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Some of our favorite low-ABV beers, hard seltzer, and punch to help pace yourself over the holidays.

By Mike Pomranz
November 11, 2020
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Sparkling Cranberry Ginger Punch with Toasted Spices
Credit: Photo by Greg DuPree / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

Thanksgiving dinner is a marathon, not a sprint. Keep that advice in mind with your drinking, and you’ll be on a steady path for the whole holiday weekend. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try your brother’s limited-release 8.5% ABV New England IPA that he smuggled across six state borders just for you, of course. But check out the lower-alcohol, low-calorie craft beers and seltzers here—as well as F&W Food Editor Josh Miller’s sparkling cranberry-ginger punch recipe—for a chance to focus your overindulgence on the meal itself.

Two Roads H2roads Cranberry Lime Hard Seltzer ($10/Six 12-Oz. Cans) 


Over beer entirely? The latest craft brewery trend is upmarket hard seltzer. Two Roads H2Roads’ bright, zingy Cranberry Lime is 4.5% ABV and has just 110 calories.

Oskar Blues One-Y Ipa ($9/Six 12-Oz. Cans) 


IPAs, typically high in alcohol, have recently been reimagined in lower-
strength form. Colorado’s 
Oskar Blues’ version hits the “hazy” trend with plenty of citrus fruit hop pop and only 4% alcohol.

Hoof Hearted Rosé Gosé ($10/Four 12-Oz. Cans) 


For beer-averse family, break out this Rosé Gosé from Ohio. It’s a pink-hued, pucker-inducing sour with refreshing acidity, more akin to a wild natural wine in flavor, and with just 4.2% alcohol.

Sufferfest Head Start ($11/Six 12-Oz. Cans) 


When cold weather calls for a darker session beer, California’s “purpose-brewed” brand Sufferfest ships its Head Start stout at just 4.5% alcohol, with the added kick of coffee and coconut water.

Night Shift Nite Lite ($15/12 12-Oz. Cans) 


Once the realm of big brands, light lagers now have craft brethren full of biscuity undertones and lemony zip. The 4.3% ABV, 120-calorie Nite Lite from Night Shift is a great example.

Harpoon Rec. League ($9/Four 16-Oz. Cans) 


Rec. League is billed as a “cool-down companion,” fitting into the growing functional beer trend. Massachusetts’ Harpoon hits it out of the park with this full-flavored pale ale that offers just 3.8% ABV.

The Bruery Terreux Brite Ideas: Hibiscus Lime ($11/Five 12-Oz. Cans) 


Seeking a jolt of citrus without the bitter notes of an IPA? Try a tart, low-ABV sour like Brite Ideas—it’s both insanely crushable and enticingly complex.

Sparkling Cranberry-Ginger Punch with Toasted Spices

This low-alcohol punch leans on tart cranberry juice and spicy ginger ale for a big punch of flavor, allowing the booze to take a back seat. Frozen cranberries stand in for a traditional punch ring, keeping this fizzy drink nice and cold. Have an extra bottle of cold sparkling wine on hand for guests to top off their cups.

Get the Recipe: Sparkling Cranberry-Ginger Punch with Toasted Spices