#sessionbeer 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.
It’s been three years since Drake’s Brewing Co. has been able to throw their summer classic with Bike East Bay. But Session Fest is finally back for its eighth year, this Saturday. With no beer over 5% being poured, it is meant to be an easy going afternoon where you get to sample the lower-end ABVs that breweries have to offer. Hopefully, this makes for hangover-free Sunday the next day.
Roses’ Taproom in the Temescal neighborhood of Oakland, California is ushering in a new wave of breweries by reimagining what a taproom can be. They’re bringing their own style to an ever-growing and expanding beer community in the East Bay.
Walking through the door, some may get a hipster, bougie vibe from the space. But, it’s clear that immense thought and care has gone into every detail. From the teal fish scale backsplash behind the multi-curved spindle tap handles to the luscious greenery and warm lighting, visitors are made to feel comfortable and welcome to share a beer or two with friends in this stylish space.
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.
Summer may be coming to a close but that doesn’t mean the temperature has let up. Here in the San Francisco Bay Area we’ve been bombarded with unseasonably stifling heat and sticky high humidity. This has meant that light beer has been a major staple in my refrigerator. Lagers, pilsners, session IPAs, and Gose are not normally in my wheelhouse but I’ve come to appreciate their low alcohol crushability.
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.
Session beers and day drinking: it’s a match made in heaven. Modern sessions are light, refreshing and usually less than 5% ABV, which means they are perfectly suited to consume in your bro tank, playing yard games with a group of friends. Setting up a day drinking beer festival focused on Colorado’s best session beers is one of the reasons that Sesh Fest is becoming one of the better and more fun beer festivals in Colorado. The other reasons the 2016 rendition of Sesh Fest was such a success include a killer list of participating craft breweries with a laid back atmosphere and plenty of Colorado sunshine!
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.
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.
We live in a state known for our curious alcohol laws. Laws we would say have inadvertently given strength to the Utah beer industry. Local breweries have been forced to brew beer at the low-alcohol 4% abv in order to serve on draft or be available in grocery or convenience stores. How can this possibly be a good thing you ask? It means: Utah-based breweries perfected the art of the ‘Session’ beer long before ‘Session’ became a thing for breweries (outside of the Beehive state) who looked for ways to avoid knocking out their consumers with huge alcohol content. In a land surrounded by high elevation, we’ve been keeping it low for years.