The milder, lovelier days of May are slowing drifting into summer, and that means that it's time once again for some outside day-drinking. Day-drinking is a delicate art: you want to have fun, but not get so tipsy that you need to take a nap at 3 p.m. The solution, if you're a beer-drinking kid, is low alcohol beers. Don't fear, beer has come a long way from when that would mean your choice of Budweiser Select or O'Doul's. Craft breweries around the country have low alcohol, or session beers, that are ideal for picnicking, hanging out at the beach, or just enjoying outside when you have to meet up with your parents later. You just can't have nine of them and then not expect to nap later. Cool? Cool.
Schofferhofer Grapefruit, 2.5% ABV
This beer comes to its low alcohol point by being cut with grapefruit juice—in fact, it's half Hefeweizen and half grapefruit juice, which gives it a nice bright finish, though it is sweeter than your average beer. It's basically a beer mimosa in a bottle. And it's also a key to a smart day-drinking strategy: cut your beer with citrus juice or your wine with seltzer to lower the alcoholic wallop while still enjoying your fine adult beverage.
Evil Twin Bikini Beer, 2.7% ABV
This Pale Ale has a light body and notes of citrus and hops, and a low, low alcohol percentage, meaning you can drink a few over a picnic or brunch without getting too crunk.
Ballast Point Mango Even Keel, 3.8% ABV
This session IPA has all the hops hit of a much stronger beer, plus notes of citrus from mango. If you prefer a more bitter, IPA-ish beer and not a sweeter or overly citrus-y number, this is a really good option.
Pilsner Urquell, 4.4% ABV
If you're on the hunt for a lower alcohol beer at a bar, Pilsners are often a good bet. This classic Czech lager has been around since the 1800s, has a light golden color, and a crispy finish. It's also more widely available than many craft beers, which is useful if you're trying to pick up something quickly.
Bell's Oarsman Ale, 4% ABV
A wheat ale with lemon and orange notes, this is a tart-er wheat beer, rather than a sweet one, and a nice light sipping beer for lazy summer afternoons on the beach.
Natural Light, 4.2% ABV
Look, we at Extra Crispy are never above the dirtbag option, and good old Natty Light will do you a solid if you're, say, tubing, and don't want to fret too much if a beer gets thrown into the river. Natty Light is cheap and widely available, and if you mix it with lemon juice and maybe a splash of Tobasco to make a kind of dirtbag michelada, honestly pretty perfect. Don't knock it.
Victory Cage Radler, 3% ABV
Like the Schofferhofer, the Radler is part beer and part citrus. In this case, it's a lager mixed with a lemon soda, for an effervescent twist. It's dry and refreshing, and still light enough that you won't have a headache later. Probably.