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The Six Session Beers of Session Beer Day, 2016 (Ch. 1): Falls City Kentucky Common.
Thursday, April 7 is Session Beer Day 2016 ... and since it's one of my favorite holidays of the year, I'll be celebrating it.
Join me on a Session Beer Day Brewery Crawl on Thursday, April 7.
On April 7, I'll start before lunch (circa 11:00 a.m.) and traverse downtown Louisville on foot, walking from brewery to brewery and having a session beer at each. Most usually have at least one 4.5% choice on draft. The brewery list, traveling roughly west to east, would be: Falls City (Over the 9), Gordon Biersch, BBC 3rd Street, Against the Grain, Goodwood and Akasha.
For all intents and purposes, session beer consciousness as we know it today originates with Lew Bryson's Session Beer Project.
For our purposes, 'session beer' is defined as a beer that is:
- 4.5% alcohol by volume or less
- flavorful enough to be interesting
- balanced enough for multiple pints
- conducive to conversation
- reasonably priced
In 2015, I surveyed Gordon Biersch's Louisville location for Food & Dining Magazine. In recent years, I've come full circle, back to lagers -- and Biersch does good lager.
Consequently, unlike some other national brewery concepts, all Gordon Biersch house beers right here in Louisville, where chain or not, the company helped launch the Kentucky Guild of Brewers, working alongside the state’s independent small brewers.
Brewer Nicholas Landers tells me that a batch of Schwarzbier is on the way, and strictly speaking, it would make a better tipple for Session Beer Day at 4.3% abv (remember, I'm aiming for 4.5% abv and below). However, it looks as though my "certainly close enough for rock and roll" selection will be Golden Export.
Our lightest, most refreshing lager, delicately hopped with a clean, crisp finish. The demand was so high when it was first brewed in the 1870s, that it was "exported" to other regions.
Original gravity: 11.5° Plato
Alcohol by volume: 5.00%
Bitterness units: 17
The BJCP (2015) has this to say about German Helles Exportbier, and I concur: "Less finishing hops and more body than a Pils but more bitter than a Helles."
Oldtimers like me still think of "Export" in conjunction with brands from Dortmund (DAB and Dortmunder Union), though these aren't seen very often. Arguably the best known regional example of this style is Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold, out of Cleveland.
With Falls City and Gordon Biersch under my belt, next stop will be Bluegrass Brewing Company's 3rd Street location, across from the Yum Brands Arena.