Inherent Flaw In Session IPA's

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

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  1. Ri0

    Ri0 Poo-Bah (2,776) Jul 1, 2012 Wisconsin

    Agree and when it comes down to a choice are you going to pound 2-3 cans of BMC or a session IPA when it's 90 and you are thirsty?
    Greywulfken likes this.
  2. Giantspace

    Giantspace Champion (854) Dec 22, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Pretty sure it was not calked an IPA originally. Changed for marketing?

    The cans call it session ale not IPA

  3. DougC123

    DougC123 Disciple (335) Aug 21, 2012 Connecticut

    I did and hated it. It was one and done and I forced the other 5 on guests. No love for that at my house.
  4. Greywulfken

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

    lol :rolling_eyes: neither! :grinning:

    Beer doesn't quench thirst - gimme water any day... :grimacing:

    Beer-wise, I drink whatever I have or crave - outdoor temperature isn't often a factor as I usually drink indoors with the a/c on when its hot :sunglasses: *stays cool* :wink:
  5. SenorHops

    SenorHops Initiate (0) Aug 10, 2010 Rhode Island

    I like to describe it as a fist full of hop pellets dropped in club soda. No malt backbone. I've only tasted 2 session IPAs that have seemed to avoid that flavor and it is Green Flash Citra Session and Two Roads Lil' Heaven.
  6. readyski

    readyski Aspirant (270) Jun 4, 2005 California

    alcohol \thread
  7. ScottK22

    ScottK22 Aspirant (242) Dec 30, 2010 New York

    For me it comes down to this. I would choose to drink 4 pale ales over 5 or 6 session IPA's any day of the week.
    JackHorzempa likes this.
  8. DrStiffington

    DrStiffington Meyvn (1,143) Oct 27, 2010 New Jersey

    Session Ale
    ABV: 4.2% | IBU: 35 | SRM: 3.5

    Boat Beer is designed to be complex enough to merit drinking a few without being crippled by alcohol. Kolsch yeast and German malts are combined to be crisp and refreshing, while a generous amount of American hops have been added to keep it remarkable. Expect it to dance out of the glass with a whack of grapefruit and open into a crisp, stony tangle of white and yellow fruit with pine and moss notes. An IPA for everyday drinking, drink boat beer when you are thirsty from softball, fishing, or explaining why your team is best.
  9. WhatANicePub

    WhatANicePub Initiate (143) Jul 1, 2009 Scotland

    Session beers are inherently watery, because they are nearly all water. This is a feature, not a bug. If you’re not used to this idea you’re probably not going to enjoy them.
  10. offthelevel_bytheplumb

    offthelevel_bytheplumb Devotee (402) Aug 19, 2013 Illinois

  11. HeislerGold

    HeislerGold Initiate (119) Oct 19, 2013 Michigan

    Session IPAs are craft's version of light beer. There's no such thing as a "wow" light beer nor is there one that will overwhelm you with flavor.

    The problem I have with this faux category of beer is that when you slap "IPA" on a beer (even if it has session in front of it) some people are going to expect the beer to share some of the same characteristics as an actual IPA. It does not. Well, it does but only in the most technical sense.

    Adjust your expectations, people. These are, to paraphrase a relative of mine, drinkin' beers not thinkin' beers. Find one that's palatable and drink it. If you're not a volume drinker or you're not engaging in an actual session, there's really no reason to bother with these things.
    LambicPentameter and surfcaster like this.
  12. southdenverhoo

    southdenverhoo Devotee (404) Aug 13, 2004 Colorado

    The inherent flaw is the BU:GU ratio. Ray Daniels may be old school but some truths don't change every 20 years or so, Making a 4% ABV beer with 60-70 IBUs is never gonna be OK.

