Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Come drink beer with me on Session Beer Day, April 7, 2016.

As noted in January, Lew Bryson has returned to beer and beer blogging. Happily, he's been beating the drum about Session Beer Day, 2016.

Specifically, Lew has issued a challenge to brewers.


... If you're a brewer interested in participating, it's simple. The "session IPA" has taken over the American session beer category, when it was supposed to be a meta-category, a category that would include many different types of beer at 4.5% and less. Session beer awareness is supposed to be about increasing choices for the beer drinker...and we largely got one extra choice out of it.

Snap out of it! Take this opportunity to show off your skills and make a session-strength beer, 4.5% or less (you can do it; you can go lower!), that doesn't rely on shouting hops for all its character. We get it, brewers know how to make a light, wildly hoppy beer: EVERY brewer's doing it.

Be different! On April 7th, show us some real innovation, or some real skills to make a beautiful example of a classic session-strength beer that stands apart from the herd of 'monkey-see, monkey-do' dialed-down IPAs.

I cannot "like" this sentiment often enough. This year's Session Beer Day takes place on Thursday, April 7, and I feel a scheme coming on.

Of course, for several years at NABC, I've tried to coordinate Session Beer Day as the de facto "close" of Gravity Head. Lew was in town once for the occasion. I'm no longer in a position to make NABC's observance happen, and cannot be sure if it will. In fact, I've been shrugging so often lately that I may be compelled to break with practice and visit a chiropractor.

But I've bounced the date off Rick Stidham at Akasha Brewing Company in Louisville, who thinks he might have as many as three session beers pouring. He'd like to do something to mark the occasion. There is no firm plan (yet) apart from holding a ceremony at Akasha later in the afternoon, and yet this should be sufficient to keep the tradition alive.

As for me, I'm toying with the idea of starting before lunch and traversing downtown Louisville on foot, much like Leopold Bloom in James Joyce's Ulysses -- walking from brewery to brewery, and having a session beer at each. Most usually have at least once 4.5% choice available on draft.

I'm doing pints, and won't be driving. If I could manage this without a single "Session IPA," it would suit me just fine.

The brewery list, traveling roughly west to east, would be Falls City, Gordon Biersch, BBC 3rd Street, Against the Grain, Goodwood and Akasha. Others might be too far away to walk, but perhaps they could sell kegs to Akasha for duty on the guest taps.

I know: It's a work day, and so is Friday. However, if you're interested in joining me, let me know. I just may see you on Session Beer Day, 2016.


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