Insatiable Sessionables

Issue 000 | pp 42-43 | 01.04.2019

Insatiable Sessionables

Melissa Monosoff MS Certified Cicerone

Whomever thought of taking one of the most popular styles of beer and lowering its alcohol to allow for “drink- more ability” deserves a gold star, as shown by the strong popularity of the session IPA. Ever more breweries are making these easy drinking, big, bold, hoppy flavored beers—with all the ibus hop heads love but half of the abv.

Classic IPA’s and double IPA’s balance the bitterness of hops with the sweetness of malt, but extra malt elevates alcohol into the 7-9% range. That’s pretty high for an extended drinking “session.” The best lower alcohol IPA s manage to retain bitter hop-forward flavor but also keep it in balance despite less malty character and less body from alcohol. Here is a six-pack of my favorites.

Founders “All Day IPA”

Photographer: Anna Hubnik

Grand Rapids, Michigan

From a producer known for one of the best IPA’s in America, this was one of the first on the scene and is still at the top with its citrusy, piney version is true to the brewery’s form.

(4.7% ABV, 42 IBUS)

Photographer: Anna Hubnik

Oasis Brewing “Meta Modern”

Austin, Texas

Two outstanding hop varieties—citra and mosaic—make this one of my favorite texas examples.

(4.5%ABV, 45 IBUS)

Photographer: Anna Hubnik

Ballast Point “Even Keel”

San Diego, California

One of the most popular producers of san diego style IPA, ballast point was one of the first on the scene with their well-balanced, citrus and American hop-forward style.

(3.5% ABV, 50 IBUS)

Photographer: Anna Hubnik

Deep Ellum “Easy Peasy IPA”

Dallas, Texas

Released just a few weeks ago, this beer is sure to become one of DEBC’s most popular. The welcome addition of tangerine and lemon peel play perfectly with the pacific northwest hops in this beer.

(5.2%ABV, 40 IBUS)

Photographer: Anna Hubnik

Oskar Blues “Pinner”

Boulder, Colorado

The welcome bits of tonguein-cheek humor on this label (referring to the throw-back nature of this, plus a little one-liner on the smoking of blunts) is well noted in the piney, cannabis-like nature of the hops.

(4.9% ABV, 35 IBUS)

Photographer: Anna Hubnik

Firestone Walker “Easy Jack”

Paso Robles, California

Easy jack is the session version of firestone Walker’s flagship beer.

A true cocktail of hop varieties spanning the globe from europe to

New Zealand. Spot on hop and malt balance.

(4.7% ABV, 50 IBUS)

Reprint from TEXSOM presents SOMMELIER Volume 000, pages 42–43

Photographer: Anna Hubnik