    Now a 4% ABV beer that attenuates no lower than 1.012 or 1.013, with 40-45 IBUs and a metric shit ton of whirlpool and dry hops...there's only a couple of these out there and surprise, they're everybody's fave.
  13. LakerLeith

    LakerLeith Initiate (0) Aug 11, 2013 California

    There is clearly a huge market for the session style, IPA or not, based on the fact that more and more breweries are producing beers that fit the bill.
    While a session ale (or session IPA) might not always be my first choice, I feel like the style definitely has it's place. It sure has it's place in the market share..
  14. skunkpuddle

    skunkpuddle Initiate (0) Feb 14, 2011 California

    Does anyone else hate (or to express it more literally) strongly dislike the term "session" IPA? It makes me cringe
  15. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Poo-Bah (1,682) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    Like this one that's local which I drank last night, fittingly called, "Whirlpool"? And also fittingly one of the highest ranked "session IPAs" on this site? (it's labeled a pale ale)
  16. marquis

    marquis Champion (803) Nov 20, 2005 England

    Whether it's called an IPA or simply a Pale Ale is entirely at the brewer's discretion.
    IPA is an ancient style and has existed in many forms over the years. And some brewers such as Bass called its IPA just Pale Ale anyway.In the UK the style evolved into what is basically bitter and although there are some who say that beers like Greene King IPA isn't really an IPA.But it's historically correct to say it is.In any case, nobody brews anything remotely like the beers which gave the style its name so actually what defines an IPA?
    Traquairlover likes this.
  17. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Poo-Bah (1,682) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    I was mentioning it simply for completeness. Because if someone looks it up on this website they will not find it under the “American IPA” style.
  18. jojo2112

    jojo2112 Initiate (157) Sep 24, 2014 Pennsylvania

    I tried Boat for the first time recently. Still had that same flaw that the OP mentioned.
  19. MostlyNorwegian

    MostlyNorwegian Initiate (0) Feb 5, 2013 Illinois

    Then, the style is not for you. Moving on.
  20. augiecarton

    augiecarton Initiate (190) Oct 22, 2010 New Jersey

    on the website and the can we call it a "session ale" in the description of intention and flavor we refer to "ipa for everyday drinking." fitting "boat is meant to be a session beer for people that enjoy double ipa's" was almost impossible.
    Gtwreck45, dennis3951 and Esic55 like this.
  21. trdtercel92

    trdtercel92 Aspirant (211) Jul 22, 2014 Ohio

    ScottK22 4/12/15
    For me it comes down to this. I would choose to drink 4 pale ales over 5 or 6 session IPA's any day of the week

  22. bluehende

    bluehende Poo-Bah (2,440) Dec 10, 2010 Delaware

    I agree with this 99% of the time. Their are times though when I am at a picnic or bbq where my will power and planning need the low alcohol options to save me from some bad decisions on the quantity side.
  23. jojo2112

    jojo2112 Initiate (157) Sep 24, 2014 Pennsylvania

    I find that sessions are tolerable as long as you start out with them. Just don't have a regular IPA or DIPA before switching to a session.
  24. RockAZ

    RockAZ Disciple (341) Jan 6, 2009 Arizona

    Actually I find the better path is to drink an excellent IPA first because it smooths over the watery ones that follow,... I have room in my palate for a session IPA with a really good hop nose and can overlook the "thinness" of the ale. So there are a few that are just good enough mentioned up thread, and two more I would like to try out of NJ and MA that don't seem to be distributed out west.
  25. racer2k

    racer2k Initiate (0) May 21, 2004 Massachusetts

    Agree that SN Hop Hunter is a great session IPA with tremendous flavor and only 6.2% ABV which is low for an IPA. Another option is to roll with SN Pale Ale which has much more flavor than watered down session IPA's and checks in at 5.6%. Hop Hunter is fantastic!
  26. Emmige1

    Emmige1 Initiate (0) Dec 1, 2014 New York

    Two Roads Lil Heaven anyone?
  27. mudbug

    mudbug Defender (617) Mar 27, 2009 Oregon

    Things change, especially in the USA. IPA here no longer denotes a defined "Style" of beer, it is a flavor descriptor that simply means "hoppy" Brewers hang IPA on almost anything, wheat beers, porters, lagers, low ABV pale ales ect.
    They have a point, as even folks that cringe when they see this probably know what to expect when tasting said beer and people that don't care find it useful when making a purchase of something new to them.
  28. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Poo-Bah (1,682) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    The highest I've seen for a session IPA is 5% abv. Most are 4.5% or less. Individual tolerance aside, there is nothing sessionable about a beer at 5.6% abv, especially not one at 6.2%.

    For every 1% you increase in abv, that’s a much larger increase in overall alcohol intake, especially when “sessioning” multiple beers.

