The Best Session IPAs Available Almost Everywhere, Ranked

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Sometimes you just want to drink something light, refreshing, and crushable. But that doesn’t mean you have to grab some flavorless, yellow, fizzy water beer. That also doesn’t mean you have to immediately turn to a pilsner or some type of light lager. There are myriad session IPAs on the market just waiting to scratch that bitter, floral, piney, hoppy itch without all the extra nonsense.

For those unaware, the term “session” is used to describe a beer that’s less filling, less malty, and less hoppy than its non-session counterparts. Hopefully not less in aroma and flavor though. It’s also a beer that skews lighter in the alcohol department. We’re talking 5% ABV and below so you can spend a prolonged “session” tipping back two, three, or more if you don’t have anywhere to be. No 8% bangers here.

Instead of making you scour the internet in search of dank, sessionable bliss, we did the work for you. We found eight of the best session IPAs available almost everywhere and ranked them on overall crushability, aroma, and flavor. Keep reading to see if your favorite session IPA made the list.

8.) Lagunitas Daytime

Lagunitas

ABV: 4%

Average Price: $11 for a six-pack

The Beer:

Lagunitas is well-known for its IPA prowess. That’s why it was no surprise when the brand launched a session IPA back in 2012. Lagunitas Daytime is a 4% ABV, 98-calorie, 2-carb, light, crushable IPA for all those times when you need a hoppy thirst-quencher.

Tasting Notes:

On the nose, you’ll find notes of lemon peels, wet grass, stone fruits, and lightly floral, piney hops. The palate, while light, has a ton of pine needles, lemon, grapefruit, light tropical fruit flavors, and earthy, herbal hops. The finish is crisp, refreshing, and lightly bitter.

Bottom Line:

Lagunitas Daytime has all the aromas and flavors fans of its other IPAs love. It’s just a little lighter on everything.

7.) Founders All Day IPA

Founders

ABV: 4.7%

Average Price: $11 for a six-pack

The Beer:

There’s no session IPA more famous than the aptly named Founders All Day IPA. This 4.7%, year-round session IPA is brewed with wheat malt, Carapils malt, Carahell malt, and Caramalt. It gets its hop presence from the liberal use of Crystal, Cascade. Simcoe, and Amarillo hops.

Tasting Notes:

There’s a ton of dank pine, ripe grapefruit, lemon, grass, and herbal, floral hops on the nose. Drinking it reveals a hint of sweet malts as well as lemon peel, grapefruit juice, hay, wet grass, and pine needles. The finish is a nice mix of sweetness and hop bitterness.

Bottom Line:

There’s a reason Founders All Day IPA is one of the most popular session IPAs on the market. While lighter than many IPAs, it’s surprisingly balanced and drinkable.

6.) Two Roads Lil’ Heaven

Two Roads

ABV: 4.8%

Average Price: $11 for a six-pack

The Beer:

Two Roads Lil’ Heaven is referred to as a “crushable IPA” and that’s exactly what it is. Brewed with Azacca, Calypso, Mosaic, and Equinox hops, it’s named for the hidden room at the brewery where workers used to relax while on break. It’s known for its light ABV and balanced malt and hop flavors.

Tasting Notes:

A lot is going on with this beer’s nose. There’s a first hit of tropical fruits like pineapple, tangerine, guava, and mango. That’s followed by orange peel, lemon zest, and herbal, floral pine. On the palate, you’ll find a healthy caramel malt backbone surrounded by tropical fruits, citrus peels, and herbal earthy, dank pine.

Bottom Line:

This is a session IPA for fans of tropical fruit flavors. It might be low in ABV, but it’s not low in flavor.

5.) Bell’s Light-Hearted

Bell’s

ABV: 4%

Average Price: $10 for a six-pack

The Beer:

Bell’s Two-Hearted is one of the most beloved IPAs on the market. Its session version is a highly crushable 4% ABV that gets its hoppy aroma and flavor from the use of Galaxy and Centennial hops. It’s well-known for its balance of malts, citrus, and piney hops.

