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Keeping The Session in Session Beer Day

The SessionTwo suggestions on Session Beer Day:

– If you are in the vicinity of St. Louis, a cask-conditioned beer listed as Session IPA on the menu at the Schlafly Tap Room (pictured at the right). This year’s batch is 4.1% ABV, perhaps 35 IBU, generously dry hopped with Galaxy and Simcoe hops. Very new world and juicy, smelling and tasting of tropical fruit.

The full name is House in Session Ale and it was brewed for the first time last year to send to Washington, D.C., to help draw attention to The Small Brewer Reinvestment and Expanding Workforce Act, legislation that would reduce taxes for small breweries. Most of this year’s 15-barrel batch also went to Washington, with a few kegs and one cask remaining in St. Louis.

– It’s about the conversation. And if that’s going well, remembering when it’s your turn to buy the next round.

If you aren’t going to be in St. Louis, there’s a list of participating Session Beer Day establishments here. Lew Bryson’s Friday post at The Session Beer Project nicely recaps a discussion that’s been going on for-what-seems-like-ever about stuff like defining Session Beer and finding American beer culture. Might be more detail there than you want want or even need. Just skip to the end if you lose interest: “And while you’re drinking, let’s do what folks do while they’re drinking session beer: let’s discuss.”

6 Responses to Keeping The Session in Session Beer Day

  1. Bill April 7, 2012 at 7:37 am #

    My issue is defining session by ABV totally misses the point of a session. According to Lew Bryson you can have a session while sitting in your dark basement typing replies to BeerAdvocate forums as long as your beer is under 4.5%. The fact is the a session has nothing to do with ABV. Session is an evening at the local for a night of enjoyment with friends and acquaintances. I have issues with an attempt to hijack the phrase for the purpose of satisfying the whims of the American craft beer industry. Can’t we come up with another term or must we Americans crap all over history yet again. Maybe ‘Craft Lite’ would be more appropriate for Bryson’s mantra.

  2. The Professor April 7, 2012 at 6:15 pm #

    I disagree with your statement that “session” (when referring to beer) has nothing to do with ABV. It has been used in that context for many years. I recall seeing references to the term in that context 20 or more years ago).

    And I certainly don’t see any attempt to hijack the term and I think Mr Bryson’s use of it is quite appropriate. If you want to discuss hijacking, consider the growing number of quality beer lovers who have argued that the micro segment of the brewing industry has hijacked the term “craft”.

    It’s all in how you look at it, I suppose.

  3. Lew Bryson April 7, 2012 at 10:22 pm #

    Stan, thanks. You’ve been along on this ride from Day One, in fact, I think you encouraged me on Day One.

    Bill, all I can say is that you’ve got me wrong on this. I’d rather not have a number at all, but people insist on it; and I’m very much in favor of getting out of your home to drink session beer (or having people over to help). Like ‘beer geek’ and ‘gastropub,’ if I could find a better term…I’d use it. Session beer really fits, though.

    Thanks, Prof.

  4. Steve April 9, 2012 at 5:53 am #

    “Maybe ‘Craft Lite’ would be more appropriate for Bryson’s mantra.”

    I think it’s unfair to lump a low-alcohol beer into the (much despised) lite beer category. There are so many well-made low-alcohol, yes — session, if you will, beers with big, satisfying flavor that using the lite insult is, well, insulting — to we low-alcohol beer drinkers and Lew.

  5. Mike April 9, 2012 at 11:33 am #

    Steve, as usual we agree 100 percent: Lite beers are tasteless, session beers are not. There is nothing wrong with the phrase session beers and the fact that it has low alcohol is precisely what makes it a session beer.

  6. Steve April 9, 2012 at 1:24 pm #

    “Steve, as usual we agree 100 percent…”

    Glad I’m at work and not drinking a beer — that would certainly have been a spit-take! 😀

    But on this, we’re 100%.

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