Session Fest | Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub

88 Reviews
Session FestSession Fest

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

Style: American Amber / Red Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.20%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
According to Full Sail Executive Brewmaster, Jamie Emmerson, “Session Fest is a Czech-style strong lager called polotmavé or literally “light dark or semi-dark.”
Brewed with 2 Row Pale malt, Munich malt, Caramel malt and Wheat malt, and hopped with a blend of Glaciers and Cascades.

6.2% ABV
26 IBU

Added by msubulldog25 on 09-30-2011

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Reviews: 88 | Ratings: 204
Photo of BlackBearForge
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Session Fest pours a clear golden amber with a small whitish head leaving just a bit of oily foam on the glass.

The aroma has a full woodsy character, fresh, balanced and somewhat spicy.

The flavor has a nicely toasted bread bent, lightly caramel in character with the earthy, spicy hops backing things up. Hmm, this beer apparently has Cascade in it as well but the hop profile seems purely Continental, nicely balanced with a touch of bitterness on the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium and smooth with just a bit of bite from carbonation.

Overall a very nice and balanced beer, very drinkable and flavorful. I'd expect a good solid beer from Full Sail and they delivered.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.22/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11 ounce bottle - at Olde Crabapple Bottle Shoppe in Alpharetta, Georgia. Enjoy By: 12/25/11.

Appearance: Pours a clear, amber-tan body with a small, brief, near white head.

Smell: Smells of bread crusts delightfully toasted up to a golden-brown and topped with sweet, wholesome caramel and a few coarsely chopped nuts backed by a note of spicy hops.

Taste: Toasted, grainy bread with a wash of sweet, sugar-induced caramel. Some nuttiness. Zesty, spicy hops with ample bitterness to balance things out nicely. Drying, malty on the back end with a lingering spiciness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium carbonation with some tingle present (that tells you it's working).

Overall: Now, that's a beer I've not had in a long time... a long time. Maybe it's just me, but this one reminds me of the first installment to the LTD series.

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought this literally as they were being unloaded on display. I was told this was the first batch arrived.

I have not had many Full Sail brews, so I didnt know what to expect. My initial impression was of high hopes. The grenade-type bottle is pretty darn cool, plus I like it when any brewery has a "series", like the Session series.

The smell was malty, and very similar to many american style fest lagers. It pours a nice autumn brown, little head, but nice carbonation. The carbonation actually made this fall brew pretty refreshing.

The flavour was great. Slightly hoppy and nutty...a really unique characteristic. The higher than normal alcohol was noticeable, but enjoyable. This is probably up there as one of my favorite fest beers and I would buy this again.

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Photo of wingman14
4.06/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice reddish brown with a frothy off white head that sticks around. Smell is mostly malt with some yeast and subtle spice notes. The taste starts with the malt and moves into the yeast, and has a nice subtle spice finish. The aftertaste has some of the malty notes with a subtle sweetness. A nice medium mouthfeel adds the the depth of the beer, giving a thicker style. Nice carbonation and an easy drinker. These session beers are solid beers, all with subtle nuances and great flavor. Nothing huge and over the top but done right.

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Photo of Reidrover
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11 oz stubby from a 12 pack. Winco, S.Salem. $9.98 Dark red amber colured ale with a goodly sized, frothy off white head. Fine malty,hay,bready aromas slight hint of lemony hop Malty taste..hint of chocolate and spices..not sure were i get it from but there is a definate peppery spiceiness. OK on the palate..has a rather evident alcohol graininess right at the end..but its not that bad. Nice beer at a good price. Another fine "Session" offering

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Photo of Domingo
3.71/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of my favorite series' of beers - this one is clearly shooting for the Oktoberfest market based upon the name...or so I'd be left to assume.
Pours a an amber color and like the others, has a great head and just the right amount of carbonation.
Smells like amber malts, lager yeast, with hops being perceptible, but fairly mild.
Sweetness up front, leading into a little bit of a caramel gingerbready malt character. The middle is where the Czech roots come up as there's just a kiss of creaminess and (mostly acceptable) diacetyl. The hops show up slightly as well, but the final tastes are those malts again.
Easy drinking, but a hair potent for the name "Session" at 6.2%. It's probably a bit closer to their LTD series of beers, although that's not to say I wouldn't happily have a few of these in a row. In some ways I'd say the beer defies how strong it actually is.
If it weren't for that slight Czech creaminess, they probably could've just called this a Marzen. It does give it a bit of character, though.
Not bad.