Tasting Notes:

A nose of freshly baked bread, caramel malts, citrus peels, and dank, floral, piney hops greets you before your first sip. Drinking it reveals notes of bready malts, cracked black pepper, toffee, orange peels, honey, and resinous, floral, lightly bitter, pine needles at the finish.

Bottom Line:

If you’re a fan of Bell’s Two Hearted, but you’re looking for something similar that’s lower in calories and alcohol, Bell’s Light Hearted is for you.

4.) Cigar City Jai Low

Cigar City

ABV: 4%

Average Price: $12 for a six-pack

The Beer:

Just like Bell’s Two Hearted, Cigar City Jai Alai is an IPA with countless fans. Cigar City entered the session IPA game 2020 with its Jai Low IPA. It’s a sessionable, 4% version of the classic IPA with heavy citrus flavors and bready malts.

Tasting Notes:

There’s a ton of citrus on the nose with lime peels, lemons, tangerines, and grapefruit taking center stage. There’s also a nice hit of bready malts and orchard fruits. The palate is filled with flavors like tangerines, grapefruit, lemon, wet grass, freshly baked bread, caramel malts, and a nice kick of bitter, piney, floral hops at the finish.

Bottom Line:

This is the session beer for the citrus fans. It’s a crushable symphony of your favorite citrus fruits.

3.) Ommegang Neon Lights

Ommegang

ABV: 4.3%

Average Price: $14 for a four-pack of 16-ounce cans

The Beer:

Ommegang is well-known for its Belgian-inspired beers. But if you don’t try any of its American styles, you’re missing out. One of its best is its hazy, juicy session IPA called Ommegang Neon Lights. It’s brewed with London ale yeast, 2-row base malt, and flaked oats, it’s hopped with Mosaic, Simcoe, Citra, Topaz, and Centennial hops.

Tasting Notes:

There’s a real tropical aroma to this session IPA. Mango, peach, pineapple, and grapefruit are big up front. This is followed by bready, sweet malts, and a nice hint of dank pine. The palate follows suit with toffee and bready malts followed by tangerine, lemon, grapefruit, mango, peach, and a nice, dank, lightly bitter, lightly sweet, juicy finish.

Bottom Line:

If you enjoy juicy, hazy IPAs, but are looking for a session IPA, Ommegang Neon Lights is your jam.

2.) Societe The Coachman

Societe

ABV: 4.9%

Average Price: $12 for a six-pack

The Beer:

San Diego’s Societe Brewing is well-known for its highly-rated IPAs. Fans of sessionable beers can still look to the popular brewery for a lighter, lower-ABV crushable IPA. Societe The Coachman was brewed with Simcoe, Citra, and Mosaic hops. This creates a sippable, easy-drinking IPA with notes of ripe peach, pine, and citrus peels.

Tasting Notes:

On the nose, you’ll find yeasty bread, caramel, ripe peach, mango, grapefruit, and dank pine. Drinking it brings forth notes of bready, caramel malts, orange peels, grapefruit, juicy peach, caramelized pineapple, and a nice kick of floral, piney, hops. The finish with pleasantly bitter and memorable.

Bottom Line:

This balanced, crushable IPA is loaded with tropical fruits, citrus peels, and a nice malty backbone.

1.) Lawson’s Finest Super Session

Lawson’s Finest

ABV: 4.8%

Average Price: $11 for a four-pack of 16-ounce cans

The Beer:

There might be no more aptly named session IPA than Lawson’s Finest Super Session. Originally, a limited-release, Super Session is now a year-round beer. Brewed with a nice malt backbone and Mosaic and Lotus hops, it’s a crushable, tropical fruit and citrus-filled banger of a beer.

Tasting Notes:

On the nose, you’ll find notes of tangerine, lime peel, grapefruit, mango, caramel malts, and floral, piney hops. The palate is highlighted by juicy mango, guava, pineapple, tangerine, lime, bready malts, and caramel, and a nice finish is pleasantly bitter, semisweet, dank hops.

Bottom Line:

Juicy, sweet, and loaded with citrus flavor. As session IPAs go, it’s tough to beat the appeal of this Mosaic and Lotus-filled brew.

 


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