Inherent Flaw In Session IPA's

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by bfitzge2, Apr 12, 2015.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. bfitzge2

    bfitzge2 Initiate (0) Jul 21, 2010 Massachusetts

    I doubt I am breaking new ground here, but there seems to be a surprisingly consistent lack of flavor with session IPA's, a watery taste on the back of the tongue seems to be how they all finish. Just wondering if others agree, and if there is some obvious limitation in the style that causes this. I am a neophyte in terms of actual brewing, but I would assume it has to due with the lack of a malt base required to keep the abv down?

    I know 'session' is at its core a marketing term anyway, but I don't run into this with the many pale ales I enjoy.
     
    corby112, Mburk, edd562 and 12 others like this.
  2. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (3,199) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Society Trader

    There are more misses than hits for me as well. The ones that miss, have a watery, bitter, metallic finish. The hits are juicy fruity hopped goodness and surprisingly flavorful and light at the same time. Overall I'm typically skeptical of new session IPAs.
     
    corby112, Tdizzle, Jsteez and 8 others like this.
  3. mudbug

    mudbug Defender (617) Mar 27, 2009 Oregon

    Agree, I haven't had one yet that made me glad I had it rather than a full strength IPA. That said I've also never had a proper English session cask ale either.
     
    Jsteez and JohnnyHopps like this.
  4. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (7,604) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Society

    US brewers seen to lack the skill of brewing low abv beers that excel in taste when you compare them to what the UK can and does put out. For the most part...
    .
     
  5. Greywulfken

    Greywulfken Poo-Bah (5,114) Aug 25, 2010 New York
    Society Trader

    The abv is low so you can drink a lot of them. I'm not a volume drinker.
     
  6. EnronCFO

    EnronCFO Zealot (566) Mar 29, 2007 Massachusetts

    I've basically stopped buying them at stores. On draft I've enjoyed Founders, Firestone Walker, and Stones offerings, but unless the beers are very fresh at the store it isn't worth it to me. The exception is Left of the Dial from Notch. Not surprising that the brewery that specializes in session beers makes the most consistent session IPA, in cans or on draft.
     
    rhino88888888, Jsteez and MistahBeah like this.
  7. EnronCFO

    EnronCFO Zealot (566) Mar 29, 2007 Massachusetts

    Agreed. I feel like most session IPAs start with a base IPA and then start removing components until the ABV reaches a desired level. The better approach is to create a new beer altogether that tastes good on it's own merits.
     
    Traquairlover and Bitterbill like this.
  8. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (2,744) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    I agree. There's a brew pub close to here that specializes in English brew styles and what this guy can do with a Mild or Bitter is astounding, and under 4% as well. Session Ipas imo kinda suck, a one trick pony of hops and no malt to lower the Abv but they defeat their own purpose. I can't imagine drinking more than one due to palate fatigue.
     
    Jsteez, Traquairlover and Bitterbill like this.
  9. PatrickCT

    PatrickCT Poo-Bah (2,324) Feb 18, 2015 Connecticut
    Society

    The inherent problem is trying to make IPAs something they are not. Could you imagine a session quad?
     
  10. champ103

    champ103 Poo-Bah (4,937) Sep 3, 2007 Texas
    Society

    The American "session IPA" is the same as Pale Ale to me. There are good and bad pale ales just like every other style.
     
    JScoot, Ranbot, donspublic and 6 others like this.
  11. RBassSFHOPit2ME

    RBassSFHOPit2ME Initiate (0) Mar 1, 2009 California
    Deactivated

    SN Hop Hunter, especially when found uber fresh I consider my new go to "session" IPA. As with other SN hoppy offerings, it holds up better with months in the bottle than most.

    Drake's Alpha Session is awesome.
    Stone's Go To is nothing to complain about
    Easy Jack ain't too shabby
    Russian River Dribble Belt is phenomenal
    Daytime IPA works in the hot hot California sun

    There's a time and a place for these beers I'd say. Hello sports tailgating hours before the event and floating down the river!
     
