Session Lager | Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub

483 Reviews
Session LagerSession Lager

Brewed by:
Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
Oregon, United States

Style: American Pale Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.10%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
ABV 5.1% IBU 18

Added by mattmaples on 05-17-2005

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Reviews: 483 | Ratings: 1,170
Photo of 999biotch
1.49/5  rDev -59.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1.5

Somehow or another my extensive previous review was lost before I could send it. I'll make it short and brief. I love my good German lagers- helles, pils, smoke, kolsch as well as my American pales, IPAs, pumpkins, maybe a coffee stout, so I have a fairly broad palate, but truly relish high quality German lagers. Reading the review and the rating I passed on Peroni to get a sixer of this. This was a big mistake. I hate to say it but some of the ratings on this website do not correlate to reality for me.

I kept it real, nostalgic in the bottle, as I have enjoyed many of F.S. ipas. They make a fairly decent ipa for the money and I was excited to try this based on the expert's ratings. Just be reminded, any comparisons to any German lager, even St Pauli or the old Becks is laughable.

Forget appearance, what's the smell? Artificial sweetner w/ a ever so slight corn smell. Think newly brewed rolling rock or the new corn- based red stripe but weaker and watery, not even offering any barnyard hay as rolling rock does. Aspartame combined w/ a watered down new version of red stripe is the best description. Awful.

The taste- dextrin, artificial sweetner, slight cheap corn. It seems like it is lacking the complexity that the addition of rice would give. Asahi, Saigon, Shinghtao have this one beat by far. The sweetness is nauseating and as it warms up the beer sours. Terrible. Coors light please.

Mouthfeel I don't know what to say. This is going too far in reviewing this effluent. Nondescript low carbonation, flat w/ a sickening artificial sweetness. A bit worse than the new red stripe. That's bad.
Overall, I have no idea how this brew got this high of a rating. This is proof the ratings must be taken skeptically b/c anybody in their right mind should know better. Even Warsteiner or St pauli (low end German) stomp this. I guess I didn't keep it brief, but this stuff has tainted my taste buds.

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Photo of HuskyDude
1.9/5  rDev -48.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

A. Looks like an average lager.
S. Smells like an average lager.
T. Tastes like decent clean lager ... and then an evil bitter aftertaste that just keeps going.
F. Right carbonation for a lager.
O. Still looking for the salsa to get rid of the wrong type of bitter that's still hanging around.

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Photo of marzenfannm
2/5  rDev -45.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Golden hue. Thin head. Appearance not impressive. No real aroma. Clean taste and clean to the palate, but unremarkable. Pretty neutral all in all.

[I am copying these notes over from RateBeer ... it does not require as long of review. I tasted this some time ago so I can't add anything.]

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Photo of beertunes
2.13/5  rDev -42%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Bottle poured into pint glass for reviewing. Poured a clear, thin, bright yellow with just a trace of head that had no retention or lacing.

A faint, sweet grass/corn aroma doesn't feature anything remarkable. The thin barely there flavors are much like the aromas.

Hardly any body body to speak of. Drinkable in the same way water is. I hadn't had a stubby of Session for several years as I wasn't a fan. But with the release of Session Black Lager, which I liked, I thought I would revisit this beer. I wasn't missing anything.

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Photo of RedDiamond
2.17/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I thought I’d hold out and sample Full Sail’s best selling new beer on draught at the Hood River brewery where it’s produced. But as I sat down at the bar in the newly remodeled taproom I noticed a small bucket full of Session bottle caps and the bartender informed me that the beer is only served in the 11-oz. stubby bottles, never on draught. They don’t even pour it in a glass for you, but simply crack the bottle and hand it to you.

It’s been a mighty long time since I’ve been served a beer like that. I ordinarily visit brewpubs to drink draught beers or at the very least, get a bottled beer served in a glass. So I had to smile at being caught off guard by the quaint old-school service. It seems Full Sail has taken the whole “working man’s session lager” thing quite seriously. And it somehow seems appropriate.

Bear with me because I’ve never, ever consumed a beer straight from the bottle for evaluative purposes. But if that’s how the brewery intends it to be served, I’m drinking this one straight from the bottle.

Session lager is the color of a pale lager inside a brown bottle. That is to say, I have no idea what color it is. All I can surmise is that the beer appears reasonably clear, has low carbonation, and doesn’t care to put forth a head. And the smell is… well, the smell is stuck inside the bottle. And no matter how much I tried to coax the smell out or squeeze my nose in, I just couldn’t connect.

By the way, the beer comes in a twist-off bottle but the bartender used a bottle opener. Score one for service.

