Light & Local: Beers to take camping or fishing

We rounded up nine Pittsburgh beers that register below 5% ABV for those outdoor, summertime activities.

by Aadam Soorma | August 18, 2020

ABV is our weekly series that highlights a different beer from a local Pittsburgh brewery every week. Check out our past picks here.

Confession: I love the great INDOORS. Climate control and Wi-Fi make me happy as a clam.

Second confession: Not everyone is like me. Many of you reading these words may enjoy camping or fishing; two activities that exclusively happen outside.

If you find yourself in the mood for a light, low-ABV beer while doing those outside things, this roundup’s for you. Check out these nine Pittsburgh-area beers that ALL register under 5% ABV.

Keep it real with these summer slammers amongst the fresh air. And the trees, bugs, mountains, rivers, sunshine, not sunshine…you get it.

I’ll be waving to y’all from inside.

ABV, volume LXXXI

Low-ABV Beers For the Summertime Outdoor Funs

Having a splendid time outside.

Abjuration Brewing Co // McKees Rocks

Beer Name // Style // ABV: Honey Lager // Lager // 4.1% ABV

Know Before You Go: Your trip to Abjuration can take you one of two ways. Literally. The guys have their brewery setup in McKees Rocks (west) firing away with takeout service on Saturdays and Sundays. You can also head to Verona (east) and peep their new outdoor beer garden – which they plan to open 1-2 times per week – as reported by Breweries in PA. We recommend Abjuration’s Honey Lager – which has a touch of sweetness resulting from the addition of clover honey, sourced from Bedillion Honey Farm (Hickory, PA).

Spring Hill Brewing // Spring Hill, Northside

Beer Name // Style // ABV: Millennial Pink and Gold // Table Rye Ale // 3% ABV

Know Before You Go: We recently featured Spring Hill Brewing as part of our Very Local mini-documentary series. Hear from head brewer Greg Kamerdze and his focus on low-ABV, farmhouse ales. Really everything he brews at Spring Hill fits super well for your camping / outdoor activity plans. The Millennial Pink and Gold is an ultra-light table rye ale brewed using caraway, sea salt and pink peppercorn for a little added kick.

Eleventh Hour Brewing // Lawrenceville

Beer Name // Style // ABVBönnsch // Kolsch-Belgian Wit Beer hybrid// 4.9% ABV

Know Before You Go: Although they aren’t back on the menu at this exact moment of publication, Eleventh Hour has confirmed the return of two light, summertime favorites. Archer, their house Kolsch, and Bönnsch, which is a merger between a Kolsch and a Belgian wit beer, are both making their way back into the beer rotation at Eleventh Hour over the next few weeks, per head brewer Matt McMahon. Expect to see both – along with some other summer-centric selections – hit the draft list before the brewery’s anniversary celebrations this fall.

Hitchhiker Brewing // Sharpsburg and Mt Lebanon

Beer Name // Style // ABV: Fruit Rush – Blueberry Watermelon // Smoothie Sour Shandy // 4.8% ABV

Know Before You Go: Nothing made me happier this past week than sharing a 4-pack of Hitchhiker’s Baby Bane – a low-ABV iteration of their flagship IPA, Bane of Existence. Director of Brewing Operations Andy Kwiatkowski continues offering up diverse, varying gravities in a constantly rotating lineup of beers that always hit the mark. The Fruit Rush is an upcoming shandy that’s available starting this Friday, Aug 21. Expect to taste notes of lemon, blueberry, watermelon and lemonade in this light, fruited sour.

Leaning Cask Brewing // Springdale

Beer Name // Style // ABV: Chesky Pils // Czech-Style Pilsner // 3.8% ABV

Know Before You Go: Leaning Cask has a clean, refreshing pilsner available right now at their Springdale digs AND – best part of all – it’s super convenient to hit them up if your travels take you UP the Allegheny River. Think New Kensington, Natrona Heights, Kittanning, etc. Super easy to pop in and fuel up as you continue along Freeport Road past Pittsburgh Mills.

Grist House // Millvale and Collier

Beer Name // Style // ABV: Krisp // Kolsch-style Ale // 4.9% ABV

Know Before You Go: You’ll want to check on the availability of Krisp before you head to Grist House for curbside pickup. This is a delicious Kolsch-style ale they’ve been re-introducing semi-regularly into their beer lineup and it’s a straightforward, summertime crusher. Highly recommend pairing this with a bite to eat – particularly pizza from Iron Born if you’re visiting the Millvale location.

Cinderlands Beer Co // Strip District

Beer Name // Style // ABV: Lil Cinder // Light Lager // 4.2% ABV

Know Before You Go: From the moment they launched, Cinderlands pioneered the Dad Beer as an entire section on their menu. Their light lager is an incredibly affordable option among its craft beer brethren – coming in at just $10 for a 4-pack of 16-oz cans.

Allegheny City Brewing // Northside

Beer Name // Style // ABV: Fairwaters Pilsner // Czech Pilsner // 4.5% ABV

Know Before You Go: Here’s a previously unreleased beer from the folks at Allegheny City Brewing that strikes a lovely balance between hoppy and crisp. Fairwaters Pilsner – which IS a pilsner – was dry hopped with Citra during the latter stages of brewing to give it a little spunk. At 4.5% ABV, it maintains a low gravity and makes our list of recommendations for your outdoor activities.

Strange Roots Experimental Ales // Millvale and Gibsonia

Beer Name // Style // ABV: Lager Roots Lime // Lager, conditioned on limes // 4.9% ABV

Know Before You Go: As Strange Roots continues to diversify their offerings with IPAs and lagers, the Lager Roots series has been an absolute treat to mix into my curbside takeout runs. The lime on this iteration is NOT subtle; you will most definitely get a flavor kick and it’s palpable on the nose as well. This is your split-a-four-pack-at-the-park-watching-golden-hour-turn-to-dusk beer. And while many folks long for the days of Draai Laag – let’s call it the S.C.I.E.N.C.E. era – please know that I very much appreciate Strange Roots; even at their Crow Left of the Murder evolution.

One way or another, we all grow up. Big love.


Looking for a way to get outdoors?

Header Photo taken at the Strange Roots Experimental Ales ‘Funk Yard’ in Gibsonia, PA. Photo by Cory Morton.

Aadam Soorma

Aadam Soorma

In 2012, Aadam moved to Pittsburgh. He's currently parked (sans chair) in Lawrenceville and plans to stay a while. On the weekends, you'll find him driving a small green bus (Porter Tours) as he leads tours at local breweries.

Got a fun story idea? DMs are open: @asoorma.

Download the Very Local app to stream all of the Very Local original series for FREE!

Download the Very Local app to stream all of the Very Local original series for FREE!