    Let’s take your standard session IPA at 4.5%, in a 12 oz. can that has about 16 grams of alcohol. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale at a “meager” 5.6% has about 20 grams, or a 25% increase in alcohol. There’s a reason @marquis states multiple times on the forums that he "sessions" true session strength ales at 4% or less, and will never do this with a >5% abv ale.
    Traquairlover likes this.
  29. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Poo-Bah (1,826) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    At last years NHC, Jeremy Kosmicki gave a talk on Founders brewing. He said all day is only 50% base malt, adjuncts, car-pils (they use it often in their recipes), and other specialty malts. Which specialty malts and adjuncts and % were not given out.
    PapaGoose03 likes this.
  30. bub72ck

    bub72ck Initiate (0) Nov 8, 2010 Virginia

    Session IPAs IMO are good for two things: drinking a large quantity or drinking in very hot weather. I'm not inclined to take a sixer of IPAs to the beach all day but I could take a sixer of a good session (my favorite is Pinner). I'm not big on drinking beer in large quantities at one setting and if I do it's probably going to be something from a macro (Coors light or Yuengling).
  31. bluehende

    bluehende Poo-Bah (2,440) Dec 10, 2010 Delaware

    Has any brewery taken the tact to brew a regular IPA then remove the alcohol to bring it into the sessionable range. Using more grain and adding a step I am sure is not ideal, but since the prices of these beers are not any less than most crafts it would work financially.
  32. donspublic

    donspublic Poo-Bah (1,998) Aug 4, 2014 Texas
    Society Trader

    I think if I found myself in a surrounding where I felt like pounding beers, i.e. going down real smooth, I would go for these, but otherwise I am more concerned with getting the most bang for my buck. If I am going to drop $ on beer for home I am more likely to spend $9.99 on a six pack of a regular IPA than a Session IPA if the flavor is fuller
  33. Westyn

    Westyn Initiate (0) Feb 12, 2014 Texas

    I think its just the alcohol that you're not tasting :stuck_out_tongue:
  34. SoulFroosh

    SoulFroosh Initiate (0) Apr 19, 2014 Maine

    There definitely seems to be something lacking in American brewing.

    Everything is brewed big with high abv, then we get the lower abv alternative labelled as "session" or "summer" that basically has the malt backbone taken out.

    I'd just like full-flavored lower abv beers as standard (like in UK) without it being a gimmicky niche.
  35. meb3476

    meb3476 Initiate (198) Apr 1, 2013 Massachusetts

    This is why I drink pale ales instead of session ipa's...
    bfitzge2 likes this.
  36. MrDave

    MrDave Initiate (0) Jan 23, 2013 California

    "It's not my favorite thing so it shouldn't exist!!" Some of you dudes are nuts!

    I'm personally digging the hoppy session ales. Fresh Easy Jack in a can and Pinner have been my favorites of late.
    ElijahSF likes this.
  37. joelwlcx

    joelwlcx Initiate (0) Apr 23, 2007 Minnesota

    Why do you people bitch so much about the mere existence of this kind of beer? It's a growing trend, so I'm sure someone is buying them (a lot, in fact, so people must like them too). This thread, and all others like it, is nothing more than "my beer is better than your beer because I say so".

    The americans love excess argument is also horseshit. Just because it's a "session beer", or it's "sessionable" doesn't mean one has to drink 10 of them. Sometimes, one or two is enough regardless of the strength.
    MrDave likes this.
  38. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (3,019) May 30, 2005 Michigan

    I'll go out on a limb and say that herein the US, we separate IPAs into American and English versions, and I think because the English/European hops are not as flavorful as American varieties, thus maybe American hops should be the defining character for a true IPA.
  39. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (3,019) May 30, 2005 Michigan

    Hence, Founders has a 'secret' that is the key to success in brewing this type of beer. :wink:
  40. CincyMon

    CincyMon Initiate (0) Feb 20, 2015 Ohio

    Though not my favorite style (particularly for lack of flavor), I have found a few good ones.

    BP's Even Keel was already mentioned at least once and I believe that clocks in @ 3.8 abv. The session IPA that is my favorite (so far) falls a little high at 4.9% abv but it's delicious, Fat Head's Sunshine Daydream. Actually surprised it hasn't been mentioned yet.
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