After indulging all the inverse hullabaloo of a genuine proletariat stubby of lager (reminiscent of Oly), the taste of Session was frankly a bit disappointing. It’s actually just plain boring. Though it purports to be an all-malt beverage, all the classic shortcomings of an industrial macro lager are here in good measure – the wet-grass-in-a-blender taste with the drab, scowling finish. When I was eighteen I might have really enjoyed this beer. (While listening to an LP of Journey, no less.) But now that I’m all grown up I like to drink good beer, and this ain’t it.

Hint: drink it before it warms and you won’t have to taste it.

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Photo of bbluemzbeer
2.19/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 2

It is both refreshing and has some taste. It has a Germany Beer taste. What is going on with 11 oz bottle ? After six pack , you have a half beer less 6 oz ! It is not cool Full Sail Brewery !

Appearance: Looks like Lager . It has nice lacing , clarity and head.

Smell: Like a beer. No foul smell

Taste: It has nice malts and hops to it. It taste is little tone own from Germany Lagers

Mouthfeel: Not to heavy or watered down, it just right for me.

Overall : I take moosehead , Heineken, corona over this beer at least they give me 12 oz with more or similar taste. Real Germany beer like spatan , lowenbrua has twice as much taste as session beer . Full Sail Brewery does not have no excuse for the 11 oz bottle just for misleading public and profit. You will receive half less 12 oz beer from a six pack! Also , I will buy grenade bottle beer from Coors and mickey in future for more taste and more beer ! 12 OZ BEER American standard not 11 OZ!

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Photo of Klondike
2.26/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Appearance - pours a golden yellow with a light head that thins out, but stays there for the whole bottle, good amount of carbonation

Smell- malty, bready

Taste - hints of malt and light hops

Mouthfeel- smooth, not over powering

Drinkability- Drinkable, but not something I would try again. Has a watery, lemony consistency I don't like

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Photo of drabmuh
2.26/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

The coolest thing about this beer is the bottle. Beer poured from a cute stubbie into a shaker pint. Beer is yellow and clear with a decent head for about 20 seconds then it's gone, no lacing, low carbonation.

Aroma is sweet and pilsner-y....there is something off in the aroma.

Beer is thin and tastes like boiled corn. Gross. The finish is fine at least there isn't an aftertaste. I drank the whole bottle but that was because I was watching X-files on netflix, if I wasn't so preoccupied I would have poured it out and moved on for the night. I won't be having this again.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
2.35/5  rDev -36%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

$1.79 single from Oak Tree. Neat retro bottle.

Crystal clear yellow gold body. Big billowy white head decays almost instantly.

Big hay and grass aroma, with maybe a hint of skunk.

Very sweet hit in the center of the tongue. Somewhat harsh bitter hop bite at the swallow. Both sensations carry through the aftertaste. Overall tastes like a macro lager minus the adjuncts.

Light mouthfeel, slighty bubbly. If I was looking to drink a beer like this, I would not have switched to craft beers.

Slighty above American Macro Lager. Proceed at your own risk.

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Photo of tigg924
2.4/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: moderate carbonation, 1 inch head, yellow-gold in color, clear--nice looking botttle

Smell: corn, toasted malt, and sugar

Taste: corn, toasted malt, and sugar with a bit of hops around the edges.

Mouthfeel: slightly sweet, high carbonation, light body

Drinkability: To me this is in the lower half of this style. It walks a line between pilsner and American adjunct beer. Certainly not the worst I have had in the style, but nowhere near some others. I might drink this more if the abv were a bit lower, but for me this is a one and done.

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Photo of Troy-Hawaii
2.5/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Part of a variety 12-pack $13.88 Foodland
Light golden color
Light mouthfeel
Light carbonation
Light malt taste
Overall not much taste. Bud Light is better than this and you get 12oz instead of only 11oz with this. They shortchanged on volume and taste. Would not drink again.

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Photo of GeneralZod
2.53/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Typical lager gold, except it is slighly darker gold than most. Not too much head or retention. Looks relatively average.

Has a hint of sweetness and light on the malt.

It leaves lingering taste of sweetness, but not in a good way. There is something off about this lager, but i can't point my finger on it.

Watery build, not too coarse and well carbonated.

It has high reviews, but it just doesnt work for me. The weird sweet aftertaste is just not good.

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Photo of BrownNut
2.58/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I had heard good things about this beer so finally picked up a twelve pack and was promptly disappointed. This tasted almost just like a macro. I worked my way through the twelve, trying to give it another chance, but it just came across like any thoughtless plain beer. But maybe I was being unfair. Was it really no better than Budweiser? That's what it seemed most like, but since I hadn't had a Budweiser in years, I went and bought a Bud fat single from the gas station for a side by side taste test.


