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small beer brew co, low abv beer in london

The best low-ABV London beers

Forget Dry Jan – go low instead. These London beers cut down on alcohol but don’t compromise on flavour

Written by
Laura Richards
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Low-alcohol beers are having a moment. With many Londoners looking to cut down on their alcohol intake or seeking out a session that doesn’t leave them flat on their face, craft beer brewers are finding solutions that still sate their hopheaded fans.

Gone are the days of drinks like gnat’s piss – from table beers (typically around the 3 percent ABV-mark) to small beers (below 3 percent, and making a comeback thanks in no, er, small part to Small Beer Brewing Co), London’s craft beer bars and bottle shops are now in decent stock of lighter beers that still seriously pack a punch. Below are some of the most sessionable brews in town – ambers, dark beers and pale ales included – cutting back on alcohol but never compromising on drinkability.

The best low-ABV beers brewed in London

Lager by Small Beer Brew Co, 2.1%

Lager by Small Beer Brew Co, 2.1%

This remarkable brewery makes beers solely between 0.5 and 2.8 percent ABV, and there’s less than one unit in a bottle of its easy-drinking pilsner-style lager. It’s a thirst-quencher at any time of the day, quite frankly.

www.theoriginalsmallbeer.com, £2.45.

Gecko Little Beer by Villages, 2.9%

Gecko Little Beer by Villages, 2.9%

Scuttle along to Deptford’s Villages brewery, which specialises in sessionable beers. The lowest of the low (in a good way) is Gecko, an IPA light on booze (2.9 percent), but heavy on sweet citrus flavour.

www.hopburnsblack.co.uk, £2.95.

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Table Beer by Five Points x Wiper & True, 2.2%

Table Beer by Five Points x Wiper & True, 2.2%

With a flavour as tropical as a Gloria Estefan medley, an amber hue and a silky smooth feel from oats, it’s fairly gobsmacking that this table beer collab rings in at just 2.2 percent ABV.

www.fivepointsbrewing.co.uk, £3.29.

Steam by Small Beer Brew Co, 2.7%

Steam by Small Beer Brew Co, 2.7%

It's definitely not about getting steaming when you’re sipping on this amber beer from Small Beer Brew Co. It tastes incredibly complex for just 2.7 percent, full of dried fuit flavours and delicious maltiness.

www.theoriginalsmallbeer.com, £2.75

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Small Beer by Seven Sisters Brewery, 2.9%

Small Beer by Seven Sisters Brewery, 2.9%

This sip from Seven Sisters Brewery is so sessionable you may end up undoing all the good, to be honest. It’s crisp, gently hoppy and holds hints of lychee and passionfruit in store for its drinkers. Small but mighty.

www.honestbrew.co.uk, £2.99

Table Beer by The Kernel, 3.2%

Table Beer by The Kernel, 3.2%

Famed for packing a flavour punch, this consistently delicious table beer has a constantly changing hop profile, which keeps things interesting when you’re cutting down. It pairs well with grub, so why not get a 500ml bottle of this pale ale to share around the lunch table? You won’t feel woozy for the afternoon ahead of you.

www.honestbrew.co.uk, £2.69

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Dark Lager by Small Beer Brew Co, 1.0%

Dark Lager by Small Beer Brew Co, 1.0%

Miraculously, this dark lager has all of the intense coffee aromas and chocolatey notes you’d hope to find in a stout, but weighs in at just 1 percent ABV. Sure, it lacks the typical body and texture as a result, but we can take it for a dark beer that doesn’t feel like a full meal.

www.theoriginalsmallbeer.com, £2.75

Micro IPA by Orbit x Boxcar, 2.9%

Micro IPA by Orbit x Boxcar, 2.9%

Another low-alcohol collaboration proving that team work makes the dream work, Walworth’s Orbit and Homerton’s Boxcar have created a limited IPA that's tropical on the nose, zesty on the palate and, well, kinder on your liver.

www.hopburnsblack.co.uk, £3.50

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