So many craft breweries carry a reputation for being big, bold, and boozy. But increasingly, small, innovative breweries are also aiming squarely at more accessible beers that are crisp, drinkable, and even low-calorie – just right to take to the ballpark or to drink by the ocean. For a relaxing afternoon on the sand, choose sessionable beers with less than 5 percent ABV, says Doug Odell, owner and co-founder of Odell Brewing Company. "You want to be able to have a few without falling asleep in the sun," he says.
RELATED: The Best Saison Beers on the Planet
We suggest keeping your cooler stocked with clean, crisp craft beers that aren't too hoppy – true thirst quenchers. Odell says he saves warm-weather beers with bigger flavors, such as a non-sessionable IPAs or full-bodied lagers, for nighttime hangouts around beach bonfires. Here are 15 beers you'll want to stock.
Brasserie Dupont's Saison Veille Provision
Brasserie Dupont began brewing saison at their farm brewery in Tourpes, Beligium in 1844 and they're one of the few authentic producers of saison that survived the two world wars and competitive pressures that wiped out so many of their neighbors over the last 170 years. The brewery has more than just history on its side though. Their saisons are exquisite and they define the genre in much the same way that Guinness defines stouts.
Dupont's most famous beer is Saison Dupont Veille Provision (Old Provision). At 6.5 percent ABV, Saison Dupont has gained some strength over the years, but it's still made in the traditional manner with high fermentation temperatures and is refermented in the bottle. The beer is a slightly murky golden color with a thick white head and robust carbonation. Its rustic flavors are bright and spicy with a brisk blast of hoppy bitterness at the dry finish.
Saison Dupont is served on draft as well as in corked and caged, green 750mL bottles with a yellow and white checked label. In addition to their classic saison, Dupont also sells Avril, a lower strength "table saison" at 4.5 percent ABV; Foret, a slightly stronger organic saison at 7.5 percent ABV; and a year-end brew named Avec Le Bon Veux ("with the best wishes of the brewery"), a powerful "super saison" that weighs in at 9.5 percent ABV. All four are fantastic, but the original remains the classic, imitated by breweries around the world.