Session Beers: My 2017 Brew Year’s Resolution

While deep in the season of excess I’m thinking of doing more with less.  In this case, it’s with less alcohol by volume.  Over the past number of months I’ve realized that my beers have been increasing in strength and that’s doing wonders for me. I’d much rather sit back and enjoy 2 beers without having to worry about how many calories I’m taking in or if I’ll wake up in the morning with a headache.

Back in 2014 I went a whole year without buying beer.  While not 100% true, it was pretty darn close.  You can read my post about it.  I know I can do this..but why?

What is a session beer?

Although I’m unable to find a clear and concise definition of session beers I can say that they:

  1. are low in ABV (usually under 4.5%)
  2. can be unmemorable
  3. can be enjoyed over and over during a drinking session

Where did this idea come from?

Over the past number of months I’ve been listening to a number of podcasts talking about session beers.  I should note this episode of Experimental Homebrew and have heard James on Basic Brewing sprinkle in session beers in podcasts and videos.  A common theme through them all was that you can make a flavorful beer without the ABV that is common in styles of beer.  I’ve also read and heard that “sessionable” beers can not jump out at the drinker.

OK…now what?

Well I need to start doing research.  I’ve heard and read that you can increase mouthfeel on lower ABV beers with ingredients like rye, oats, or coffee.  I know developing a session IPA should be pretty easy since IPAs typically lack mouthfeel/malt.

I have made a number of cream ales, and enjoyed them a lot.  Here’s a short rant & recipe post from a little while ago.  That’s an easy style to work with.  Heck, I can even use the yeast from those to make some stouts.

I will blog & brew on.

I wanted to put this post out there so I can start the ball rolling and proclaim to the world that I will do this, preventing me from backing down.  If you have any suggestions, feel free to comment below or tweet them @hypobrew


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