Summertime, and the drinking is easy

Five low-alcohol beers to sip throughout the day

Low ABV beers abound, including at Urban Roots Brewing & Smokehouse.

Low ABV beers abound, including at Urban Roots Brewing & Smokehouse.

Photo by Mary Huynh

Summer months mean longer days—more sunshine, more hours for hanging out with friends, more time to sit around and employ ice cold beers as a personal cooling system. If you’re not careful, though, a few brews can quickly go to the head, pushing one straight into nap territory. Instead of filling up on high-octane options, sip on those with a low-ABV (alcohol by volume).

Following are five beers, all with a measured ABV of 5.3% or less, to help you enjoy the benefits of summer day drinking: Friends, good conversation and a lower risk for that pesky hangover.

Smooth sipping

Mini Separation Anxiety, Berryessa Brewing Co.

Berryessa Brewing Co. is renowned for its array of heady, hoppy beers. Fans of its Separation Anxiety beer, a single hop mosaic IPA, won’t be disappointed with its low-impact sister beer. With a 4.5% ABV, it boasts a smooth yet complex profile that could probably trick even the most seasoned beer nerd into thinking it actually packs a greater punch. 27260 CA-128 in Winters,

Better than a fan

Sidework, Urban Roots Brewing & Smokehouse

With its expansive, shaded patio, Urban Roots makes for an outdoor downtown sanctuary and this 4.2% ABV lager makes for a delightful way to help pass the time. Crisp, refreshing and whisper-light, it’ll cut through the day’s scorching temps without leaving much of a buzz. Pair it with one of the brewery’s side dishes—the cheese grits are the bomb—for a chill afternoon snack. 1322 V Street,

Dessert in a glass

Tart and Raspy, Bike Dog Brewing

Each batch of this 4.3% ABV kettle sour is packed with 800 pounds of raspberry and black currant puree—and it shows in every pour. With a texture reminiscent of the kind of fruit topping one might pour over pancakes, it’s tart, jammy and vibrant. 12534 Industrial Boulevard, Suite 110 in West Sacramento and 915 Broadway Suite 110,

Citrus blast

Cellador Ales Yuzu Famile, Hop Gardens

The yuzu is a lemon-esque citrus fruit found in Japan, Korea and parts of China—and in recent years it’s become a trendy sour beer component. Crafted by a Northern California-based brewery, this 3.8% ABV small oat saison is made with yuzu zest for a tart, zippy taste. 2904 Franklin Boulevard,


Pincushion, Device Brewing Co.

This German-styled pilsner clocks in a little higher on the ABV scale at 5.3%. Still, medium-bodied and dry, it’s crisp, thirst-quenching and never over-powering. Check it out at Device’s Ice Blocks tap room to pair with its family friendly patio and good people-watching. 1610 R Street, Suite 145,