Posted on May 10th, 2011
About the beer:
Craft beer is all about options. With the rise in popularity of higher alcohol craft beers some are turning their interests towards other options in the form of an up and coming category in the craft beer community – session beer. Awareness over the session style of brewing has risen over the last two years with many American breweries creating some tremendous crafted ales, all of which carrying significantly lower ABVs than the stereotypical craft ale.
The term “session” finds it’s origins in the UK and refers to the allowable drinking periods that were imposed on production workers during World War I. The licensed sessions were 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 7 to 11 p.m. Workers would find a beer that they could adequately quench their thirst with during these restrictive “sessions” that were imposed by the government without getting legally drunk.
With this groundswell of awareness and rich history to live up to, enter Notch Session Ale, an independently brewed ale which is the brain child of Notch brewer and founder Chris Lohring. In collaboration with his friends at Ipswich Ale Brewery of Ipswich, MA, Chris is brewing low-gravity American style session beers that pack immense amounts of robustness and flavor without heavy alcohol content.
While it’s certainly not the most exciting ale you’ll ever try the Notch Session Ale is both incredibly drinkable and high flavored.
The first time most of the Beeriety crew had heard about Notch Brewing was when they showcased their lineup this past October at the Boston Lobster Party. In my mind the term “high flavor ” has always been synonymous with higher ABV. High in flavor, while being short on the alcohol, feels almost like something most craft beer enthusiasts and homebrewers would scratch their head about.
After finishing the first bottle of the Notch American Session ale I was overly impressed with how much flavor this beer had while staying true to the lower ABV style. Exceptionally soft and malty, this ale also comes away with a mouthful of hops, leaving a long and pleasant after taste. While describing the beer to a friend I likened it to a Sam Adams Boston Lager, which we are both pretty familiar with flavor profile wise, but with significantly less hops.
3 out of 5: Worth A Try
What are you drinking? Try a Notch Session Ale this week and tell us what else you’re drinking. Tag your Twitter updates, Tumblr posts and Flickr photos of your Beer of the Week with the #mybeer hashtag to tell us what you’re drinking!