Normally we wait until it's 5:00 (somewhere!) to crack open a beer, but the occasional beer to accompany a relaxing midday meal can sometimes feel just right. In these cases, we like to stay on the lighter end of things. Lighter in alcohol, that is - definitely not lighter in flavor!
For our purposes, a "lighter" alcohol beer is one with 5% alcohol by volume or less. We find that this is enough that our bodies relax, but we don't feel tipsy or drunk at the end of the meal. It also depends on what we're eating. If we're having a heavy pasta dish, we can drink something a little higher. If we're having a light salad, we stay on the lower end.
Here are some of our favorites beers with lunch:
• Sam Adams Boston Lager (4.9% ABV) - This is just a solid, well-balanced amber ale. We find it refreshing and enjoyable to drink.
• Wyder's Dry Pear Cider (4.5% ABV) - Crisp and light with a nice boost of effervescence. Great with salads and roast chicken dishes.
• New Belgium Brewing Blue Paddle Pilsner (4.8% ABV) - Subtly sweet with toasted grain flavors and a spritz of lemon. (We also like their Fat Tire Ale, but it jumps up to 5.2% ABV)
• Victory Lager (4.8% ABV) - Nicely malty with a good dose of spicy and citrus hops.
• Left Hand Brewing Sawtooth Ale (4.5% ABV) - Awesome beer for sitting on the patio. Great balance of nutty caramel malts and herbal-floral hops.
What are some of your favorite lower-alcohol beers to sip with lunch?
Related: Beer Guide: Favorite Beers for Summer
(Image: Flickr member avlxyz licensed under Creative Commons)