    #11 RBassSFHOPit2ME, Apr 12, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2015
    scottakelly, ElijahSF, Cook82 and 6 others like this.
  12. cookiequiz

    cookiequiz Aspirant (241) Apr 15, 2013 California

    Not a volume drinker? I've seen your Space Dust posts.
     
    paulys55, Boca-X, denver10 and 2 others like this.
  13. Greywulfken

    Greywulfken Poo-Bah (5,114) Aug 25, 2010 New York
    Society Trader

    lol :stuck_out_tongue: *busted*
     
    paulys55, Sam-VW, Scrapss and 2 others like this.
  14. eb1610

    eb1610 Initiate (0) Jan 3, 2014 Massachusetts

    You need to get your hands on Carton Boat Beer and Tree House Eureka
     
  15. peteboiler

    peteboiler Initiate (138) Dec 16, 2010 Florida

    I have yet to find one I really enjoy. The only one I have had that I can drink is the Founders All-Day, but even that is not amazing. I assume, however, that is how it is supposed to be. I would rather get a good buzz with a few good quality IPA's, than to drink 10 sessions. But I guess they serve their purpose.
     
    Jsteez and Sam-VW like this.
  16. hillind

    hillind Aspirant (268) Apr 24, 2010 Pennsylvania

    There are ones that I'll enjoy one or two of...Go To and Pinner come to mind. I never want more than that though, which defeats the purpose of the style in my mind. Much rather have a well rounded APA or a crisp pils for a lower ABV option instead.
     
    Jsteez and crob3888 like this.
  17. gatheredwaters

    gatheredwaters Initiate (0) May 1, 2014 Vermont

    Don't you mean... *dusted*? :wink::stuck_out_tongue:
     
    Scrapss, GetMeAnIPA and Greywulfken like this.
  18. RobinLee

    RobinLee Zealot (548) Feb 15, 2012 Wisconsin

    I like All Day and Day Time enough, but most times Spotted Cow or Little Yella Pils will do the trick. And SC's coming out in cans soon!
     
  19. Greywulfken

    Greywulfken Poo-Bah (5,114) Aug 25, 2010 New York
    Society Trader

    Oh, snap! :grimacing: :stuck_out_tongue: :grinning:
     
    gatheredwaters likes this.
  20. Relik

    Relik Initiate (102) Apr 20, 2011 Canada (NS)

    Low ABV ≠ Lack of flavor.
    Low ABV ≠ Lack of Malt or Hops.
    Yes some "session ipa" have less body or feels watery.
    I think its a newish concept for a lot of North American brewers who were on the path of bigger badder bolder and now need to learn how to drop the bigger and aim for less.
    Myself i seem to be more drawn towards the lower ABV these days. Rather crush a few (+6)and not feel it.
     
  21. Tripel_Threat

    Tripel_Threat Poo-Bah (2,942) Jun 29, 2014 Michigan
    Society Trader

    Dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria!

    Seriously, if someone offered me a "session" tripel or quad I'd slap that shit to the ground and salt the earth where it fell.
     
  22. fearfactory

    fearfactory Aspirant (296) Aug 12, 2012 Massachusetts

  23. Pantalones

    Pantalones Devotee (453) Nov 14, 2014 Virginia

    The only session IPA I've had so far has been New Belgium's Slow Ride, which I picked up as part of a mixed six-pack once and liked well enough to consider buying more in the future. But yeah, there was a bit of an odd "wateriness" to it that I haven't noticed with any of the full-strength IPAs (or regular pale ales) that I've had.

    Sounds like that "wateriness" to some degree is pretty common for session IPAs. I don't think I'd mind the watery feel too much if the flavors are good, assuming it's not too bad (it was only a minor issue with Slow Ride for me, though from some of the descriptions above -- bitter, metallic, watery finish? yikes -- it sounds like there must be quite a few out there that don't pull it off quite as well)... though all things considered I'd probably rather have a standard pale ale with similar hop flavors.

    ...wouldn't a "session quad" just be a dubbel? I mean, from my understanding (which, admittedly, is just from reading stuff here and not experience since I've not had a quad so far) the main difference is that a quad is "bigger" and has a higher ABV... "session" beers are lighter with lower ABV... so they'd just cancel each other out? XD
     
  24. bfitzge2

    bfitzge2 Initiate (0) Jul 21, 2010 Massachusetts

    Would love to try Carton, but I've had the equinox and galaxy versions of Eureka (both great with the galaxy being exceptionally tasty) and wouldn't call them session ipas.

    I think many responses have hit the nail on the head: good beers reconfigure parts of an equation until it is "right", session ipa's take parts of the "formula" away until the beer fits a certain expectation.
     
  25. JuicesFlowing

    JuicesFlowing Initiate (0) Jul 5, 2009 Kansas

    I realize I'm in the 1% minority here of people who prefer low ABV beers, but I seriously have not had a bad session IPA yet. And the ones Ive had are as flavorful as any other IPA in my opinion. Oskar Blues Pinner is the latest.
     
