sessionipa – PorchDrinking.com
I love IPAs. I also can’t stomach several in one drinking session anymore. The intensity of the flavors and hop-bill typically restricts me to a small pour or one sole can at a time. It’s a common occurrence for many beer drinkers today. Craft brewers continue to push the limits on flavor in IPAs, ramping up the ABV and ingredient list while lowering the drinkability in the process. Every IPA has a place, but I’ve increasingly found that Session IPAs continue to gain more space in my beer fridge than their hoppier counterparts. One new addition that I’m dedicating shelf space to is Oskar Blues’ One-y hazy session IPA.
The calendar year is full of great sports events, but there is arguably no better multi-day sports period than the opening weekend of March Madness. From early Thursday to late Sunday, college basketball fans, avid gamblers, and college alumni alike will gather around computer screens, flat-screen TVs and in stadiums across the nation to cheer on their favorite team. It’s an experience that frays the nerves, especially if you have a team you’re rooting for or money on the line. It’s also one that is ideal for your favorite beverage of choice—several of them in fact. Whether you’re on your couch or on a bar-stool, the non-stop basketball action for the opening weekend deserves a light yet flavorful beer that’s high on hops but low on alcohol. Here are four new Session IPAs that should make it into your starting lineup this weekend.
This is it, my friends. We are in November. At least for many of you throughout the country, the weather has shifted. The jet stream has begun to re-calibrate. Winds are picking up, the clouds are more uniform, and the precipitation has already started to solidify into the four-letter word most people loath to use. It’s inevitable, though. Unless you are in Yuma or Miami, or you have your sights set on Hawaii for a month, that thermometer isn’t going to budge much over 60 degrees for awhile. Your bright and sunny days are going to be at a minimum. Thankfully, a well-known brewery has just the antidote to shoo away the clouds and bring back the warmth for a little while. Fat Head’s Brewery’s Sunshine Daydream is at your beck and call; this session IPA is available all year long, rain or shine.
It was New Year’s Eve and I was battling a slew of last-minute beer shoppers. The aisles were packed and I was beginning to have some mild anxiety. I sure love beer, but I hate nothing more than big crowds of people. After battling through the coolers to build a mixed six-pack, I was ready to be gone. I grabbed a 6er of the first session IPA that I saw and got into the long, serpentine line to check out. It turned out that the session IPA in my basket was Lord Hobo‘s Hobo Life.
Welcome to the Wild West. No town represents that way of life better than the town too tough to die—Tombstone, Arizona. Many people know this town as one big tourist attraction, where you feel like you’ve gone back in time into the heart of the Old West. Nevertheless, though it is a rustic and historic town, the city is also home to one of the state’s top breweries—Tombstone Brewing Company. Tombstone has only been open a little over a year, but they have won over the taste buds of craft beer drinkers around the state, and with beers such as Little Baby Wyatt, the brewery is also appealing to the locals who usually prefer macro-brews.
You have finally reached your campsite after hiking 20 miles over rugged terrain with all of your gear on your back. A heavy band of sweat clings to your head as you finally drop your pack and begin to set up your shelter. Once you’ve eaten and settled in for the night, you reach into your pack and pull out a beer. Beer might not be as essential as food, water, shelter or clothing, but, in your modest camp, it’s nothing short of a luxury.
Since the most important criterion of a backpacking beer is portability, every beer on this list will be canned. Cans are much lighter than glass and don’t require you to pack a bottle-opener. You also do not run the risk of a can breaking and leaving dangerous shards all over the campsite. Last but not least, aluminum conducts heat faster than glass, which means they’ll get cold faster when you stick them in a creek. There are many to choose from, but, if you ask me, these are the best summer backpacking beers.
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.
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.
4 Noses Brewing Company’s mission is to be a socially responsible brewery of extraordinary passion and creativity, constantly crafting unique and classic styles. Hosted in their comfortable yet elegant tap room, they strive to serve only the freshest ales and lagers, in addition to their constantly changing barrel-aged beers.
4 Noses taproom is mad gorgeous. Their ales and lagers embody creativity and passion for brewing. While most would implore you not to take their word for it and to explore on your own; we wholeheartedly want you to take our word for it (because we won’t steer you wrong) AND to visit their taproom at your earliest convenience. You will not be bummed. We promise.
Showing up at Union Station early on Saturday morning felt a little bit like the first day of camp. I was really excited about what was in store, but still a little nervous. My nerves were immediately calmed when I checked in with Justin Patti, who gave me a much needed hi five and a smile. Before we hopped on the train, I fueled up on a delicious Illegal Pete’s breakfast burrito and enough coffee to drown a child.
ABV: 4.6 %
Now that Summer is fully upon us, I thought it would be nice to showcase one of my favorite summer seasonal beers! Southern Tier, a brewery out of Lakewood, New York, has dialed in on a phenom in their Session India Pale Ale named “Farmer’s Tan.” If the name alone isn’t reason enough to give it a try, just wait until you taste it.