Table Beers feature more and more in craft brewer line-ups, so what’s the deal? Simply putting a beer on a table doesn’t automatically make it a table beer, only one of these cans fits the bill, and we’ve cunningly hidden it behind the other three and forgot to take another photo before we’d drunk them.
So a Table Beer, put simply, is a lower alcohol brew, but not low-alcohol… much the same as ‘Small Beer’.
Like Small Beer, It’s not a term that’s strictly defined, both seem to mean something in the ABV range of 1.5% – 2.9%. That’s above low-alcohol but below the 3-4.5% range of session beers and some beers that describe themselves as ‘Light Beer’.
That’s more than enough definitions though, the key question is, what are they for? It should be obvious why less alcohol is better than more but we’ll spell out a few reasons.
You will get less drunk after a few cans – though will still need the loo the same number of times.
You will consume less calories – the alcohol in a normal strength beer is responsible for most of the calories, so a table beer has less, but is probably not an ideal cornerstone to a new diet regime.
It’s suitable for your children – but only if your children are over 18 years old.
It’s tasty – we can’t speak for every brew, but we’ve enjoyed a couple recently and find them every bit as satisfying as their boozier alternatives.
Time to try?
New to our shelves this week is Fierce Beer’s take on a table beer, Ocean Drive. At 1.9% ABV it’s less than one unit of alcohol even in the larger 440ml can, vs over two units for a 5% beer of the same size. In their words: a micro west coast brewed with Citrus, Cascade and Chinook, blended with mango, pineapple, lime and grapefruit, blurring the lines where a beer ends, and a cocktail begins. In our words: there’s a lot going in this can, but well worth a sample to know if such a low strength beer can earn a spot in your fridge.
Next we’ve got Walthamstow’s Wild Card Brewery’s offer, which they’ve decided to call, erm, Table Beer. It’s 2.7% strength so at the higher end of things, but perhaps still more appropriate for a lunchtime tipple than their IPA for example, which comes in at double the ABV. In their words: made with Australian Enigma & Vic Secret hops, this table beer is packed full of tropical fruit flavour. In our words: definitely a refined brew and holds its own versus stronger beers, we could see this as the go to daytime refresher.
Where to try?
You guessed it. We’ve got both beers on the shelf for off-sale at the Larder in Wanstead, and if you’d like to drink-in we’ve got some cans chilled and ready to go. At Butler’s Retreat we’ve got the Wild Card table beer for drink-in alongside the regular Wild Card range.