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In the summer heat, the last thing you need is a high-proof, one-and-done beer. So save the potent potables for the chillier months, because some of the city’s best breweries are making low-proof and highly sessionable beers. (Though, after recent news cycles, we wouldn’t judge you if you opted for something stronger.) Consider these big-in-flavour, low-in-alcohol, highly crushable beers for all your summer sipping needs.

Godspeed’s Baby Světlý Czech Pale Lager

Godspeed has been digging into the concept of sessionability for a while now, offering a range of lower-roof brews. The lowest them of all is the Baby Světlý, weighing in at a whopping 1.5 per cent ABV. It’s everything you love from the east end brewery’s Czech pale lagers at a proof to keep you sharp(ish) through the day-slash-night.

Collective Arts’ Hazy State New England IPA

When we say sessionable, IPAs don’t exactly come to mind. But this can from Collective Arts packs big flavour into a low proof of 4.1 percent. The double-dry-hopped IPA is made with a mix of Amarillo, Citra, Mosaic and Centennial hops for big tropical-fruit flavours with a silky drinkability.

Avling’s Selene Smoked Lavender Sour

If you’re looking for low-ABV, sour beers are typically an excellent option: they pack huge amounts of flavour into the same amount of suds with a bit less booze. This particular one is made with Ontario malt that’s been hand smoked with local applewood and lavender. Weighing in at a low-octane 3.4 per cent, it drinks less sour, more floral and slightly smoky.

Burdock Brewery’s Bloor Light

Bypass the Bud Light and grab Burdock’s answer to the macro brew: a hyper-crisp easy-drinking Kolsch-style lagered ale. Aptly named Bloor Light, it’s highly crushable at 3 per cent ABV with a clean, neutral flavour. Not light enough for you? Bloor Lighter is squeaky clean and light as air, clocking in at just 2.2 per cent.

Goose Island’s Electric Warlock

This low-octane kettle sour drinks like Kool-Aid for an older crowd: sweet and slightly jammy with hints of blood orange, raspberry and cherry. At 4.2 per cent, it’s rather laid-back for a sour (read: not overly mouth-puckering), so sip it on a dock/patio/stoop during a heat wave.

JCB x LOOP’s Lime Gose

When life gives you imperfect limes (and day-old bread), make lime gose. Junction Brewery partnered with Loop to make a salty, citrusy gose out of visually imperfect limes and slightly stale bread. Weighing in at 3.5 per cent, it’s breezy, zesty and a little salty—think a margarita for beer drinkers.

Fairweather’s Light Work

This Hamilton brewery labels its Light Work as an “all-day pale ale,” and that’s exactly what it offers. The 4.1 per cent brew is clean with a slight citrus twang. It’s the best of both worlds: crunchy and hoppy with an oh-so-light finish.

Left Field’s Scout

This mini IPA from Left Field has all the haziness, hoppiness and acidity of an IPA in a light, breezy body that begs to be brought to a beach. With a big bump of tropical fruit, it’s well crafted, highly drinkable and packed with flavour—yet extremely crushable at 3.5 per cent.

Rorschach Brewing Co.’s Super Dry Japanese Rice Lager

Crispy, dry, dead clean and refreshing, this rice lager from Rorschach is conditioned on juice from shikuwasa, a citrus fruit from Okinawa. While made with the brewery’s tight technicality, it’s fresh, not fancy, and falls on the heavy end of the light-beer spectrum at 4.9 per cent. We suggest filling your cooler with a flat of these.

Something in the Water’s Rocky Point Mexican Lime Lager

One of this new brewery’s first detours from their hallmark sours is a craft take on a Corona—think Mexico by way of Liberty Village. The Vienna-style lager is brewed with lime zest and hops, making it highly quenchable in its own right, but the beer also serves particularly well as the base for a michelada: season the rim, add a splash of tomato or lime juice and perch a citrus wedge on the side. Slightly lower in ABV is their Light Lager, a humble citrus-driven drink at just 100 calories a can.


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