  26. lambpasty

    lambpasty Initiate (0) May 3, 2013 New Hampshire

    There are a couple I like, but to be honest if I want a lighter session beer I will take a Vienna or a pils over a SIPA any time, and if I want more hops in a session able format I just go for an APA or a lower ABV IPA.

    That said I will continue to try new ones from breweries I like as they come out, but my expectations aren't as high as for other styles.
     
    Jsteez, victory4me, Scrapss and 2 others like this.
  27. Jacobier10

    Jacobier10 Poo-Bah (2,407) Feb 23, 2004 New Jersey
    Society

    Thin and unbalanced. I wish they would all just go away.
     
    Jsteez and Scrapss like this.
  28. PatrickCT

    PatrickCT Poo-Bah (2,324) Feb 18, 2015 Connecticut
    Society

    Perhaps some pale ales have been labeled as session IPAs for the crowd that can't seem to get enough IPAs.
    Nice Ghostbusters reference. I wonder what the best beer to have while watching that movie is?
     
    Tripel_Threat and Jeffreysan like this.
  29. Greywulfken

    Greywulfken Poo-Bah (5,114) Aug 25, 2010 New York
    Society Trader

    Session quad! Session quad! Session quad!
     
    machalel, lambpasty and JohnnyHopps like this.
  30. EnronCFO

    EnronCFO Zealot (566) Mar 29, 2007 Massachusetts

    I'm not a session beer purist asshole, but Hop Hunter is 6.2% and definitely not a session beer.
     
    Loganyoung, Jsteez, ahawkman and 7 others like this.
  31. PatrickCT

    PatrickCT Poo-Bah (2,324) Feb 18, 2015 Connecticut
    Society

    Haha. You'd really want that? I hear Ommegang is brewing a session quad. It is call 3 Deep Thinkers. Sort of the same. But crap.
     
  32. EnronCFO

    EnronCFO Zealot (566) Mar 29, 2007 Massachusetts

    If you have to wait in line for hours or hunt from store to store to find a beer, then it's not a session beer.
     
    stonermouse and victory4me like this.
  33. Greywulfken

    Greywulfken Poo-Bah (5,114) Aug 25, 2010 New York
    Society Trader

    3 Deep Thinkers! 3 Deep Thinkers! 3 Deep Thinkers!

    lol :stuck_out_tongue: Hell, no... :wink:
     
  34. eb1610

    eb1610 Initiate (0) Jan 3, 2014 Massachusetts

    So you're one of those people
     
    Mburk and Westyn like this.
  35. Mike_Aguirre

    Mike_Aguirre Initiate (0) Jan 20, 2015 Mexico

    I totally agree with this.
     
    Jsteez and PatrickCT like this.
  36. PatrickCT

    PatrickCT Poo-Bah (2,324) Feb 18, 2015 Connecticut
    Society

    The only good suggestion I have read here is "try Pinner". Not one person is endorsing the session IPA with any enthusiasm. Who then is drinking them?
     
  37. RBassSFHOPit2ME

    RBassSFHOPit2ME Initiate (0) Mar 1, 2009 California
    Deactivated

    Hey asshole. ;-). I'm 200LBS and in good shape Im happy to add. I said it is MY new session IPA. Taking a Sixer to the dome and still functioning rationally (somewhat) is a session IPA for myself.

    Cheers my brother.
     
    #37 RBassSFHOPit2ME, Apr 12, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2015
  38. djsmith1174

    djsmith1174 Initiate (0) Aug 21, 2005 Minnesota

    There has to be a pretty sizable demographic for them with as many of them that have been appearing on the market. I'm more of a mild, bitter, or hefe guy when it comes to session-able beers, but that just personal preference.
     
    Jsteez likes this.
  39. surfcaster

    surfcaster Zealot (564) Apr 20, 2013 North Carolina
    Trader

    Another "bash session IPAs" thread------yawn.

    Funny how many threads get canned but this one allowed to come again and again and again.
     
  40. PatrickCT

    PatrickCT Poo-Bah (2,324) Feb 18, 2015 Connecticut
    Society

    I agree with you. I love to drink Hefeweizens all summer. But there isn't one strong endorsement for the session IPA here. I thought I might see a few because they are popular. Perhaps they are popular with people who don't really like IPAs to begin with.
     
    Jsteez likes this.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.