Session Beers

So today I decided to delve back into Twitter (https://twitter.com/sp1365) after a long hiatus. One of the things I found was the Session Beer Project (SBP). They can be found at http://sessionbeerproject.blogspot.com/.

The SBP defines session beers as

  • 4.5% AVB or lower
  • Flavorful
  • Balanced to promote multiple pints
  • Conducive to conservation
  • Reasonably priced

I think they pretty much hit the nail on the head of what a session beer is (though I would bump the ABV max up to 5%). Session beers are the beers that I think of when I think of the British pub (Bitters, Milds) and German biergartens (Munich Helles). They embody a style of drinking as much as they embody the beer itself.

Session beers are important for two reasons. First, as much as I enjoy an IPA, RIS, barelywine, or other extreme beer, they are not really good everyday drinking beers or beers that I want when hitting the bars with my friends. Session beers are also really accessible to non-craft beer drinks. They can almost be described at the “gateway beer” to get people that normally wouldn’t drink craft beer to try it.

Unfortunately, as pointed out here: http://bit.ly/a1gqtI the session beer in America is a dying breed. Craft brewers are continually pushing the bounds of beer by maxing out hops, alcohol, spices, etc. in their beer and in many cases a combination thereof. Session beers are getting left behind.

I like session beers, I like them more than I like extreme beers. I find that easy drink beers are just that easy, relaxing. I can a have a one or two at night, even on nights that I have class early the next day, and not feel any ill effects. In fact, as I close this post, I think I will open a homebrewed California Common for myself. 4.6% ABV, very flavorful, and a great end to nice day.

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