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Best session beer?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Darkmagus82, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. Darkmagus82

    Darkmagus82 Savant (400) Virginia Jul 25, 2010

    I am sure this topic has come up before, but I am here drinking a Stone Levitation, and even though I have had this may a times before and while the body is a bit weak, I am always surprised at the amount of hoppy flavor that is packed into the brew. The only other beer of such a low abv that I have had that may be comparable in overall enjoyably and flavor is 21st amendment bitter american. What are other BA members opinions on "best session beer" (say anything under ~ 4.6 % abv.).
  2. mpayne5

    mpayne5 Advocate (575) Indiana Aug 18, 2011

    Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.

    Cheap, flavorful and easily attainable.

    5.6% isn't too high, either.
  3. BeerKangaroo

    BeerKangaroo Initiate (0) Alaska May 30, 2011

    First one that comes to my mind is Founder's All Day IPA, though at 4.7, still at least imo has enough there to cut the edge off.
  4. BeerKangaroo

    BeerKangaroo Initiate (0) Alaska May 30, 2011

    also a good one.
    ChefHopMeister likes this.
  5. ttasselm

    ttasselm Zealot (90) Pennsylvania Feb 13, 2013

    I'll second Levitation as a "cold weather" session brew.

    For the warmer temperatures coming in the not-too-distant future, I'll give a nod to Lancaster K├Âlsch as a nice "warm weather" session beer, as well.
  6. tgchief

    tgchief Savant (315) Iowa Nov 30, 2010

    The only thing I drink under 5% is coffee and water (Unless I am at Peg's!). I like IPAs and hop forward APAs around 6-7% for my session beer........so my biased favorite is ZeeLander, from other breweries it would have to be ZD and Moon Man since I can get those fairly easily.
    inchrisin and JulianC like this.
  7. Revenant

    Revenant Savant (350) Minnesota Aug 8, 2012

    Surly Bitter Brewer
  8. Yards Brawler is definitely a session beer, however you slice it. And it's definitely a delicious beer, however you slice it.
  9. Darkmagus82

    Darkmagus82 Savant (400) Virginia Jul 25, 2010

    I agree that Sierra Pale is quite nice and affordable and very tasty, but it is on the borderline of a session being at 5.6%. (Overall though it is tasty).
    BeerKangaroo likes this.
  10. Jabby Brau at 4.5%abv is delectable, and a can't miss session lager. Everything from Jack's Abby is can't miss.​
  11. mattafett

    mattafett Savant (465) Iowa Mar 9, 2009

    Bell's Oarsman (4%)
    Year-round, cheap, excellent. What else do you need?
  12. My pick would be SN summerfest. Absolutely perfect for tossing back several cold ones on a hot day.
  13. Mark

    Mark Advocate (595) California Jun 18, 2001

    I am adamant in my opinion that the best session beers are cask conditioned ales in English pubs. The flavor and drinkability of these beers, some often only 3.4-6%abv just blows me away. On my last trip just last month I consumed 59 pints during a 8 day vacation. Our brewers do not really make session beers. That said as far as domestic craft I would say North Coast Red Seal cask conditioned.
    StJamesGate, delta490 and BILF like this.
  14. If we're going to include Pilsners I'll add Troegs Sunshine Pils to the list. It's my fave of domestic version, awesome when fresh, and clocks in at 4.5%.
  15. denver10

    denver10 Champion (910) Kentucky Nov 17, 2010

    Yuengling Lager remains my favorite session beer of choice.

    I just tried Elevation's 8 Second Kolsch and I think if that was cheap and bottled, that could be a great session beer too. Uinta's Wyld Organic Pale Ale is bottled and also a good choice. Crooked Stave's Saison also deserve mention but is waaaaaay too expensive to be treated as a session brew.
  16. YogiBeer

    YogiBeer Savant (485) Illinois May 10, 2012

    Victory Prima Pils, SA Agent IPL, Anti-Hero, weheinstephaner kristalweiss....

    Also Laughing fox, moon man, serendipity, raspberry tart, wisoncsin belgian red, etc. Ty New Glarus!

