While there’s no doubt that some of the very high alcohol by volume craft beers are incredibly interesting and complex, those beers are almost always best enjoyed as just one or two of our beers for the moment. The problem with a session of high ABV beers is that you can end up fuzz-boxed and lose the joy of the moment. Craft brewers are making amazing beers at varying ABV levels and there are many lower ABV beers that can make an afternoon or evening with friends a nice session with wonderful memories.
In 2014, a number of breweries started developing recipes for session IPAs because of the huge popularity of the India Pale Ale, or IPA, style. Most IPAs are higher in alcohol by volume because of the number of hops that are used, the very hops that bring out the fascinating flavors in IPAs. But having too many high ABV beers can make a session with friends blurry. Some very creative brewers have taken on the quest of developing lower alcohol IPAs. If you love IPAs and the hop influence in craft beers, Session IPAs are a great
idea for the times when you’re enjoying a few beers over an afternoon or evening.
But there are many other sessionable beers that are easily identified by style, alone. Amber Ale, Lager, Brown Ale, Gose, Mild Ale, Dry Stout, English Bitter, Kolsch, Cream Ale, Heffeweizen, and American Pale Ale, along with Session IPA, are a number of the styles that offer brews in the mid-3 percent to mid-five percent ABV zone. But don’t be fooled by the style alone. Almost every beer style has higher ABV versions. Just check the bottle or can for the ABV to be sure.
With warm weather arriving, we’ll have many great moments to enjoy… and remember. Grab a delicious, lower ABV beer, and celebrate life!
The Craft Beer Guy