What is your definition of a session beer?...If you go on Beer Advocate, Rate Beer or any other beer forum website, you will find posts that argue the correct definition of a "Session beer". Does it have to be under 4%? 5%? 5.5%? Each person has their own abv definition, but the one thing that remains true is that a session beer must be easy to drink and light in alcohol enough to drink for the entire night without falling out the back window (long story, involves Imperial IPAs- don't ask).
Is it merely enough for a beer to be low alcohol to be considered a session beer, or is there some other ineffable quality that a beer must hold in order to merit the term? And if so, what is that quality? Is it “drinkability”? Or something else?...
What are some of your favorite session beers? When and where do you drink them? If you’d like, drink one and review it.
When I think of low abv, easy to drink beers- I think of my go to beer. When heading out to a party, or just to hang at a friends house, I will pick up or know that there will be Yuengling Lager. 4.3%, smooth and not bad tasting makes it a great beer to drink all night. (It doesn't hurt that it is cheap.)
When thinking harder of sub-5% beers that were easy to drink, my mind takes me to Selin's Grove Brewing and their Shade Mountain Oatmeal Stout (the beer on the left in the picture). When I first started drinking craft beers, I drank many stouts and loved oatmeal stouts. I turned from the dark stuff in favor of IPAs (with no regrets) but do enjoy a stout every once in a while. So while spending the afternoon at the brewpub with my brother, I decided to give the 4.6% stout a try. It came out looking perfect, and a smile came across my face. The taste did not disappoint.
I could drink this beer all day and night. It did not weigh me down, and it made me want more of it.
To see my full account of my trip to the Selin's Grove Brewpub see this.