  17. while the difference in ABV is only an increase of one percentage point, this is actually a 22% increase in the overall alcohol content.
  18. TNGabe

    TNGabe Initiate (0) Tennessee Feb 6, 2012

    Assuming price isn't an issue, Bam Biere of course!
  19. BottleCaps80

    BottleCaps80 Advocate (660) Iowa Jan 12, 2013

    All Day IPA.
  20. kneary13

    kneary13 Savant (320) Massachusetts Jan 30, 2010

    +1 on levitation and anything from Jack's Abby fitting the bill (sub 5%, but really closer to 4.5% and under)
    i think it's ridiculous when i see people talking about "session" beers like Stone IPA (6.9%) and the like. you're not impressing anyone. even SNPA, while amazing and easy to polish of a sixer on a Sunday afternoon watching football, is still a little high at 5.6%. IMHO.
    seakayak likes this.
  21. champ103

    champ103 Champion (870) Texas Sep 3, 2007

    Yards and Surly Bitter are basically the only beers mentioned that I would consider session beers. Original Jester King Commercial Suicide is another, though JK decided to ruin that by making it "farmhouse." Just because they did not want to control their "house yeast," which is pretty crappy if you ask me.

    I can go on forever about great true session beers in the UK. Though a cask Wilson's ESB from Austin's Draught House is probably the best version of a session beer made in the states IMO.
    Revenant likes this.
  22. exactly. people conveniently forget that while a percentage point or two in ABV might seem miniscule, the actual amount of alcohol consumed can be drastically different.
  23. Not necessarily the best, but many times the best choice-- Goose Island Honkers--easy to find at any gas station / liquor store / Walgreens in Chicagoland and can put down a 6 pack and be fine to drive. Wonder how it's going to taste out of the AB breweries though....
    Revenant likes this.
  24. Lagunitas DayTime. Lots of flavor.
  25. My new fave: Jack's Abby Jabby Brau (Session Lager)

    Also, Noble Pils from Sam Adams, Summerfest from Sierra Nevada and Bitburger 16 oz. cans!
    Revenant likes this.
  26. Half Acre Daisy Cutter
  27. BottleCaps80

    BottleCaps80 Advocate (660) Iowa Jan 12, 2013

  28. Lots of great choices. 21st amendment bitter American. Great beer for the golf course
    Doc_Hops and tcanaday like this.
  29. I scanned the top 250 (http://beeradvocate.com/lists/top) and there were 4 < 5% . Definitely agree with Gumballhead although I always want to conserve those whenever I can get my hands on a 6 pack.

    79 [​IMG] Wisconsin Belgian Red
    Fruit / Vegetable Beer / 4.00% ABV
    New Glarus Brewing Company

    88 [​IMG] Raspberry Tart
    Fruit / Vegetable Beer / 4.00% ABV
    New Glarus Brewing Company

    190 [​IMG] Gumballhead
    American Pale Wheat Ale / 4.50% ABV
    Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub

    235 [​IMG] Serendipity
    Fruit / Vegetable Beer / 4.00% ABV
    New Glarus Brewing Company

  30. I thought something seemed wrong with Gumballhead under 5, just checked http://www.3floyds.com/our-beers-2/ and they list it as 5.6%..... so scratch that.
  31. CityofBals

    CityofBals Initiate (0) Illinois Sep 12, 2012

  32. bleakies

    bleakies Savant (415) Massachusetts Apr 11, 2011

    Notch Brewing makes great session beers that range as high as 4.5% abv. Their Czech style brews are something I'd never had before, and really good.

    Uinta has a line of 4.0% brews that are pretty solid.

    Honkers is still good, last I checked.

    I'd prefer to be drinking low-gravity cask ale but it rarely presents itself to me.
    Maxwell likes this.
  33. It's a four-way tie between Half Acre Gossamer and bomber of Hunahpu's divided 3-ways.
  34. Stinger80OH

    Stinger80OH Advocate (685) Ohio Nov 11, 2011

  35. Boulevard 80 Acre
    tommykb127 and champ103 like this.
  36. teamwiggum

    teamwiggum Advocate (590) Wisconsin Nov 30, 2008

    My personal favorite is Central Waters' Glacial Trail IPA.
  37. Anchor Steam is pretty close to these ABVs at 4.9%.
    airforbes1 and champ103 like this.
  38. antilite

    antilite Aficionado (170) Georgia Jan 1, 2012

    Anchor Steam, for sure. SA brews what I think are solid, honest beers. Noble Pils and the flagship Boston Lager lead the way. When I find Double Agent, it may be added. Victory has two just over 5%: Headwaters and Prima Pils. Old Raspy may be invited over the weekends, but Monday thru Friday, shoot me a Levitation.
  39. patto1ro

    patto1ro Advocate (500) Netherlands Apr 26, 2004

    St. Bernardus Abt. I drink 6 every night, so it must be a session beer.
  40. My personal favorites are Surly Bitter Brewer, Brau Hopsession, and Lagunitas Daytime. Still have yet to try Founders All Day as we don't get it here in Minny.