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Photo of colforbin73
3.71/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

first off i will say that i am not a lager man, give me a pils or a weizen first... as far as lighter beers go. and i am not a big fan of the regular pale lager, nor the black -- though the black was pretty decent, for a lager. BUT I LIKE THIS!

pours a nice rusty auburn red into a tall pilsner glass, with an exuberant head as promised on the box.

the aroma is.... lager, malty and yeasty with no real hop presence.

the taste is great though -- deep rich malty beer with an excellent burn and bitterness going down and a "(oktober)festy" spiciness that really rounds this beer out. (it is their winter/fest? seasonal afterall.) it is dry but sweet, and true the 6.2 abv is technically on the high end for a Session Beer, but this thing is very QUAFFABLE.

the mouth feel is Lager, but sweet and rich too.

i have only had a couple so i might change my tune, but this winter could be one of cases of Celebration and 12s of this... great beer.

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Photo of 2xHops
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was sort of surprised, but not really, to see this offered at a local Central Market. They had few other good stuff I will be reviewing soon.

I poured this red lager into a pint glass...

The taste's great for a red lager. The alcohol did not come on strong, and it certainly tasted somewhat malty. It reminded me of Killian's Irish Red but with couple notable differences. First, this beer taste better, and it does not have a peculiar aftertaste like Killian's does.

Is this a session beer? Probably not because it has 6.2% ABV, but it is definitely a welcome change to their regular lineup.

Overall, you can't go wrong with this beer. I think it's a great beer to have at parties. I love the bottles and they're so easy to put in the coolers to lug around.

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Photo of aaron12
3.73/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

G R E A T !
this sessions' is awesome, totally dig it. nice mix of a german strong lager, and a dry irish red ale. this is new, interesting, affordable, and best of all tastes really good. well done i'd say... thanks full sail, i'm starting to like your session series more than your regular one.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Little grenade bottle poured into my HotD goblet... okay 1/2 inch white head drops very quickly.. but the brew is very pretty deep orange amber/copper... nice... only okay lacing.. but the retention is pretty proper.

Nose shows great toasty malt.. heavy for a "festbier" grassy hops.. but are very pleasant on the West Coast..

Flavor mirrors the nose with a substantial biscuit quality that is hard to walk away from... bready without ever verging on "sweet", instead the malts are pretty dry and have some lite caramel essence... big dry toast....

Very nice from front to back... it is easy to see the folks at Full Sail put some time into this one... nicely done for sure...

Glad I had the chance to try this one early in the release... Thanks Matt!!!


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Photo of champ103
3.63/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear reddish/orange color. A two finger white head with good retention forms. Sticky, spiderweb looking lace all the way down the glass.
S: Lager yeast with a big bread/biscuit malt aroma. Dry crackers and some very light grassy hops finishes everything off.
T: Again, big bread/biscuit/cracker like flavor. Very dry up front. Some hops in the middle, and finishes just a tad sweet with some toffee.
M/D: A light to medium body. Maybe just a bit under carbonated for my tastes. Clean and dry though. Certainly to much alcohol to be considered a session (hopefully with anybodys definition) though very easy to drink.

A nice lager. I am a big fan of the other Full Sail "sessions" and this one is enjoyable. Though I think I like the other better. Still, no worries with putting these back. A very nice everyday drinker.

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Photo of Docer
3.57/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: (3.0)
- Pours a clear dark copper brew.. quickly dissipating white foamy head.. leaves some light dust and a small ring in the glass. Overall a simple look.

Smell: (3.5)
- First thing that hits the nose is Full Sails traditional yeast aroma.. a grainy, bready, earthy dry malt. A touch of light caramel sweetness, spice, and molasses. Earthy grassy hops, and a light pine flare.

Taste: (4.0)
- Wonderful Full Sail character.. they do brew a one-of-a-kind character-filled beer. Great grainy and bready malt, big meaty yeast, light spice to balance.. perhaps some sweet caramel, molasses, and allspice.. but light enough to only balance the beer, and creat a solid flavor. Light bitter grassy hops, and not too much at all in the aroma department. Very solid flavor.

Mouth Feel: (3.5)
- Light to medium bodied brew which is bubbly, and typical of Full Sails brewing yeast. Not overly creamy, though there is a slight thickness to this session beer. It's a touch dry which I like, and rather chewy which is a standard for them.

Overall: (3.0)
- It's a solid drinker. A sessionable beer? Perhaps for the cool holiday's yes, but I can see this recipe as more of a marketing ploy. If it were bottled in 6-packs and sold for more, I doubt it would do as well as it is as a new session series. The flavor is very good, but the rest falls short. I am more keen to the likes of their latest imperial IPA, because that beer didn't taste like the rest of theirs. This one does.

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Photo of tkone
4.14/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Drank from a glass poured from their awesome "grenade" bottle.

Nice malty backbone with a touch of a hop finish, but nothing to be all sierra Nevada or arrogant bastard about.

Smooth and to the point, bit of a sweet aftertaste in the sweet sticky beer way.

Would drink again. In fact I've had several already. But only won once at paper rock scissors.

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Session Fest from Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
3.65 out of 5 based on 204 ratings.
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