S is for Session Beer
While your word processing software might try and tell you that it’s not a word, angrily underlining in red while offering no suitable alternatives, a seasoned beer drinker will tell you otherwise.
A session beer (or sessionable beer) is traditionally known to be one of lower alcohol and lighter body. A beer in which you can have several in one sitting. Typically known to be ~4% abv or less, they have an intangible quality of being “easy drinking.”
Here at Devil’s Peak, we’ve produced several beers that easily fall within this category. Perhaps the ultimate (and definitely the longest standing) has been our First Light Golden Ale. Over the years we’ve been actively working to even further improve its profile by tweaking bitterness, body, and carbonation levels until they were just right for optimal sessionability (another word your computer will hate).
“At the moment, our American Pale Ale is my favourite to session with,” says head brewer JC Steyn.
“I’m also a fan of the APA, sometimes it just depends. Grapes of Wrath or even a mixed case. Always changing!” says Al, brewer at DPBC.
But does a session beer have to be light in body and low in alcohol?
In my opinion – not necessarily. There are several styles of beer which have higher alcohol and fuller body, but are still quite easy drinking.
Included in these are few pumpkin and speciality ales from breweries in the United States such as Rogue. Their hazelnut brown ale is exceptionally smooth but clocks in at 6% abv.
Belgian Witbier often hovers close to 5%, but is one of the most sessionable beer styles around.
I even know people who can throw back Blockhouse like it’s Castle Lite. For me, it’s an appreciation for a style and what you’re in the mood for on the day that has the biggest impact on how many pints of a single brew you’ll have before moving on to something different or calling it a night.
What’s your favourite session beer?
Photo Credit: Cape Click