The Best Low-Alcohol IPA (Session India Pale Ale) Beers to Try in 2023

Sometimes, we just need a low-alcohol beer; one that won’t slow us down throughout the day but will satisfy our thirst during a weekend lunch. Low-alcohol India Pale Ales or Session IPAs are great options for drinking a full-flavored beer with low ABV. What are some of the best low-alcohol IPAs to try this year?

The best low-alcohol IPAs have low ABVs but keep a complete flavor profile. Some of the best low ABV IPAs or session IPAs on the market include Dogfish Head Slightly Mighty, Bell’s Light Hearted Ale, Cigar City Jai Low, Harpoon Rec League, Victory Easy Ringer, Terrapin RecreationAle and WeldWerks Fit Bits.

Continue reading for more detailed information about these beers, including their ABVs, ingredients, and flavor profiles.

13 of the best low-alcohol (session) IPA beers to try

Session or low-alcohol IPAs are designed to retain full flavor from hop additions while keeping ABV down. The best low-alcohol IPAs are packed with hop flavors and aromas and are a great option if you’re looking for a light beer without sacrificing that full-flavor profile.

Low-alcohol IPAs are inherently low in calories because they contain less alcohol because less malt is used during brewing. Sometimes, these beers are also classified as “lo-cal” or “low-calorie” IPAs.

The most recommended low-alcohol India Pale Ales are:

  • Dogfish Head Slightly Mighty
  • Bell’s Light-Hearted Ale
  • Cigar City Jai Low
  • Two Roads Lil’ Heaven
  • Harpoon Brewery Rec. League
  • Lagunitas DayTime
  • Victory Brewing Co. Easy Ringer
  • Firestone Walker Flyjack
  • Deschutes Wowza!
  • Evil Twin Bikini Beer
  • Goose Island So-Lo
  • Community Beer Hop Skinny
  • Terrapin Recreationale
  • WeldWerks Fit Bits

1. Dogfish Head Slightly Mighty

  • Brand: Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
  • From: Milton, Delaware
  • ABV: 4%
  • IBU: 30
  • Featured Hops: Northwest varieties, possibly Ciara and Galaxy
  • Taste: Brewed with locally-sourced barley and monk fruit, a sweet fruit grown in Southern China. Slightly Mighty has a sweet and tropical hop profile with a light body. It has a balanced sweetness and, on top of its low ABV, just 95 calories and 3.6 grams of carbs.

2. Bell’s Light-Hearted Ale

  • Brand: Bell’s Brewery
  • From: Comstock, Michigan
  • ABV: 3.7%
  • IBU: 36
  • Featured Hops: Centennial and Galaxy
  • Taste: Brewed with specialty malts and Bell’s house yeast. It has bright citrus hop notes with pine and resin aromas. Despite its low alcohol, this beer sacrifices no qualities and comes complete with body and flavor.

3. Cigar City Jai Low

  • Brand: Cigar City Brewing
  • From: Tampa, Florida
  • ABV: 4%
  • IBU: 35
  • Featured Hops: Amarillo, Simcoe, Cascade, Motueka, Centennial, and CTZ
  • Taste: Brewed with high-protein malts to give the beer a full mouthfeel and body. It has tangerine, clementine, and orange zest flavors reminiscent of the brewery’s flagship, Jai Alai.

4. Two Roads Lil’ Heaven

  • Brand: Two Roads Brewing Company
  • From: Stratford, Connecticut
  • ABV: 4.8%
  • IBU: N/A
  • Featured Hops: Azacca, Calypso, Mosaic, and Equinox
  • Taste: Prominent passion fruit, grapefruit, and apricot flavors. A slight toasted malt flavor and aroma round out the beer’s profile. 

5. Harpoon Brewery Rec. League

  • Brand: Harpoon Brewery
  • From: Boston, Massachusetts
  • ABV: 4%
  • IBU: 35
  • Featured Hops: Citrus hop varieties
  • Taste: A hazy pale ale with full flavors of tropical fruits, brewed with buckwheat kasha, chia seeds, and sea salt. Pours a hazy yellow straw color with a thin white head.

6. Lagunitas DayTime

  • Brand: Lagunitas Brewing Company
  • From: Petaluma, California
  • ABV: 4%
  • IBU: 31
  • Featured Hops: N/A
  • Taste: Crisp and light tasting with a hop-forward aroma and taste. Orange and grapefruit notes upfront with subtle flavors of eucalyptus and herbs are met with tropical flavors of passionfruit and melon.

7. Victory Brewing Co. Easy Ringer

  • Brand: Victory Brewing Co.
  • From: Downingtown, Pennsylvania
  • ABV: 4.3%
  • IBU: 25
  • Featured Hops: Strata, Citra and Cascade
  • Taste: Brewed with 2-row pale and Carapils for a neutral malt profile. Low bitterness with passion fruit and citrus notes. Straw color with a persistent white head. 

8. Deschutes Wowza!

  • Brand: Deschutes Brewery
  • From: Bend, Oregon
  • ABV: 4%
  • IBU: 40
  • Featured Hops: Citra, Simcoe, Cashmere, and Callista
  • Taste: A citrusy, hazy pale ale with a light body and crisp finish. The hops provide subtle notes of blackberry and passionfruit. Bready malt flavors accompany fruity notes on the backend.

9. Evil Twin Bikini Beer

  • Brand: Evil Twin in collaboration with two Roads Brewing Company
  • From: Brooklyn, New York
  • ABV: 2.7%
  • IBU: N/A
  • Featured Hops: N/A
  • Taste: Light-bodied and balanced with pineapple, lemon, and grapefruit aromas. There is a burst of lemony orange with prominent notes of pineapple. Crackery malt flavor lays low on the finish—low bitterness.

10. Goose Island So-Lo

  • Brand: Goose Island Beer Company
  • From: Chicago Illinois
  • ABV: 3%
  • IBU: 23
  • Featured Hops: N/A
  • Taste: Full-bodied session IPA with a heavy citrus aroma and subtle pine flavors. Fruity notes are met with herbal, pine on the backend and rounded out with a bready malt taste. Malt and hop bitterness balances the fruity sweetness. 

11. Community Beer Hop Skinny

  • Brand: Community Beer Company
  • From: Dallas, Texas
  • ABV: 4.2%
  • IBU: Loral and Incognito
  • Featured Hops: n/a
  • Taste: Crackery malt flavor with a somewhat herbal hop taste. Pine, grapefruit, and lemon zest meet in the middle, finishing crisp with a touch of hop bitterness. 

12. Terrapin Recreationale

  • Brand: Terrapin Beer Company
  • From: Athens, Georgia
  • ABV: 4.2%
  • IBU: 34
  • Featured Hops: Galaxy, Citra, Amarilla, Zythos (Dry hopped with Galaxy and Citra)
  • Taste: Bright, crisp, and hoppy as described by Terrapin. It’s brewed with 2-Row, Crystal 25, and Victory malts for a complementary malt-hop profile. Retains a heavy hop aroma and taste ahead of malt for a full IPA flavor with less alcohol.

13. WeldWerks Fit Bits

  • Brand: WeldWerks Brewing Company
  • From: Greeley, Colorado
  • ABV: 4.2%
  • IBU: N/A
  • Featured Hops: Citra, El Dorado, and Sabro 
  • Taste: Hazy session IPA featuring notes of papaya, mango, and peach skin from late-hop additions and dry-hopping. Maintains a full and silky mouthfeel while keeping ABV down, emphasizing drinkability.