American brewers have trended toward the extremes in recent memory. Session Beer Month seeks to change that and remind imbibers that beer can be low in alcohol and still maintain the desired complex flavors and aroma of craft beer.
The hard liners shout from the rooftops that session beers must contain no more than 4% ABV. This interpretation of session beer has its origins rooted in British “bitter” and “best bitter” styles, where 4% ABV is the dividing line between the two. But others allow session beers to clock in at 4.5% or even 5%. And then there are the crazies who go overboard and call anything under 7% “sessionable”.
For my purposes, I’m going to use beer writer Lew Bryson’s interpretation of session beer, which is 4.5% or lower. Lew is so passionate about the subject that he started The Session Beer Project, which aims to bring awareness to lower ABV craft beers and encourages more brewers to produce them.
But enough beer nerdery. Here’s what you came for, seven American Session Beers that are worthing seeking out:
Odell Loose Leaf (pictured)
21st Amendment Bitter American
Short’s Prolonged Enjoyment
Anchor Summer Beer
Drake’s Alpha Session
Terrapin Easy Rider
What is a “session beer” to you? Sound off in the comments below and happy Session Beer Month!