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  1. #1
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    In search of low alcohol goodness

    As in, an IPA around 6% give or take.

    I've had a lot of fun for the past year drinking all manner of IPAs and DIPAs. I love the taste, I love the mouthfeel, but I have to say I really don't like getting messed up on alcohol. Those days are behind me.

    I've found that 7.2% (Sierra Nevada Torpedo, a beer I really really like), after just two, is just too much. Guess I'm a "cheap drunk" but I've never drunk much alcohol at one sitting. What I need is a sessionable lower alcohol beer that I can drink two or three of, enjoy the whole "beer drinking" experience but come out of it able to drive if I need to. That's my test.

    I went on Beer Advocate, searched their "types" "IPA" section and just looked at beers at around 6% or less, an area I'd rejected before just BECAUSE they were "low" alcohol. Heck, my favorite is duganA which is 8%.

    First up was Boulevard Single-Wide at 5.7%, on sale at Superior Liquors at $10.99 a 12 pack (only through tomorrow I think). My kind of price!

    What can I say, there's no accounting for taste. The reviews on BA were "Best IPA I've tasted, definitely my go-to
    sessionable IPA!" to "Yuck, smells like cat piss, how can you stand this stuff?" Well heck, let's try it!

    And I like it. I'm looking forward to finishing this 12 pack without getting messed up per session.

    A blind man searches in a dark room for a black hat that isn't there. Dashiell Hammett

  2. #2
    The 5th knuckle
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    Boulevard is right up there in my top 10 list. Big fan of The Sixth Glass. Right next to Avery's The Reverend.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hernando Gutierrez
    The only thing you have to figure out is don't fall down. To keep riding the bike.

  3. #3
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    Low alcohol, high hop beers are hard to keep balanced.

    English style ales are your best bet for low alcohol session beers. Though, most have lower hop profiles balanced with softer malt flavors. Pale ales, bitters and ESB are a good place to start for lower alcohol beers with mild to above average hop characters. Even English IPAs have lower alcohol than their American counterparts.

    I used to drink big IPAs, almost exclusively. Now, they're a once in a while treat, usually at the end of the night. I find the high bitterness and alcohol ruin any beer that comes after an IPA.

  4. #4
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    Anything under 80 proof is low alcohol.

  5. #5
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    The best session IPA is Founders All Day IPA. It is pure hoppy goodness and only 4.7%. Unfortunately, you can't get it in CO.

    Try Bridgeport IPA - its only 5.5%. Dale's pale, while not an IPA is 6% I believe (and pretty tasty).
    "Serves you right to suffer." -The Wife (after being 2 hours late)

  6. #6
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    Boulevard also has what they call "Popup Session" or something like that at 4.7% and the reviews are very positive. Along the lines of "I can't believe how big the flavor is at such a low alcohol percentage".

    Boulevard also has a real cool case design. Once it's open, you fold the ends of the two top flaps down and they fit into a "slot" for easy in and out. Pics of that on request.
    A blind man searches in a dark room for a black hat that isn't there. Dashiell Hammett

  7. #7
    contains quinine
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    Solid Brewery... Tank 7 is a favorite, and the wheat is an easy go to for the lighter end of things..
    Take the long cut, we'll get there eventually.

  8. #8
    a dad
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    not low alcohol.. but cigar city Jai Alai IPA is really, really good..
    BBZ

    Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy - Benjamin Franklin

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by billybobzia View Post
    not low alcohol.. but cigar city Jai Alai IPA is really, really good..
    Sounds like something I'd like to try! Can you get it locally?
    A blind man searches in a dark room for a black hat that isn't there. Dashiell Hammett

  10. #10
    zrm
    zrm is offline
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    Alcohol is highly overrated.

  11. #11
    Total Goober
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    You said mouthfeel.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fuglio View Post
    You guys suck im all bummed now

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by zrm View Post
    High alcohol content is overrated.
    Fixed it for ya.
    A blind man searches in a dark room for a black hat that isn't there. Dashiell Hammett

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigSteve in CO View Post
    You said mouthfeel.
    Don't blame me, that's a beer geek term
    A blind man searches in a dark room for a black hat that isn't there. Dashiell Hammett

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by xcguy View Post
    Sounds like something I'd like to try! Can you get it locally?
    this week at highlands liquor (GABF Special I thinkg), but haven't seen it anywhere else yet.. anyone else see it around?
    BBZ

    Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy - Benjamin Franklin

  15. #15
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    Try Lagunitas DayTime "Session IPA." I think its seasonal but it fits the bill perfectly. Hoppy, but high ABV.

    Also, Avery is trying to tackle this 'issue' with their 3point5 "India Session Ale."

