, sessionable brew.

Tasting Notes:

Breathe in the aromas of sweet malts, grapefruit, and tropical fruit flavors. Take a sip and you’ll find flavors of orange peel, juicy lime, bright orange, and light hop resin. It all ends with a nice, pleasing bitter kick at the finish.

Bottom Line:

This is the kind of beer that session IPA fans love. It’s so loaded with hops that you wouldn’t even know it’s under 5% alcohol.

Notch Session Pils

Notch

ABV: 4%

Average Price: $17 for a 12-pack

The Beer:

There are many popular session IPAs. This because you can make up for low alcohol content by adding a ton of fresh, floral hop flavors. Notch’s Session Pils might not have the giant hop background of many sessionable IPAs, but it makes up for it with pils malts, lager yeast, and a nice dose of Saaz hops.

Tasting Notes:

This Czech-style pilsner starts with bold, crisp, herbal, and slight corn aromas. Take a sip and you’ll be transported to a world of earthy grass fields, bright lime, lemon zest, and rich, toasted malts. The finish is herbal, sweet, and ends with a nice kick of spicy hops.

Bottom Line:

The best thing about pilsners is that many of them are already (or close to) sessionable. This makes the style (and this pilsner in particular) perfectly suited for warm, spring-day drinking.

Maine Post Ride Snack

Maine Beer

ABV: 4.9%

Average Price: $6.99 for a 16-ounce bottle

The Beer:

The Maine Beer Company is well known for its Lunch IPA. But that beer is 7% alcohol. If you’re in the mood for a session beer from the brewery, you can’t go wrong with this session IPA. It’s loaded with Citra, Amarillo, Simcoe, Nelson Sauvin, and Hallertau Blanc hops, as well as Carahell, Maris Otter, 2-Row malts, and flaked oats.

Tasting Notes:

This vibrant, hazy IPA is loaded with the aromas of mango, grapefruit, pineapple, and resinous pine. The flavor profile is highlighted by hints of passionfruit, grass, lemon zest, guava, and an underlying floral, hoppy flavor. It all ends with a nice mix of juicy tropical fruits and bright, zesty hops.

Bottom Line:

The Maine Beer Company is known for its award-winning, high-quality beers. This extends to the highly sessional Post Ride Snack. The best beer to enjoy after a long bike ride on a hot day.

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