Summer hath arrived, and with it, the summer beer season.
When I think of summer beers, I think of wheat beers, lagers, radlers, pilsners, shandy’s and anything else that drinks lighter and can even refresh when the heat is on. And while flavor and style are important, don’t forget about the alcohol levels in these beers, or ABV (alcohol by volume).
For many, the experience of summer beers is one you want to stretch out, thus you may want to try what is described as a “sessionable” beer, with ABV, at a specific level, so that you can enjoy multiple beers in on “session” of beer drinking.
There is no specific ABV that defines “sessionable.” It really is up to you, and knowing how beer affects you. For me, I consider an ABV of 5.0% or lower as a sessionable beer. For context from the macro world, Budweiser’s ABV is 5.% and Bud Light is 4.2%.
So as curbside pick up continues and more and more St. Louis breweries are beginning to open with increased outdoor seating and patios, here’s a look at St. Louis brews available for your summer consideration.
Lucy Lager | 2nd Shift Brewing Company
This 3.8 percent ABV lager is so crisp, refreshing, and drinkable, with just a touch of hops and malty sweetness.
Full Life Lager | 4 Hands Brewing Company
At 4.5% ABV, this is an easy-drinking American Lager for all. Inspired by pre-Prohibition lagers and made with the finest malt and Noble hops, resulting in a crisp and clean brew.
Blood Orange Radler | 4204 Mainstreet Brewing
At 2.5% ABV, this unique Radler is made with real Blood Orange and a malt soda from their American lager brew. The aroma and flavor of this Blood Orange Radler lends itself to being a great summer drink as well as a great mixer!
Groundhog Brown | Alpha Brewing Company
This 4.0% ABV, Belgian style brown ale is brewed with caramel malt. Nice on the nose, and is balanced on the tongue. Smooth, well-rounded flavor.
American Wheat | Bastard Brothers Brewing
Actually, as far as I can see, this is the St. Louis brewery in which its entire portfolio is sessionable, with every beer brewed under 5.0%. But, this one is my favorite. A traditional unfiltered wheat ale, that uses glacier hops to give it a herbal base, and then Tettnanger aroma hops added to provide some fruity notes. This beer is at 4.6% ABV.
Screaming Sun | Bluewood Brewing
This summer shandy 3.9 % ABV, was my first curbside pick up of the year and Bluewood Brewing’s first-ever shandy. Described as the perfect picnic beer! It is light with hints of malt and a big lemonade flavor and is not short on the sweetness you should expect.
First Crush Saison | Brew Hub Taproom
A Farmhouse Ale-Saison, this beer rings in at 4.8% ABV. True to style, this Saison is a bit light on the palate, with some nice hints of fruit both on the tongue and nose. Drinks crisp and refreshing.
Half-Wit Wheat | Charleville Brewing Company
This beer just happens to be on Charleville’s year round beer menu and for good reason. It’s a great beer. At 4.5% ABV, Half-Wit is a cross between an American Wheat and a Belgian Wit. Clean and refreshing it’s made with white wheat, ground corriander, and dried orange peel!
American Brown Ale | Civil Life Brewing Company
For many St. Louis beer lovers, American Brown has become a local staple and citywide favorite, not to mention one of my top 5 St. Louis brewed beers ever. Malty, toasty, earthy and citrusy, with delicious hints of bitter chocolate and dark roasted coffee. 4.8% ABV / 35 IBU
All-Purpose Pilz | Earthbound Beer
For a brewery that prides itself on brewing ‘weird beer’ they also nail it when it comes to brewing on style. All-Purpose Pilz is a solid, malty and crisp Polish style pilsner. 4.2% ABV.
Flash Bang | Excel Brewing Company
This award-winning hoppy Ameican wheat ale is a great beer to enjoy after cutting the grass. Hoppy, but not too hoppy, and refreshing, it’s brewed and dry hopped with Crystal and Amarillo hops, giving it subtle grapefruit and floral notes with hints of citrus rind. 4.6% ABV/ 16 IBU.
Hefeweizen | Ferguson Brewing Company
Makes my top 5 Hefeweizen list because I don’t find it too sweet. This German-style unfiltered wheat has a pale golden straw color due to the use of 50% wheat malt in the recipe and the German yeast really shines through giving the beer a great banana/clove flavor and aroma.
Belgian Golden | Friendship Brewing Company
A very light amber ale, golden in color with a small hop addition but a big Belgian taste! 5.0% ABV / 22 IBU
Vanilla Summer Stout | Good News Brewing Company
Unfiltered Bavarian Wheat | Griesedieck Brothers Brewing
Lieferbräu Pilsner | Lieferbräu Brewery
Just what you want from a solid German pilsner. Clean, refreshing, crisp. I found this one a bit heavier on the malt side, which I like. 5.0% ABV.
American Brown | Mackenzie Brewing Company
Green Chile Ale | Main & Mill Brewing Company
A family favorite here in south city, as it’s one of the handful of craft beers my wife lives. A light blonde beer specifically made to strongly feature both the Serrano and Anaheim chiles. The aroma is intense and but the burn much more subtle. 4.0% ABV / 6 IBU.
America’s Hometown Pilsner | Mark Twain Brewing
True to style, solid German-style pilsner as well as a nice backyard beer. On the pour, this beer had a nice dense, head. A very refreshing beer, with a nice balance on the malt. 5.0 ABV/ 16 IBU.