Rise of the Session Beer

Rise of the Session Beer

What is a Session Beer?

With the growth in Craft Beer popularity over the last decade you may have noticed the growing increase of the term “session” used in the names of some of the beers available down at your local pub. But what does the term ‘session’ really mean?

Definition of session

A beer given the term “session”, normally relates to the alcohol content within. The idea for a session beer is that it’s the type of beer you enjoy over a drinking session where you can have multiple beers without getting overly drunk. Normally the alcohol percentage of session beers is around 4% which allows for casual relaxed drinking.

Why the need for session beer?

The term was originated within the craft beer industry. Craft beers typically tend to contain a far higher alcohol percentage than the standard mass-produced commercial beers like Heineken, Budweiser, Fosters etc. These are the type of beers you can drink over a long session without getting too drunk. If you tried to drink Craft Beer at the rate you drink regular beer you would end up worse for wear very quickly!

Therein lies the need for a session beer. Its craft beers answer to the need to be able to casually drink many beers over the course of a “session”.

Most craft breweries will offer a session beer these days, whether that’s a Session IPA, Session Ale, Session Pilsner etc. These tend to be some of the breweries biggest sellers representing a key market positioning on price as well as alcohol content. Generally, Craft Beers are high in alcohol content which also makes them expensive. The Session beer allows craft breweries to target the 4% alcohol range and at a lower price which is generally far more favoured by pubs giving these breweries the chance to grab an exclusive tap spot.

The success of the session beer can be seen with Anspach & Hobday's Nitro Porter “London Black”. Firmly placed as a competitor to Guinness at 4.2% ABV, it is by far the biggest seller within their range despite having a number of other dark beer, Porter options at around 8%+ ABV.  

The Beer Club

Join our beer club to taste some of the best session beers being brewed around the country at the moment! Our subscription boxes have beers of a wide range of ABV level. Session Beers have the lowest alcohol (and calorie!) content at around 4% ABV and we also have stronger beers right up to DIPA’a and TIPA’a at 9% ABV.

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