Inherent Flaw In Session IPA's

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

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  1. lambpasty

    lambpasty Initiate (0) May 3, 2013 New Hampshire

    No, I agree with you and I think many others probably do too. 5.5% abv is barely any more sessionable than a full-bodied/flavored IPA at 6-7% IMO. "Session" to me means I want it to be 3-4% abv, otherwise there's really no point because there are a LOT of beers much better than the session IPA style sitting in the 4.5%-5.5% abv range already.
  2. aschwab

    aschwab Initiate (0) Mar 3, 2009 Texas

    Basically me.

    I do not want to go to the bar and have an 8% IPA when I can have a good flavored 4%IPA. The problem is getting that 4% IPA.
    surfcaster likes this.
  3. rgordon

    rgordon Meyvn (1,117) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    English ales have for centuries been able to enjoyed multiply without TOO bad an effect. No one is trying to convert you. You are free to drink what you want. Perhaps the session moniker just puts people off. Plus, your English teacher did a less than admirable job. My name is Dick. I am an editor.
    aleckpa, VAcrossr and Dogtirednj like this.
  4. DeFaz

    DeFaz Initiate (0) Jun 30, 2013 Ohio

    Agreed. But two that I'd recommend are Even Keel and Sunshine Daydream.
    CincyMon likes this.
  5. KOP_Beer_OUtlet

    KOP_Beer_OUtlet Initiate (0) Jul 13, 2013 Pennsylvania

    I agree with the OP...I am not a fan of the style, I also feel that they lack something...not sure if it's the lower alcohol or if it's a lack of balance...if I want lower alcohol I usually go for pale ales which somehow seem more balanced and flavorful to me
  6. Stignacious

    Stignacious Defender (696) Aug 24, 2011 New York

    "Session" means and always should mean "pilsner"
    lemmy187, lambpasty and dennis3951 like this.
  7. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Initiate (0) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey

    The owner of the bottle shop I shop at, says the people buying session IPA's are buying them instead of IPA's. Cannibal sales in other words.
  8. MostlyNorwegian

    MostlyNorwegian Initiate (0) Feb 5, 2013 Illinois

    Just wait until Brits get a hold of this and give you an ear full.
    I'll keep mine to an all caps NOPE.
  9. MostlyNorwegian

    MostlyNorwegian Initiate (0) Feb 5, 2013 Illinois

    For some reason this makes me think of Brits and the introduction of what they refer to as Wife Beater beer i.e. Stella Artois to their market. The higher abv's (I gather) flummoxed their otherwise prim sub 5% abv lager lout-ism. So it's not so much cannibal sales as much as American drinkers are buying what suits their drinking wants and needs and not what beer snobs and BA-er than though people convince them to.
  10. Jsteez

    Jsteez Zealot (537) Apr 28, 2012 Utah

    Rather drink a pale ale, mild, wheat/hefe, or wit for a sessionable brew. I've had bad luck with SIPAs.
    hillind and FLBeerGuy like this.
  11. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,982) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Joe, do Session IPAs come of as 'watery' to you?

  12. besch64

    besch64 Initiate (68) Mar 16, 2013 New York

    My favorite style. I have noticed that there tends to be a similar hop profile used in many beers in this category, often a creamy orange sort of flavor (The Saucony Sessions and Down to Earth most memorably). But not this "watery" quality being described.

    Go To and Boat are more beautiful expressions of hops than 99% of IPAs and DIPAs.
    DrStiffington likes this.
  13. KOP_Beer_OUtlet

    KOP_Beer_OUtlet Initiate (0) Jul 13, 2013 Pennsylvania

    I wouldn't say watery....I use that word almost exclusively for BMC...I wish I had a word for what it is about Session IPA' me they just lack something and I don't find them as satisfying as a pale ale like JAWN
    drtth likes this.
  14. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,982) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Everybody has their own unique palate/vocabulary so communication can be challenging.

    What I personally find unappealing in the vast majority of the “Session IPAs” that I have tasted is a lack of body/mouthfeel. I personally use the term ‘watery’ to describe that situation.

    I have no recollection from any of the APAs that I have consumed having this same level of a lack of body/mouthfeel.

    My theory is that many brewers formulate their recipes for a “Session IPA” as simply being an IPA with less malt rather than taking a ‘bottoms up’ approach of just making a hoppy beer with less ABV. IMO, Carton did take a 'bottoms up' approach towards formulating the recipe for Carton Boat Beer and the results is a hoppy, lower ABV beer that does not lack body/mouthfeel.

  15. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Initiate (0) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey

    I use the term thin.
    hopfenunmaltz likes this.
  16. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,982) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Yup, a thin body makes sense.

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  17. CJNAPS

    CJNAPS Initiate (0) Nov 3, 2013 California

    I found that the easy jack from firestone is really tasty, I was surprised at how much flavor it had. IMO
  18. 1ale_man

    1ale_man Initiate (0) Apr 25, 2015 Texas

    Way back in the 70's I had a friend who worked at the Schlitz/Stroh brewery that has since closed. He said that the only difference between Old Milwaukee and Old Milwaukee Light was about 200 gallons of water. Maybe that's the watery taste here.Just a thought.
  19. Dandrewjohn

    Dandrewjohn Initiate (128) Apr 13, 2013 Texas

    Less robust, lower ABV? Sounds like a pale ale to me. Chasing something that's not there.
    machalel likes this.
  20. ToddSoonerFan

    ToddSoonerFan Disciple (316) Aug 23, 2013 Iowa

    My take, and I have become a Founders All Day fan. When I 1st tried the style, I will admit it is a weaker cousin to a regular IPA. But it grew on me because I don't want to get get drunk while mowing the lawn, cleaning out the garage, etc. when fresh, and that is key, it is a damn good beer. Better than any BMC. Cheers!
  21. Stignacious