A - surprisingly pale and thin looking, like the pee of a decently hydrated person

S - Halfway between wet cardboard and bread - so sort of like the disappointing outside of a Hot Pocket. Also a little like old popcorn. There's a fake sweet smell, vaguely like flower candy flavoring with a touch of fingernail polish remover. This is my least favorite aspect of it. Really that's not a good combination of smells. What is that? Is it corn or rice or something? As it warmed up I swear I got a hint of tired taco shell, so maybe corn.

T - Well... beer. This is the "beer" flavor we grew up on and is hard to dissect. Wet cardboard. A faint hint of that sweetness from the aroma, but fades.

M - somewhat dry and crisp, which I think is a good thing and helps make it more sessionable. Who'd have ever thought I'd compliment Budweiser?

O - Surprisingly I'd call this balanced. You hear about certain things like Coca Cola and Heinz Ketchup that are perfectly balanced, where no one flavor component sticks out such that it is really identifiable on its own. Budweiser approaches that, or at least its components are in relative harmony except for that sweet thing.


A - medium gold

S - grain, something halfway between faint roast and faint hop - sort of vegetable soupy, and maybe an extra faint rumor of sweetness

T - wet cardboard, "beer" taste, hint of fruit, mild hop, hint of bitter

M - kind of round

O - Meh. You'd think Full Sail could do better. It's never something I'd crave. If they had it at a party I'd drink it and not think twice about it. But I'd rather be drinking something else.

Session has a little richer flavor and a hint of bitter, a bit more complex than Budweiser. It's rounder and sticks around on the palate a bit more.

Budweiser is has a dryer finish and a weird sweetness that is out of place.

I'd take a Session over a Budweiser, but they're not too far apart. If Bud didn't have that weird sweet smell/taste, it would come across similar to the Session. I used to think that American macro brewers just used crappy ingredients and processes but it may be that this style just sucks. The third option is that Session just sucks too.

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Photo of stevoj
2.58/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Aroma is straight up corn/cereal. Pours with light foamy head that dissipates quickly. Flavor is cereal, bread, crackers. Not much of a palate, Mouthfeel is slick, but leaning on watery. Flat and unremarkable finish.

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Photo of bucklemyshoe
2.63/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

11 oz bottle at 42 degrees into a pint glass.

A: It pours a transluscent pale-yellow color with no head.

S: Sweet, husky corn and light floral notes.

T: Sweet, husky corn and light floral notes. It tastes like it should be in a 22 oz can for $1.29 at the local gas station.

M: It has a light to medium-light body with strong carbonation.

D: This is reminiscent of cheap malt liquor that tastes like it has a much stronger ABV. I couldn't finish it. I have no idea where these high ratings are coming from. Maybe it's the cool bottle.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.67/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

11 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a clear straw color. There's a finger worth of white-colored head, seemingly creamier in texture than other pale lagers. Retention isn't fantastic. Minor streaks of lacing are left on the glass.

S: I doubt this is the freshest bottle - still well within the best-by date, though - but there's a subtle twinge of grassy hops that I'm enjoying. Touches of cereal grain hide beneath the hops, but are just that - touches. Exactly the way they should be in a pale lager. It becomes slightly nutty as it warms up. Hits the basic parameters of what a pale lager should be, no more, no less.

T: The front end is very sweet, like sugar cookies in a way. I'm actually really surprised how sweet it is - it doesn't have the sickly corn flavors of typical macro lager crap, rather this seems to have more defined notes of caramel, cotton candy and...well, sugar. I'm missing some of the hops I got from the nose, too (only a *mild* bitterness on the back end exists). All in all, too friggen' sweet.

M: I did mention it was sweet before, didn't I? A slight hop bitterness, a crisp bite, and high carbonation just aren't enough to counteract the thick, sugary body.

O: I think a pale lager is one of nature's simple treats, a beer you can enjoy while completely shutting your brain off...this one, though, is almost Southern Tier levels of cloying. With a bit more hoppiness (or a fresher bottle - hell, maybe both), this could have been genuinely good. BMC fans will enjoy this, at least.

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Photo of Justin23060
2.68/5  rDev -27%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A - Golden with a white head that disappeared quickly.

S - Sweet malt.

T - Mild malt slightly fake sweet. Plainly straight forward.

