Anyone looking for a good excuse to drink a beer at lunch today – and really, having one is okay, even encouraged – can take solace in the fact that today is the day to do it.
April 7 unofficially marks not only National Beer Day but Session Beer Day, a holiday based around celebrating flavorful, yet low in alcohol, session beers.
First hatched by whiskey/beer scribe Lew Bryson in 2012, the day loosely recognizes Little Repeal Day, when 4.0% ABV beer became legal before the repeal of the 18th Amendment. It may fall on a Monday this year, but as Bryson points out, “It’s session beer, that’s what this is about. So get on it and drink!” Bryson’s Session Beer Project, a project he started several years ago to channel his efforts, technically classifies session beer as anything under 4.5% ABV (alcohol by volume). It’s a loose term though—Some Brits refuse to acknowledge anything over 4.0% ABV as session beer while the Brewer’s Association (.PDF) defines session beer as anything that falls between 4.1% and 5.1% ABV.
While it’s far from a sponsored or sanctioned event, this is likely the closest it’ll come to being official. Mounting Twitter buzz (see the hashtag #SessionDay) has certainly helped. A full slate of events are scheduled for around the country and bar owners nationwide have been encouraged to put a few sub-5.0% ABV beers on tap today.
A handful of breweries have recently followed suit too, pushing out a wave of new ‘sessionable’ beers to market. Surely beer drinkers have seen aggressively hoppy but lower ABV offerings like Boulevard Brewing’s Pop-Up IPA (4.4% ABV), Founders All Day IPA (4.7% ABV) or Lagunitas’ similarly named Daytime IPA (4.6% ABV) invade Boston shelves as of late. The beers more or less have the same gist – they’re hoppy, crushable, and not too unwieldy. Still though, these kinds of beers invite debate: Isn’t a session IPA just a pale ale? Will breweries make their next beers truly sessionable and lower their ABV below 4.5%?
In the end though, really, can an influx of tasty new beer choices be a bad thing?
Chris Lohring’s Notch Brewing has managed to stay fiercely dedicated to session beer and continues to churn out 12-packs of its Session Pils, along with several other exciting offerings on draft and in 22 oz. bottles. We loved the Corn Lager and patiently await Left of the Dial cans (soon!). The brewery is ringing in Session Beer Day today at Deep Ellum at 5 p.m. with some of their offerings, gratis mugs and several other sessionable options.
Not sure what to drink? Try hoisting a frosty .5 L mug – or cracking multiple bottles – of the following today:
|1.||Aecht Schlenkerla – Helles Lager – on tap, in bottles around Boston|
Bonus: Get a tall glass alongside a Giant Haus Bretzel or sausages at Union Square’s Bronwyn.
Any I-don’t-drink-on-Mondays folks still needing an excuse to enjoy a beer tonight… today also marks National Beer Day. On this day 81 years ago the Cullen-Harrison Act went into effect, bringing to an end years of prohibition in the United States.
How fortuitous it is that both beer enthusiast holidays happen to fall on the same day…
|2.||Notch Černé Pivo – on tap at Deep Ellum|
|3.||Mystic Table Beer – in bottles, around Boston|
|4.||Lost Nation Gose – on tap at Deep Ellum, other bars in Boston, Cambridge|
|5.||Stone Go To IPA – on tap at Deep Ellum, in bottles around Boston|