    Stignacious Defender (696) Aug 24, 2011 New York

    If I had access to ESB's or Milds that weren't out of date, I would jump on that bandwagon in a second. Sadly, I go with whatever's freshest
  22. chipawayboy

    chipawayboy Devotee (448) Oct 26, 2007 Massachusetts

    Dude. That ridiculous.
  23. racer2k

    racer2k Initiate (0) May 21, 2004 Massachusetts

    Agree. I am don't normally seek out so called "session beers" but I happened to try Pinner and it was the best I have had so far..Yes a lighter ABV IPA but the hop profile is complex and very present. Highly recommended!
  24. Dustin_Sallitt

    Dustin_Sallitt Initiate (0) Dec 31, 2014 New Jersey

    Not sure if it has been mentioned here, but Boat beer by Carton is an unbelievable session ipa. BA has it rated as the 40 something best apa, but with all due respect, that's a joke. A must try.
    KSOZE, besch64 and Givemebeer like this.
  25. devilmakesthree

    devilmakesthree Initiate (0) Nov 27, 2013 Oregon

    Breakside Lunchbreak is the only session IPA I've really been able to get into.
  26. AugustusRex

    AugustusRex Initiate (0) Apr 12, 2013 Canada (ON)

    Any idea why there are separate styles on this site for English Pale Ale, Bitter and English IPA? How do the British categorize pale ale?
  27. patto1ro

    patto1ro Zealot (568) Apr 26, 2004 Netherlands

    But the original IPAs were session beers.
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  28. patto1ro

    patto1ro Zealot (568) Apr 26, 2004 Netherlands

    Just saw a session Tripel in the supermarket today: 3.8% ABV. Then again, I am in Belgium.
    cavedave likes this.
  29. edd562

    edd562 Initiate (0) Jun 11, 2014 California

    theres a reason i look for a fantastic IPA... Hops and Abv. Sessions just are not what i want...
  30. patto1ro

    patto1ro Zealot (568) Apr 26, 2004 Netherlands

    You've obviously never tasted a beer with a shit-load of Goldings.
  31. patto1ro

    patto1ro Zealot (568) Apr 26, 2004 Netherlands

    That's not true. In the 19th century British beer was the strongest in the world. Low-gravity British beer only evolved after 1916.
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  32. marquis

    marquis Champion (803) Nov 20, 2005 England

    And they used over half the world's entire hop production too.
  33. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (3,017) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Society Trader

    On behalf of everyone I know I would like to thank you guys for inventing the hopped up ale we really enjoy to drink here today.

    You are someone who has shown a great appreciation for session beer, as well as great knowledge about beer in general. What do you think is the secret(s) to brewing a full flavored, well hopped, low ABV ale that isn't watery and insubstantial, and is still pleasant and refreshing?

  34. SCW

    SCW Initiate (0) Jul 25, 2004 New York

    but in all fairness...take the carbonation out of a beer and drink it warm, and you will taste A LOT more flavor

    cold temperature and co2 rob a beer of its flavor....American session IPAs are drank cold and carbonated, whereas UK cask beer is nearly flat and cellar temperature or warmer
  35. drtth

    drtth Initiate (0) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    My goodness. You certainly have a lot of contempt for some of your friends, neighbors and family members.
  36. rgordon

    rgordon Meyvn (1,117) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    Well thanks for the clarification. Anyway, in my travels as a young fellow I remember very flavorful beer with lowish alcohol to be common all around England. It was very pleasant. The point is that beer need not be 8% to be tasty.
    What were the ABVs on those ales shipped to India during the colonial era?
  37. marquis

    marquis Champion (803) Nov 20, 2005 England

    They are just Pale Ales but often called Bitters and if the colour is right, Golden Ales.There are IPAs but these also include 20th century IPA which had nothing to do with lots of hops.Very often a pump clip will give details such as "a pale hoppy ale"

    Yes, UK beer was massively hopped before WW1. Ron ( @patto1ro ) has published a recipe for a Scotch Ale taken from the Younger's record book.It computes as 122 IBU. And we all know that the Scots didn't use that many hops, don't we ?
    The secrets are to use the best raw materials you can find, a suitable yeast and if possible cask conditioning. These shade the odds so a 4% ABV beer can pretend to be 5.5 or 6%.
    I was talking to an ex brewer who a few years ago moved to Michigan and although he loves the beer there feels it doesn't fight its weight.He does some homebrewing and his friends are convinced his beers are much stronger than the 4.5% ABV he aims for.In particular he feels that a lot of commercial beers are brewed with neutral yeasts whereas a lot more flavour is possible if these could be changed.
    machalel, cavedave and AugustusRex like this.
  38. BearsOnAcid

    BearsOnAcid Savant (950) Mar 17, 2009 Washington

    The Chico strain, et al, leaves a crisp clean IPA but it really robs the beer of potential flavor.
  39. whiskey

    whiskey Disciple (306) Feb 25, 2012 California

    It kills me how butthurt so many grown men get.

    There are actually posts of people upset because someone is "talking bad about" or "bashing" a beer style, or "feel free to not drink them then, kthxbye".

    It's a beer discussion board for fuck's sake!!!!!!!!! Jeebus.
  40. PorterPro125

    PorterPro125 Champion (850) Jan 19, 2013 Canada (NB)

    I've only had four or five Session IPA's so my experience with the style is quite limited but I do agree that the general consensus is a lack of flavour. I have, however, found one particular Session IPA that tastes like an incredible IPA with a 4.3% ABV.

    That beer is Muskoka Detour (Classified under American IPA here on BA)

    Thanks to this beer and what others are saying about Session IPA's in general, I feel that I will be generally disappointed with all other examples of the style.
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