Hello world of beer lovers that also love Happy Hour and The Brewery. It’s your favorite real life character Myles (from Happy Hour) with this weeks review of beer. Today I am not focusing on one beer from one brewery I’m going to talk about a style that many of you probably don’t even know exists. It’s called a session IPA.
I should hope that all of you know what an IPA is. If not I will tell you. IPA’s were born from the British pale ales that started to become popular in the early 1800s due to new brewing technologies that produced a fine clear ale with pronounced hop character that still remained well balanced. With the war in India the beer that had become so popular in England had to be shipped to the troops over seas. The lower hopped pale ale would often arrive at the Indian ports stale and sour. So the brewers upped the amount of hops, which have an antibacterial and sterilizing effect on the beer giving it a longer storage life. The troops grew to love the ultra hoppy flavor of the beer and IPA’s were soon a popular style on the mainland.
As is our want to do, us Americans copied the IPA style of beer and made it our own. Also as our want to do we upped the ante and added more hops and raised the ABV. A typical American IPA is typically 2.5% higher in alcohol content than its British predecessor. As our palates changed and our tastes grew weary of the same old styles we looked to our British brothers across the sea, to steal more ideas. The British use to have laws about when workers would be able to leave the factories and enjoy some downtime. And during this downtime they would enjoy imbibing of course a wee bit of ale. These were 4 hour spans where workers wanted to enjoy their ale yet remain able to get up and walk to work without puking all over themselves. So they would quaff session ales. A low alcohol yet tasty and well balanced brew that would satisfy their urge for a buzz yet leave them ready for another 8 hour shift. Usually between 3 and 4 % ABV these ales served their purpose.
So let’s wrap all this knowledge up in a neat little bundle. Our American love for hops plus British knowledge of session ales equals a beer that satisfies our love of hops yet lets us enjoy multiple beers in a single session, because come on, who doesn’t like killing a six pack by yourself over a lovely day of grilling or watching sports? Like I said, I wasn’t reviewing a single beer but I would recommend Bear Republic Nor-Cal or one of NJ’s newest breweries Carton Breweries Boat Beer. If you don’t know now you know- SUCKA.
Myles bartends at the Old Bay in New Brunswick, NJ, so he knows his beer. He is also one of The Breweries bestest friends.