Stan Hieronymus has taken up the cause and reviewed a session beer, Provo Girl Pilsner, on his Appellation Beer blog (a very good blog, check the link to the left):
Keep the ball rolling: if you got a blog, please review/talk up some session beers!
Oh, and you website beer raters? How about a little session beer love, eh?
As I said to Stan on his blog, I don't think it is fair that session beers get such low ratings. That is a problem with beer rating sites, and the concept of rating the beer in general. I really believe many beer geeks don't get session beers. You will see consistantly the highest rated beers, are the over the top monsters. I was scoffed at on ratebeer.com for rating beers to "high". A rater once called me out on my palate because I rated Smithwick's a 5. Get just could not understand how I found that beer to be world class.
Great idea, Lew. I do think there are a lot of guys out there that came to this conclusion some time ago, even before imperialization hit. I think of Bill Moore at Sunnybrook, in particular. Drinkability is a big factor when rating a beer; I mean, ask yourself if you really want another one, or a few. Is this the social lubricant you want to sit with?
Session beer is more about being background than subject, it's something to help keep your party going. And it’s regular session patrons that keep the taps open at the local brewpub, not the sampler tasters or exotica sleuths. As an example, of the over 100 mug club members at Lancaster BC, most are doing 25-75 25 oz mugs a year. Some are doing hundreds.
I agree that another big factor is that it’s reasonably priced. It sort of has to be. Pitchers are a help here and there are just some beers that can’t play. When was the last time you bought a pitcher of Gouden Carolus D'Or - Cuvée Van De Keizer for the table? Serious beer tasters have to get around to score the goods. Cash register jingling extended sessions just slow you down.
The canard that a microbrewer catering to session drinkers, but not the dilettantes, somehow has “failed” is still alive and unwell. I remember visiting GG in Keswick PA and being warned to put the note paper and pencil away. No Raters Allowed! I wonder what would have happened if Sandy Mitchell was along and flopped out the tasting ledgers?? What irony; beer geeks being tossed from a brewpub simply because of who they are. But this is just the sort of inversion the craft session beer fan is after.
So Lew, onward and upward. Thanks for taking this on.
Jim “Beer Island” Weber, Lancaster PA
“Now is the best time in the history of the world to be a beer drinker.”
Thank you, Jim: welcome aboard!
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