Bell’s Brewery’s Two Hearted Ale is known epically as one of the best (if not the best) India pale ale in America. Double Two Hearted Ale, which is is basically Two Hearted turned into the hoppy Incredible Hulk, was bottled last year and brewery fans couldn’t’ get enough. Then it was revealed that the “Hearted Ale” series had a lesser-known, lovable lighter side – Light Hearted Ale.
The 110 calorie, 8.7 carb, 3.7% alcohol by volume “light” ale has been a Bell’s General Store exclusive release, showing up on social media as early as last summer.
Gearing up for a wide-scale release, Bell’s has overhauled Light Hearted’s artwork. This lighter approach to one of America’s most popular India pale ales utilizes two hops – Centennial and Galaxy.
A light IPA Success
As 2020 gets underway, this beer joins the ranks of a growing segment of lighter, lower calorie, lower alcohol by volume creations by craft brewers. The category is growing every month, but much like any India pale ale, the light IPAs are not created equal. Without naming names, some of the releases are either too thin, low flavor, or even worse – tastes like hoppy water. You might be saving the calories but you’ve also thrown flavor out the window. Bell’s solved the calorie over flavor equation, and they did it beautifully.
Light Hearted Ale is born of the same creative expertise that pushed Two Hearted Ale to elite status in American brewing. Centennial and Galaxy hops walk hand in hand through each sip, bolstered by an actual malt backbone (a term brewers hate) that his been missing in a string lactose and adjunct heavy IPAs hitting shelves coast to coast. Those looking to make a more health-conscious beer choice, look no further.
Bell’s Light Hearted Ale will be available year-round in 12-ounce cans and draft starting in late-January
Image: Beer Street Journal
There are a handful of lower alcohol by volume, lower-calorie beers in the craft brewing segment. Some of the most notable recent releases include One-y IPA by Oskar Blues, Slightly Mighty by Dogfish Head, and Swipe Light by Southern Tier. Soon, Monday Night Lay Low IPA is joining the category soon.
Early details are pretty simple. Lay Low is an India pale ale that is 3.2% alcohol by volume, instead of 3.5% as previously reported and just 95 calories. Starting in 2020, the brewery has ceased using 6-pack rings and has shifted to the box format.
Monday Night Lay Low IPA is slated for 12-ounce cans and draft starting January 24th.
Style: IPA (Session Beer)
Availability: 12oz Cans, Draft. GA, TN, AL.
Image: Monday Night Brewing
Three Taverns 3 Day IPA is back in cans once again, ahead of the local Decatur Arts Festival.
This hoppy release is THE official beer Decatur Arts Festival. This session India pale ale was a huge hit in the taproom when first released on draft in 2016.
This year’s release dry-hopped, and features Amarillo, Lemondrop, Mosaic, and El Dorado hops.
…is a 4.6% session IPA that is hazy in appearance and extremely crushable.
Three Taverns 3 Day IPA is available at the taproom again starting in mid-may in 12-ounce cans, and draft.
Hops: Amarillo, Mosaic, Lemondrop, El Dorado
Availability: 12oz Cans, Draft.
Latest Return: Mid-May 2019
Last summer, Avondale, Georgia based Wild Heaven debuted a “summery” edition of their wildly popular Emergency Drinking Beer. The brewery juiced thousands of pounds of fresh watermelons and infused the juice with their pilsner inspired beer. The result is summer in a 12-ounce can.
Despite the success of Watermelon EDB on draft last summer, Wild Heaven took a year review quality control and packaging best practices ahead of canning this fruit beer – a first for the brewery.
Wild Heaven Watermelon EDB has officially made it’s can debut for this first time in time for the official start of summer. Available in 12-ounce cans and draft as hot weather seasonal.
Lead Image: Eric Johnson, Brewery co-founder
Unknown Brewing Scratch n Sniff hits shelves just as spring begins.
Subtitled “Aromatic IPA,” the beer’s name is truly fitting. Unknown uses a technique called “hop bursting,” where a massive (read: unreasonable) amount of hops are added at the end of the beer’s boil and whirlpool stages. The result is a beer that is low on bitterness and big on hop aromas. The Unknown Brewing team uses a seven hop blend, bringing a real burst of flavor to the table.
The hop bursting technique is really evident in Scratch n Sniff. There is so much hop aroma in a 4.8% session IPA. It’s hopped like an imperial IPA, but won’t put you under the table nearly as fast.
This aromatic IPA is made with 7 hop additions. All those hops are thrown in at special timed editions to create flavor, a nose full of goodness, and light bitterness.
Unknown Brewing Scratch n Sniff is available in 12 ounce cans and draft as a spring seasonal.
Availability: 12oz Can, Draft. Seasonal release.
Latest Return: March, 2017
PIC: Beer Street Journal
Birdsong Paradise City debuts in cans April 1st. The first year-round beer to join the brewery’s lineup since 2012.
Billed as a “session IPA”, Paradise City features Cascade, Chinook, Amarillo and Idaho 7 hops. The IPA is on the lower side of the boozy spectrum, just 4.8% alcohol by volume, and big on citrusy flavors.
Paradise City is a medium body, crisp IPA with lots of upfront hop aromas. It’s forward on the tangerine & citrusy side with a little hint of more complex piney notes.
Assistant brewer Jeff Bowman designed the recipe for Birdsong Paradise City. Available in 16 ounce cans starting Saturday.
Hops: Cascade, Chinook, Amarillo, Idaho 7
Malts: Carapils, Wheat, C40, Oats
Availability: 16oz Cans, Draft.
4.8% ABV, 45 IBUs
Full Sail Session Lager is making a move to cans. One of America’s original session beers is about to go anywhere.
The “stubby” bottles you’ve seen for years are downright iconic now. The perfect session beer has a perfect, palm size bottle, but glass has its limitations. When you see that bottle, you think Full Sail.
As much as we love Full Sail Session Lager at Beer Street Journal, but when pool season rolls around bottles get benched. Not this summer. After 12 years you”ll finally be reaching for a Session can. The best part? The coveted 15 packs.
“It’s the same award-winning lager, but now in a can. It feels as good in the hand as the iconic stubby, and it will go places where the bottle couldn’t.” Full Sail Brewmaster Jim Kelter
Warm weather is just around the corner (if you don’t have it already.) Full Sail Session Lager cans aren’t far behind.
Availability: 12oz Cans, 12oz Bottles, Draft.
Debut (Cans): March, 2017
5.1% ABV, 18 IBUs