Guide to Session Beers

The internet says that session beers represent a growing trend in craft beers. Session-able beers typically have 5% alcohol or less. Pretty much everyone agrees that sessions are about drinkability. They are the kind of beer that you can drink a few of without getting tipsy. Balanced and fresh, they are your all-day, picnic kind of beer. 

Get this: the term “session” was defined by the British legislature during World War I. It allowed factory workers to drink on the job (!) during two daily sessions. The workers would have low ABV (alcohol by volume) beers so that they COULD go back to work. The question is, should you?  🙂

So, the more recent idea of a session being a lo-cal, lo-carb, light–tasting knockoff of its big brother beer is far from the truth. Lots of beers that are not labeled as “session” really are, if you are paying attention to the 5% alcohol guideline. Many lagers are sessions – the popular Czech beers Pilsner Urquell and Czechvar are examples. Lots of sour beers are also sessions – stop into Beer Towne and ask Peter about his favorites – he is a lover of all things sour! Even some Belgian-style beer is below 5% – remember Hoegaarden and Allagash White? 

Additionally, brewers are pushing hop flavors while cutting carbs and alcohol – ah, maybe these are what come to mind when you think “session.” Beer Towne carries Founders’ All-Day IPA, Harpoon Rec League, Bell’s Light-Hearted Ale, Fat Head’s Sunshine Daydream, and Cigar City Jai Low, just to name a few of the most sought-after. Right now, a variety of summer session beers are being delivered to Beer Towne that are a bit hoppy and have a limited release time. Have you tried Victory Summer Love or Brooklyn Summer Ale? Last but certainly not least are radlers and shandies that mix beer with fruit juice. The juice addition really re-energizes you after exercise and often brings the ABV down, sometimes under 3%! My favorite radler is Burgkopf’s Pineapple beer. Delicious and sweet! 19.2 oz. cans even have reclosable tops!

However you slice it, session beers are here to stay! Our store is full of gourmet sessions that will delight every one of your taste buds. Here’s to spring!