Beers under 5.2% to Cool You Down This Summer In Houston

June in Houston!

Anyone who has spent any time in our incredible city during the summer months knows that it is hot outside now and getting hotter! Although, that does not mean we have any reason to slow down when it comes to enjoying Houston’s local beer scene.

It has already been a great year for beer thus far. I know many of you readers have had your fair share of big, heavy beers in the last few months (I know I have).

Spindletap’s yearly springtime offering of their much sought after, “Juiceton” Double IPA at 8% ABV, has come and gone.  

Anyone who has made it over to Brash Brewing in the last several months may have enjoyed their popular “Vulgar Display of Power” Russian imperial stout at a whopping 14% ABV. 

Perhaps closer to the beginning of this year you had True Anomaly’s “Jupiter Drops” double IPA with lactose at 8.9%.

Of course, after this summer is over, we get to look forward to exciting fall time releases, like Saint Arnold Brewing Company’s “Pumpkinator 2024” imperial stout, and a multitude of other cool-weather, heavy-hitting Houston favorites.

If it is your prerogative to enjoy more big beers this summer as the sun stays up longer and our days get hotter, then you are a much bolder Houstonian than me. 

However, if you are interested in cooling down this summer with some of Houston’s lighter alcohol content beers without sacrificing awesome flavor, then I encourage you to continue reading this article.

The following beers are not ranked in any ascending or descending order. I think each and every one of these beers is a perfect summer-time refreshment, depending on what style ale or lager you happen to be craving.

  1. “Pink” – Vallensons’ Brewing Company (Berliner – 4% ABV)
A glass of red liquid

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Pink Cherry Sour – Vallensons’ Brewing Co.

“Pink” is a Berliner Weisse style ale, that has some overlapping qualities to a sour, without quite as much tartness. It is light in consistency and is overflowing with cherry flavor. Given the style, you should expect this beer to be a bit sweet, but I personally would not consider it a dessert- specific beer. There are many beers available in this category that have a comparably beautiful color in the glass, but “Pink” is deceivingly better than the rest. It is slightly sweet, slightly tart, very refreshing, flavorful and completely crushable. It is no surprise that “Pink” has won several awards in the last few years. 

“Pink” is currently on tap at Vallensons’ Brewing Company at the time of this article’s publication.

  1. “Pilsner Rešov” – Equal Parts Brewing (Czech Pilsner – 4.6% ABV)
A mug of beer and a necklace

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Pilsner Rešov – Equal Parts Brewing

Anyone who has done a little bit of reading about Czech pour styles or has spent any time enjoying beers in Europe, is probably quite refreshed when seeing a lager style beer poured with a head like the one in the picture here of “Pilsner Rešov” by Equal Parts Brewing.

Equal Parts Brewing has done an excellent job giving their visitors an authentic experience on how a cold-fermentation beer should be served, as well as how a high quality one should taste. 

In this article I won’t dive deep into different pour styles made famous by the brewers of Czech Republic, nor the Lukr side pour faucet that this beer was beautifully dispensed from. 

In my opinion “Pilsner Rešov” is about as close as we can get to the perfectly crafted pilsner that tastes exactly as it’s initial creators intended without leaving Houston. 

This pilsner has floral hop character, with nearly no bitterness. It finishes clean with a very faint note of pepper.

This award winning pilsner is currently on tap at Equal Parts Brewing at the time of this article’s publication. 

  1. “Castle Pale Ale” – Walking Stick Brewing Co. (American Pale Ale – 5.1%)
A glass of beer on a table

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Castle Pale Ale – Walking Stick Brewing Company

For those of you looking for a slightly hoppier refreshment while remaining in the low ABV category, I recommend trying “Castle Pale Ale”. 

This is a British style pale ale with great hop aroma and relatively low bitter properties. This beautifully crafted beverage is slightly malty, but not quite as malt- forward as it’s amber color may lead you to believe. It is a refreshing ale with a ton of flavor for 5.1% abv. 

“Castle Pale Ale” is currently on tap at Walking Stick Brewing Co. at the time of this article’s publication. 

  1. “Citrus Shandy” – Saint Arnold Brewing Company (Shandy – 4.5%)
Citrus Shandy – Saint Arnold Brewing Company

If you are familiar with shandy as a beer style, then you likely know that a proper shandy consists of equal parts beer to lemon soda. Saint Arnold Brewing Company’s “Citrus Shandy”, is perfectly balanced between these two main ingredients that make up the perfect shandy.

The lemon and grapefruit soda in this beverage is citrus-y, (just as the can describes), and refreshing. Of course, just like any proper shandy, this is a sweet beer – but it still tastes like beer!   

I think balanced is a great word to describe this beer. This is a beautifully crafted lager, with the added refreshing compliment of Saint Arnold’s lemon and grapefruit soda. It is neither too bland nor too sweet. 

“Citrus Shandy” is available on tap and in cans to go at Saint Arnold Brewing Company. It is also available in cans to go at many Houston area grocery and liquor stores.

  1. “Fire in the Hole” – Holler Brewing Company (Mexican Lager – 4.7%)
Fire in the Hole – Holler Brewing Company

The last beer I will share qualifies as an incredible Houston beer at a low ABV to enjoy this summer – although this one may not actually cool you down!  

Spicy beers are not for everyone, but if you enjoy spicy food, then a little heat in your beer can really turn your pint into a party!

“Fire in the Hole” starts with a perfectly brewed Mexican style lager. Hot peppers used in the brewing process, provide this beer with some big flavorful adjunct notes that give off quite a kick. The spicy heat in this beer is presented evenly throughout the drinking experience. It may leave you never wanting to go back to a dressed Modelo. 

This beer is served ice cold at Holler Brewing Company and is available in multiple different serving sizes. If you are unsure as to whether you will like this hot and spicy beer, I encourage you to at least give it a try as part of a flight.

“Fire in the Hole” is currently on tap at Holler Brewing Company at the time of this article’s publication. It can also be purchased to go at their brewery if you provide your own clean growler. 

Houston’s craft beer scene is thriving, offering a vibrant mix of past achievements and future potential. The five beers mentioned are personal favorites of each style and not ranked in any particular order. I encourage you to try any of these beers and share your thoughts with me. Ultimately, the best beer is the one enjoyed in a place that makes you happy or with people you care about. Cheers to enjoying great beer this summer!



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