    But overall, hops and ABV need a positive relationship to work right.

    On the other hand, anyone looking for gluten free beer that is actually pretty good (seriously), try Omission IPA.

  16. #16
    Team Velveeta™
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    Quote Originally Posted by dubstings View Post
    ... anyone looking for gluten free beer that is actually pretty good (seriously), try Omission IPA.
    Any advice about beers that are especially rich in gluten?

    My doctor tells me I don't have enough gluten in my diet. Also needing more sodium, nitrates, and saturated fats.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

    "I like my wimmen like I like my beer--cold and bitter!"

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post
    Any advice about beers that are especially rich in gluten?

    .
    Wheat beers are highest in gluten. Pair with Seitan for a very glutenous feast!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by dubstings View Post
    Wheat beers ...
    Eee-ew. Blech. [gag]

    Might as well drink Budweiser.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

    "I like my wimmen like I like my beer--cold and bitter!"

  19. #19
    icegeek is hot
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post
    Eee-ew. Blech. [gag]

    Might as well drink Budweiser.
    Obligatory post.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post
    Eee-ew. Blech. [gag]

    Might as well drink Budweiser.
    Berliner Weisse, Krystallweizen, gose, and lambics all use wheat and will change your mind about wheat beers. Also, look for dark wheat beers for something new.

  21. #21
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    RE: In search of low alcohol goodness

    Ranger IPA from New Belgium. 6.5% and very tasty
    Sent from my HTC6990LVW using Board Express

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbco1975 View Post
    Ranger IPA from New Belgium. 6.5% and very tasty
    Sent from my HTC6990LVW using Board Express
    Hmmm.

    Not to be contrary, but you really like Ranger? I am a fan of many IPAs, but Ranger is, uh...

    "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." -Mom
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

    "I like my wimmen like I like my beer--cold and bitter!"

  23. #23
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    RE: In search of low alcohol goodness

    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post
    Hmmm.

    Not to be contrary, but you really like Ranger? I am a fan of many IPAs, but Ranger is, uh...

    "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." -Mom
    As I can't say anything nice in response to your question I better not say anything at all


    Sent from my HTC6990LVW using Board Express

  24. #24
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    Terrapin Brewery in Athens, GA is doing a new session ale called RecreationAle that is really tasty. No distribution in Colorado yet but we have been able to get our hands on a fair share and the majority loved it. Osprey partnered with Terrapin on some monthly pack giveaways, etc. for RecreationAle drinkers.

  25. #25
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    I went by Highlands Liquor and checked out their remaining supply of Cigar City Jai Alai IPA. They had a few cans left. Not like they stock it on a regular basis! BTW, CC is tapping kegs of their heavy hitters all day today at Hops and Pie. I just finished a Jai Alai and it's right up there in my top 5 all time. It's got everything I could ask for in a top notch IPA, non-expert that I am. I have another can left for tomorrow!



    Yesterday I had business in the RiNo area of Denver. I happened to be driving by The Source (what used to be a large abandoned warehouse, now redone as an "artisan" small shop place (I butchered the description but a bunch of small niche shops in this very cool space). I've taken pics of its development since it was abandoned, and there it was with a full parking lot. I stopped by.

    Turns out, Crooked Stave has their tap room open there and the huge GABF crowd (like a Broncos game, people flooding through the entrance) was there for the unveiling of some new, only brewed this time only, high dollar sour beer that was just about to be served. I flowed in with the crowd and got some pics. (check out the artwork by some of the local grafittits--probably been there for years--there's more of their work inside)



    I'd read that the Great American Beer Festival was starting Thursday night at the Convention Center. Turns out, GABF crowds have been in Denver all week for the festivities in local brewpubs and this was Crooked Stave's big moment. Can't believe I accidently timed it just as they were opening and the faithful were pouring in.





    A sour beer crowd isn't your typical beer swilling crowd. It's really a niche market. For this crowd to be here they surely had to be fanatics.

    True to my word, even when offered high dollar samplers I said "thanks but I'm just taking pics". I was THIS close to picking up this dark one, whatever it was.



    The guy this hand belonged to had a case of bottles at his feet worth maybe $100. Last 12 pack I bought cost me $11! I've tasted Crooked Stave's stuff before, I did some work for them and had to open the bottles to get the "beer just poured into the glass" shots and, of course, I had to drink it afterwards right?



    Line 'em up, barkeep, I'll have one of each.



    It was nonstop pouring for the crowd. The bartenders kept real busy. They could be handing the next glass to some GABF attendee from Sweden or wherever. A real international event.

    Last edited by xcguy; 10-12-2013 at 05:03 AM.
    A blind man searches in a dark room for a black hat that isn't there. Dashiell Hammett

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