M - Pretty watery. Carb is adequate

O - My hopes were a little higher than they should have been based on their "Pre-Prohibition Lager" description on their web-site. Better than your average adjunct though.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
2.7/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

One of the beers in the "bargain" section of the local Whole Foods. I thought I'd check it out.

Pours a very clear, very pale yellow, much as expected from an American Pale. Head is fine but frothy and thick, with a decent foam forming on the top. Yep, it delivers what it promises. Not particularly unique or exciting, but bright and buoyant.

Nose is crisp and light, with a mild sweet crushed hop flower note above a grainy light corn aroma. Slightly sweet, but very mild, smells refreshing and familiar all at once.

Taste is very thin and corny, and this is where it falls down. Light entry, before an onrush of light corn husks and a watery aftertaste. A slight acidity rounds it out. Feel is very light, which is to be expected for the style, I suppose.

Eh. It's drinkable, and it's a pretty good example, in fact, of how you can do a light, uncomplicated pale lager well. But the style is still pretty unexciting overall, as though it begs for low scores in reviews.

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Photo of turbine2475
2.71/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Light gold with a thin one finger head that disipated quickly into a small ring leaving no lace.
S - Watered down grain and sweet malt.
T - Sweet watered down syrup hints with a grainy backbone that finishes clean.
M - Good dense mouthfeel with a heavy carbonation.
D - Not a bad beer, but the flavors are too watered down to be truely enjoyable.

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Photo of Reagan1984
2.71/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I've been wanting to try this beer solely due to the bottle.

03/02/11 stamped on the bottle. I assume a freshness date.

A bright golden color with lots of visible carbonation. Fluffy head forms and immediately fades to a thin cap. Nice clarity.

Aroma is sweet and grain like. I think I smell corn. (Not sure if this is in the brew)

I am more convinced we are talking about a corn adjunct beer here. Sweet flavor that isn't quite creamed corn but definitely grain like in the flavor. Doesn't finish crisply, more like gummy sweet.

Looking at the bottle was the highlight here. Light body but too sweet to be considered either crisp or refreshing.

Glad I bought one to try and not a sixer.

Not very good.

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Photo of donniecuffs
2.75/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Into a pint glass, it poured a very light, highly carbonated gold color, with a finger of white head, which collapsed rather quickly, and laced spottily. Very neutral smell..grainy, hay, and maybe some biscuit; not much in the way of herbal/hop balance. The taste confirmed the nose; very grainy and hay-like. VERY carbonated and extremely thin; it's like a microbrewer's take on a mainstream 'light' beer. Certainly sessionable for some, given the thin and highly-carbonated nature, but not for me..unfortunately.

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Photo of atsprings
2.75/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Thanks to Talisker for the extra! Pours a very crisp yellow almost orange with almost no head. Aroma is sweet malt with very subdued hops in the back. The taste is actually extremely bland, very hard to distinguish it from the macro guys. The beer is very light, but the blandness overpowers any mouthfeel aspects. This one was just about a drain pour.

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Photo of Zorro
2.8/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pours a clear yellow beer with an average white head.

Smell is grains and a little tartness. Fairly good hop aroma.

Taste is neutral malt and a fair hop bittering at the start. There is a very noticeable sulfur flavor to this one that I don't really like. Fairly nice hop bitterness level but I just can't get past that “match heads” flavor defect.

Mouthfeel is good.

Yuck! If this didn't have that sulfur edge I might have enjoyed this more, but it does. NOT a beer I can recommend.

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Photo of bigdog4782
2.8/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Its smooth but 1/2 way to tasteless....for light beer drinkers its perfect and priced right. they short change u an ounce, has a light floral smell....very faint...
not sure why they are trucking it from Oregon to Florida. as my garage fridge is full of "Real beers" i will keep a 6 of these for those "light beer drinkers"
The aromatics are a bit strange but quickly forgotten once it hits ur t-buds.

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Photo of KajII
2.8/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

[Best served in a Lager glass]

The pour was a very light clear amber with an average sized (1-2 finger) white fizzy head that diminished quickly and had poor lacing.

The aroma was kind of musty of straw malts, a light grassy hop and a sweaty yeast with mild notes of caramel and the mild scent of dust.

The taste was extremely light but still a bit malty and very mildly bitter from start to finish with a mild caramel sweetness at the end. The flavor lasted a very short while after the swallow and faded fast until the taste was almost non-existent.

Mouthfeel was very light in body and watery in texture with a fizzy carbonation.

Overall a brew that is very mild in the flavor department, which is typical of a lot of light Lagers. Would however be great for a nice hot lawn cutting day...

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Session Lager from Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
3.67 out of 5 based on 1,170 ratings.
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