I don’t know who needs to hear this but Quarantine Rules are Airport Rules, have a drink at 9am if you want to. Hands up if this thought has resonated with you before! 🙋😂
I’m not gonna lie, since we’ve been in self-isolation I’ve probably been hitting the beers a bit harder than I normally would. I’m not trying to give myself a hard time, I’m just being honest…and I’m sure I’m not alone. While we’re all stuck at home, not able to go out and do anything, I’m finding that a beer in the sun on the balcony has taken on a whole new meaning.
But the thing is, I don’t really want to get wasted every night, I just want to enjoy some tasty beers (and make a dent in all the local beers I’ve ordered!)
If you’ve been around the craft beer scene long enough, chances are you’ve heard someone use the phrase ‘session beer.’ A session beer is a beer that is lower in alcohol – usually in the range of 3-5% – which can be consumed in large quantities without knocking you on your back. And during this self-isolation I’ve been really gravitating towards these types of beers so I can enjoy a few frothies in the evening and still feel fresh for my commute to the living room for work the next day.
So, I thought I’d put together a list of 10 session beers, from local Toronto breweries, that are perfect for self-isolation.
1. Henderson Brewing
Society of Beer Drinking Ladies Brew0003 – Hazy Session IPA with Grapefruit & Lime
I’m starting the list with a little shameless plug because our latest collaboration with Henderson is pretty amazing IMHO. If you liked our Brew0001 Blood Orange Saison LAST summer, you’re gonna love this one. Brew0003 is a bright, fruit-forward, highly-drinkable light IPA. You’ll smell fresh lime and grapefruit along with citrus oil and ripe melon. The taste is a big citrus flavour up front followed by a bright fruitiness, touch of bitterness and herbaceous notes. I might be biased but I reckon this might just be your new summer favourite!
2. Bandit Brewery
There’s nothing quite as refreshing as a good pilsner and this crisp, easy-drinker is a modern take on this classic old-world style. Notes of lychee, lemongrass, and subtle floral aromatics from the addition of not one but two New Zealand hops, Wai-iti and Motueka, make for a clean, refreshing brew that pairs as well with food as it does your favorite sweatpants.
3. Burdock Brewery
If you’re self-isolating with someone who’s not massively into craft beer, this clean, crisp, easy-drinking ale is a great ‘gateway’ beer to help them see the light. Lightly hopped with Citra and fermented with Vermont ale yeast, this beer is easy peasy grapefruit squeezy–and by that I mean it has a subtle fruitiness and grapefruit finish.
4. Indie Ale House
Lemonade Stand Lactose Sour
When I first came across this beer all I could think was, “there’s always money in the banana stand.” Same same but different! This refreshing sour pays homage to everyone’s favourite, and tastiest, form of childhood entrepreneurship – the lemonade stand. Dry-hopped and brewed with meyer lemons and lactose, this beer is unbelievably refreshing with a balanced tartness and notes of, you guessed it, lemon.
5. Godspeed Brewery
Yuzu Saison with Japanese Citrus
If you’re unfamiliar with yuzu this is a great way to make its acquaintance. Yuzu is a tremendously aromatic Japanese citrus fruit and the combination of this zesty citrus and Belgian yeast creates a dramatic freshly-peeled clementine aroma you’ll be able to smell from across the room. This light, lively beer is complex yet so simple and the perfect afternoon sipper.
6. Rainhard Brewing Co
Daywalker Micro IPA
I love this micro IPA because it’s low in alcohol and big on taste, with loads of tropical fruit aromas and notes of white grape and citrus. This is one of my go-to session beers when I want something full-flavoured that won’t derail my afternoon plans *cough* Zoom calls.
7. Avling Brewery
Brevis Tart Saison with Black Cherry and Elderberry
This was one of the first beers I ever tried at Avling – or at least a variation of this Brevis cherry saison – and it’s one I would drink again and again. I love a good tart beer and this one has just the right amount of tartness mixed with tannins and fruit, which allows it to walk the line between saison and sour with grace.
8. Left Field Brewery
Squeeze Play Pomegranate Sour
We’re 8 beers down on the list and if you can’t tell by now, I’m a big sour lover. So when I’m looking for my next tasty sour, Left Field’s Squeeze Play series is always a safe bet. This particular iteration is rose gold in colour and packed with pomegranate. It’s juicy and thirst-quenching and the perfect afternoon pick-me-up.
9. Eastbound Brewing Co
Fresh Start Strata APA
Fresh Start is a series of rotating American Pale Ales, each of which highlights an individual hop varietal. Fresh Start Strata features, well, Strata hops, a once experimental hops that hails from the Pacific Northwest. This delicious APA tastes like a dank fruit salad in the best possible way, with notes of mango, passionfruit and piney, resinous goodness.
10. Kensington Brewing Co
Convergence fruited sour series brewed with Key Lime and Strawberry
This beer bills itself as a tart and sassy can of deliciousness, so she sounds like my kinda gal! Imagine key lime pie with strawberries on top, now pour that into your glass and drink it. I don’t know about you but I’m coming back for seconds.
Bonus: Blood Brothers Brewing
Paradise Lost – Sweet Mango Heat – Sour Ale w/ Mango & Chocolate Bhutlah Peppers
Ok so this one isn’t low ABV but I live for a Paradise Lost release and this one sounds particularly tasty so I’m sneaking this onto the list the way this almost-7% beer will sneak up on you.
Whatever you’re drinking during this crazy, crazy time we hope you’re staying safe, healthy and virtually connected.
Peace, love and toilet paper,