#session Archives – PorchDrinking.com
The Bay Area is known for its temperate climate; this past Saturday, it delivered. People enjoyed a gorgeous sunny day as they meandered through Snow Park, which sits adjacent to Lake Merrit. The chilled attitudes and low ABVs at Session Beer Fest 2022 all added up to a laid-back event that felt more like hanging out at one’s favorite beer garden rather than an organized beer festival. It’s one of the aspects that Lauren Young Mortensen, Marketing and Events Manager of Drake’s Brewing, loves about this event.
“Session Fest is a celebration of delicious low ABV beers, amazing people, and the good vibes that come with them. I love this festival because you can join in as new or seasoned drinker to experience amazing local craft beer, and inevitably contribute to the energy that is Session Fest. With an ABV cap of 5% or less, this fest shifts the focus from “what’s your highest ABV?” to amazing flavor and brewing talent.” As their motto says, Less is More.
Green Flash Brewing Co., since its founding in 2002, has endured crazy growth and national expansion, as well as financial troubles and company restructuring. So when they asked me to try Saturhaze, it intrigued me to see what they were up to.
It wasn’t that long ago that the letters IPA basically meant one thing. For better or worse, IPA was known as a hop-forward and bitter beer. With International IPA Day coming up on the first Thursday in August (this year it’s August 6th), we’ve rounded up a few to create this Ultimate 6er.
For the past month and a half our staff has been reaching out to every brewery attending the Great American Beer Festival to try to preview what they’ll be bringing to the fest. As part of that research, we’ve sifted through that list of beers to bring you a series of themed routes to help you plan for your GABF based on various styles and flavors.
Personally, one of my favorite beer styles is sours, but not everyone feels the same way I do. I could go on for days about all the different reasons that I like sours, but that still wouldn’t change the opinion of someone that doesn’t like the style. I believe that sours are like IPAs for people that haven’t tried very much of the style. When someone first tries IPAs they tend to be overwhelmed by the hoppiness and intense bitterness, and the same concept applies with sours. Not all beer drinkers are used to the mouth-puckering sourness you get from some sours and that can turn people off. By creating the Sour Beer Project Series, Kannah Creek Brewing Company set out on a mission to help introduce people to sour beers.
Once known for bombers of big IPAs and the Abduction series, Pipeworks Brewing Co. has changed quite a bit over the past few years. The variety of beers coming out of the brewery in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood have increased not just in volume, but styles. Its session IPAs have become quite popular and Passion Fruit Guppy is the latest to be available in cans.
It should come as no surprise that most frequently, when given the choice, brewers typically reach for easy-drinking sessionable beers over their big boozy counterparts. All week long we’ve profiled the rise of Session beers, generally categorized as beers 5% in ABV or lower, as well as a preview of this weekend’s Sesh Fest, a celebration of Session beers. Sesh Fest features over 50 breweries, food trucks, lawn games, screen printing, water games, a shandy tent, slushie station and much more. Now hear from the brewers themselves!
Yesterday we detailed the rise in popularity of approachable, easy-drinking session beers. From Vienna lagers to pilsners, Berliners to Irish dry stouts, kolsches to session IPAs, just because these styles may be low in ABV, doesn’t mean they lose out on flavor.
The fried chicken at Post Brewing is hands down the best in the state of Colorado. Actually, it could damn well be the best fried chicken I’ve ever had. I’d do unspeakable things to get my hands on those crispy pieces of perfectly spiced chicken flesh.
Oh, also, turns out the beer at Post Brewing is really freaking good, too.
ABV: 4.5% | IBU: 38
Recently, at a north Seattle neighborhood taproom, I overheard a patron declare her aversion to “hoppy beers.” Puzzled, I wondered if it was the hop aroma, earthy flavors or customary bitterness that displeased her. Maybe she hadn’t …
Lets you and I share in on a little secret. Don’t worry, it’s just you and I talking right? Sure, we’re a craft beer blog and yes we love covering the biggest, baddest, gnarliest, hoppiest, funkiest, gourdiest (looking at you Todd), most outrageous beers on the market. But if we’re being completely real with each other, at the end of the day, there’s nothing better than kicking back to a nice light, crisp, refreshing Pilsner, Kolsch, Berliner or Session IPA.
For a brewing landscape as diverse as American craft beer, there appears to be only two camps which breweries occupy when it comes to location: remote, rustic, farmhouse-style outfits steeped in terrior, or urban and suburban operations in refurbished warehouses or corrugated steel garages hidden amongst industrial parks.
Image courtesy of Great Lakes Brewing Company. Label artwork by Darren Booth.
I fell in love with a beer last summer. It was during Burning River Fest; Great Lakes Brewing Company had just released a new brew to the attendees of the festival. I enjoyed that beer immensely back then, and I waited patiently for it to make its inevitable return the following year. That following year is now, and make a return that beer did: Steady Rollin’ Session IPA has now been on the market this spring in sampler packs and hopefully can sneak into your cooler for retreats out on the water or at the park this summer.
Photo courtesy of cornerpubsports.com
ABV: 4.2% | IBU: 20
With the NBA finals and Stanley Cup playoffs owning serious air time this week, I’d like to introduce a companion craft beer to keep up your competitive spirit and take you through those clock-stopping, breathtaking moments.
Sometimes change can be scary and uncomfortable. We tend to embrace constancy in most situations. When something unfamiliar greets us, there may also be skepticism. I noticed this when Great Lakes Brewing Company revealed their brand refresh. There was some outcry, some fear, mainly from social media users who did not want the labels and the image of GLBC to change. With tried and true marketing and a strong presence in many parts of the United States, why become different? Despite those worries by some, I feel changing things up can also spark interest and excitement. Personally, I was more intrigued when I first learned about the brand refresh. Let me tell you why I like what GLBC has done: the changes that have taken place embrace the 25+ years that this brewery has been a strong presence in the N.E. Ohio craft beer community. The history behind the brewery, its location and its facilities, runs even earlier; and the artwork by Darren Booth pays homage to the brewery and to the city as well. Each label is a story, a collage of images that explores the rich history of Cleveland and also of the company’s presence. Along with the new brand, we now have a new seasonal beer from Great Lakes: the Sharpshooter Session Wheat IPA. It is a tasty IPA that was tapped during the last week of May at GLBC’s brewpub and has just been released to distribution markets on June 1.
American craft beer fans are regularly maligned by lupulin-adverse detractors for being addicted to hops. They say we value intense bitterness above all while ignoring the subtle and nuanced flavors malt and yeast bring to the table. Well, I suppose I’m about to give the hop-haters another log to throw on that roaring fire they’ve built under a crude effigy of Sam Calagione loading a hop cannon, because I love hoppy beer. Don’t get me wrong. I appreciate a syrupy barleywine or mouth-puckering gueuze as much as the next guy, but most of the time, a clean, dry IPA is what I crave. That wasn’t always the case, mind you. The IPAs I encountered a decade ago on the East Coast didn’t really do it for me. Perhaps I chose poorly, but they were usually cloyingly sweet with a flat, one-dimensionally bitterness. My love affair with hops didn’t begin in earnest until I moved to Colorado.