Favorite session beers?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Indifferent, May 8, 2012.

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  1. Darkmagus82

    Darkmagus82 Poo-Bah (2,953) Jul 25, 2010 Virginia

    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 Zealot (512) Aug 18, 2011 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.

    Cheap, flavorful and easily attainable.

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

    BeerKangaroo Initiate (0) May 30, 2011 Alaska

    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) May 30, 2011 Alaska

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

    ttasselm Initiate (0) Feb 13, 2013 Pennsylvania

    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 Initiate (0) Nov 30, 2010 Iowa

    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 Aspirant (280) Aug 8, 2012 Minnesota

    Surly Bitter Brewer
  8. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,063) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Supporter Beer Trader

    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 Poo-Bah (2,953) Jul 25, 2010 Virginia

    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. PatriotsRule

    PatriotsRule Aspirant (257) Sep 25, 2012 Massachusetts

    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 Initiate (0) Mar 9, 2009 Iowa

    Bell's Oarsman (4%)
    Year-round, cheap, excellent. What else do you need?
  12. CurtFromHershey

    CurtFromHershey Devotee (476) Oct 4, 2012 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    My pick would be SN summerfest. Absolutely perfect for tossing back several cold ones on a hot day.
  13. Mark

    Mark Initiate (0) Jun 18, 2001 California

    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. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,063) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Supporter Beer Trader

    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 Poo-Bah (2,229) Nov 17, 2010 New Mexico

    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 Initiate (0) May 10, 2012 Illinois

    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. chinabeergeek

    chinabeergeek Meyvn (1,272) Aug 10, 2007 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    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) Feb 6, 2012 Tennessee

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

    BottleCaps80 Zealot (595) Jan 12, 2013 Iowa
    Beer Trader

  20. kneary13

    kneary13 Initiate (0) Jan 30, 2010 Massachusetts

    +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 Poo-Bah (3,871) Sep 3, 2007 Texas
    Beer Trader

    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. chinabeergeek

    chinabeergeek Meyvn (1,272) Aug 10, 2007 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    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. maxcoinage

    maxcoinage Defender (611) Apr 6, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    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. mfavoino

    mfavoino Initiate (0) May 25, 2009 Washington

    Lagunitas DayTime. Lots of flavor.
  25. Providence

    Providence Initiate (0) Feb 24, 2010 Rhode Island

    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. fujindemon74

    fujindemon74 Initiate (0) Nov 7, 2012 Pennsylvania

    Half Acre Daisy Cutter
  27. BottleCaps80

    BottleCaps80 Zealot (595) Jan 12, 2013 Iowa
    Beer Trader

  28. FlakyBiscuit

    FlakyBiscuit Initiate (0) Sep 11, 2012 Pennsylvania

    Lots of great choices. 21st amendment bitter American. Great beer for the golf course
    Doc_Hops and tcanaday like this.
  29. maxcoinage

    maxcoinage Defender (611) Apr 6, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    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. maxcoinage

    maxcoinage Defender (611) Apr 6, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    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) Sep 12, 2012 Illinois

  32. bleakies

    bleakies Disciple (380) Apr 11, 2011 Massachusetts

    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. Chaney

    Chaney Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2006 District of Columbia

    It's a four-way tie between Half Acre Gossamer and bomber of Hunahpu's divided 3-ways.
  34. Stinger80OH

    Stinger80OH Crusader (740) Nov 11, 2011 Ohio
    Beer Trader

  35. booyahachieved3

    booyahachieved3 Initiate (112) Sep 5, 2012 Kansas
    Beer Trader

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

    teamwiggum Champion (865) Nov 30, 2008 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    My personal favorite is Central Waters' Glacial Trail IPA.
  37. UCLABrewN84

    UCLABrewN84 Poo-Bah (12,229) Mar 18, 2010 California

    Anchor Steam is pretty close to these ABVs at 4.9%.
    airforbes1 and champ103 like this.
  38. antilite

    antilite Initiate (158) Jan 1, 2012 Florida

    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 Defender (627) Apr 26, 2004 Netherlands

    St. Bernardus Abt. I drink 6 every night, so it must be a session beer.
  40. WYVYRN527

    WYVYRN527 Initiate (0) Jan 8, 2007 Minnesota

    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.
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