All of us at We Brought Beer love our Double IPAs, Imperial Stouts, and Barley Wines. And one of the most important elements of brewing is understanding and maintaining the balance of flavours – of which alcohol is an important component. Generally, if you whack up the alcohol by volume (ABV) of a beer, you can increase the flavour. As a result, the IPA has become the de facto
beer for beer lovers because its higher ABV allows for all the characteristics we want in our beers to be multiplied. However, this leads to other problems – we like to be able to have more than a couple of beers before calling it a night.
Luckily, ABV isn’t everything. Some of the best breweries out there, renowned for their huge, bold, beers also craft wonderful lower strength beverages. The Session IPA is the vogue style at the moment, recreating IPA flavours at lower strengths. However, sometimes even 4% or 5% is too high. Sometimes you want something that you can drink, drink some more, have a couple more and then have one final one before you leave.
Below, we have picked out 3 of our favourite sub-3.0% ABV beers available in bottle in the shop.
It’s said that necessity is the mother of invention, and that’s where Johnny Low comes into play. Norway has pretty stringent alcohol laws – no beer can be sold on Sundays, public holidays, election days, or May 1 and 17. However, once a beer’s ABV is lowered to 2.5%, it becomes fair game and can be sold anywhere at anytime. Step forward Lervig with their 2.5% Johnny Low
Johnny Low is a session IPA. An incredibly sessionable IPA. Don’t think that calling it a session IPA is a marketing gimmick and that it is just a low strength pale ale. It has the usual IPA suspects when it comes to hops, using the ever popular Cascade, Simcoe and Citra and when it comes to the dry-hopping of the beer, these are used in a far greater proportion than in their flagship pale ale that is almost double the strength. This dry-hopping creates an aroma that is on-par with many bigger IPAs, and the citrus and tropical bitterness qualities are very much at the forefront.
The flavour profile is crisp yet surprisingly bitter and, whilst it is missing some body, a result of the low ABV and a problem that is difficult to get around, it does not detract from the enjoyment of this beer. If you’re a hophead in need of a quiet night then this is the beer for you.