Session IPA. Say what you will about endless variations on an already ubiquitous style, but this beer is an anti-whale. It doesn’t age or travel well. It’s not for cellaring or note-taking or dissection. It’s not for sniffing in your best crystal stemware. Simply put, this is a beer for drinking.
We get so hung up on the huge, elusive rarities in the beer world that we forget about beers brewed for simple enjoyment. Statistically speaking, it’s what the vast majority of people, now or in the past, think of when they envision “having a beer.” The pyramids were not built by workers fed on barrel-aged collaboration stouts. Welsh coal miners and Dortmunder steel workers and Wallonian farmhands were not camping out for rare beer releases. Long before the culture of collecting whales, beer has always been, at least in some part, an accessible and pleasurable beverage for everyday people.
Following in the tasty footsteps of Summit Us & Them (Second Thread), Firestone Walker Easy Jack, Founders All Day, Ska Rudie, Lagunitas DayTime, Oskar Blues Pinner, and many others, this month’s project is a sub-5% ABV hop-juice crusher.
It is arguably Instagram-worthy, but then the entire time you’re staging the pic, you’re not enjoying the actual experience and the pint is hemorrhaging volatile hop terpenes, unappreciated, into the atmosphere. #WhatAWaste.
Going by the numbers
“Session”-anything is pretty squishy territory in terms of stylistic parameters, but the Brewers Association 2015 Style Guidelines will go so far as to tell us:
- Original Gravity: 1.038–1.052
- Apparent Extract/Final Gravity: 1.008–1.014
- Alcohol by Volume: 3.70%–5%
- Bitterness (IBU): 40–55
- Color SRM: 4–12
A recipe to try
Pequod Session IPA
Target OG: 1.045, Target IBU: 43–45
- 5.5 pounds Rahr 2-row Pale
- 1 pound Weyermann Munich I
- 1 pound Rahr White Wheat malt
- 12 ounces Simpsons Caramalt
1 ounce Idaho 7
- 1 ounce Mandarina Bavaria
- 1 ounce Galaxy
- Your favorite American or clean-ish English ale strain; I’m going to use Wyeast 1318
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