Tagged: session ale

Ballast Point Even Keel

EVEN KEEL: 96 Points

Excellently crafted

Excellently crafted

This Session IPA is available year-round in 12 oz. cans and bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Our Even Keel is a hoppy ale designed for smooth sailing. A full-flavored beer with a silky malt backbone and a bright hop profile of herbs and citrus, it packs all the taste of an IPA in a sessionable alcohol content. This ale is perfect for leisurely days on the water, when all you want are a few beers and a level ride.”

My Description: This is a well executed Session IPA with big hop notes and a noticeable body. It begins with a decent sized, white colored head that fades slowly to a ring leaving behind an excellent amount of lacing. The aroma is welcoming with lots of hop notes including citrus hops, herbal hops, and faint bread notes. Even Keel is lighter bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is very clean and bright with notes of citrus hops, grapefruit, pine hops, and some floral hops. The aftertaste is moderately bitter with lingering resin hop notes. There is a lot of flavor in such a low alcohol beer and the malt backbone does come through, this is nicely done. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with fish and chips, Mongolian BBQ, or soft cheeses.

ABV: 3.8% Color: Dark Gold/Orange Sweetness: 1.5/10 Bitterness: 5.5/10

North Peak Wanderer

WANDERER: 78 Points

Keep Wandering

Keep Wandering

This Session IPA is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “North Peak Wanderer is a Session IPA. The combination of full hop flavor and lower alcohol gives Wanderer a wonderful drinkability. It has a light, clean and refreshing body, and is hopped with Centennial, Citra and Simcoe hops giving Wanderer a citrus and pine finish.”

My Description: This ale just feels like it wasn’t made with the freshest ingredients. It begins with a good sized, off-white colored head with an excellent retention level and a decent amount of lacing. The aroma is interesting with notes of grains, caramel malt, and an overall earthy presence. Wanderer is light/medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile could use some work; it is sharp and slightly unbalanced. Grain notes set the foundation along with notes of bready malt, pine hops, and a hint of citrus hops. The aftertaste is moderately bitter and lingers for some time. Overall, this is more of a chugging beer than one to enjoy. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with grilled chicken, fried shrimp salads, or a soft pretzel.

ABV: 4.2% Color: Golden Orange Sweetness: 2/10 Bitterness: 4.5/10

Muskoka Brewery Detour

DETOUR: 90 Points

I'd stop here

I’d stop here

This Session IPA is available year-round in 11.5 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Muskoka Detour is a 4.3% abv ale described as a “sessionable IPA” with a “rewarding aroma and big hop flavours.”

My Description: Muskoka has delivered an easy drinking beer that doesn’t sacrifice flavor and body. It pours a decent sized, white colored head that lasts the whole way leaving behind a nice amount of lacing. The aroma smells clean and inviting with notes of tropical and citrus hops along with a hint of spice. Detour is light/medium bodied with a slightly higher carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is enjoyable with notes of citrus hops and a hint of herbal hops. Pale malt notes can also be detected. The aftertaste is moderately bitter and satisfying. This is a nicely executed session IPA. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with grilled jerk chicken, Thai noodles, or a spicy salad.

ABV: 4.3% Color: Hazy Gold Sweetness: 1.5/10 Bitterness: 4.5/10

Great Lakes Sharpshooter

SHARPSHOOTER: 88 Points

Hit's the target

Hit’s the target

This session IPA is released seasonally in early Summer in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Inspired by Ohio’s “little sure shot” Annie Oakley, our Session Wheat IPA is peppered with rounds of whole orange peel and fully loaded with Jarrylo hops.”

My Description: A slightly different approach to a Session IPA, this beer delivers in flavor and body despite its low ABV. It begins with a good sized, white colored head with an excellent retention level that holds the whole way leaving behind a great amount of lacing. The aroma is clean and inviting with notes of wheat malt, crackers, herbal hops, and an overall citrus presence. Sharpshooter is light/medium bodied with a slightly higher carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is refreshing and enjoyable. Earthy undertones set the foundation holding up notes citrus, wheat malt, herbal hops, and touch of spice. The aftertaste is moderately bitter and satisfying. This is an easy drinking beer with a good amount of flavor for a small beer. I like the wheat addition to this Session IPA. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with seared scallops, salads, or grilled asparagus.

ABV: 4.8% Color: Hazy Gold Sweetness: 1.5/10 Bitterness: 3.5/10

Oskar Blues Pinner Throwback IPA

PINNER THROWBACK IPA: 90 Points

Roll it up!

Roll it up!

This Session IPA is available year-round in 12 oz. cans.

Brewer’s Description: “How do you cram as much hop & malt flavor and aroma as possible into a beer but make it crushable too? That’s the challenge we answered with PINNER Throwback IPA. At 4.9% ABV and 35 IBUs, this drinkable IPA uses several varieties of hops to target the ever-evolving flavor. With tropical fruits, citrus juices, pineapple and spice berry up front in the aroma and flavor, the biscuit & toasted bread at the back balance out all the hops and make a great finish to go on to your next can of PINNER. It’s the perfect beer for a little sip, sip, give.”

My Description: Pinner makes for a great beer when watching the game. It begins with a good sized, white colored head that fades to a thin film leaving behind a nice amount of lacing. The aroma is potent and very welcoming with notes of grapefruit hops and hints of grain. Pinner is lighter bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile isn’t as potent as the aroma but there are still great flavor notes here. Grapefruit hops with a hint of berry flavor along with some malt presence. The aftertaste is moderately low in bitterness and refreshing. This beer is easy drinking with great hop notes; it’s a great session IPA for any occasion. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with fried chicken salads, grilled tilapia, or seasoned roasted vegetables.

ABV: 4.9% Color: Gold/Straw Sweetness: 1.5/10 Bitterness: 3.5/10

Boulevard Pop-Up Session IPA

POP-UP SESSION IPA: 95 Points

Excellent Body

Excellent Body

This Session IPA has an IBU of 40.5 and is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Boulevard Pop-Up Session I.P.A. joins its big brothers Single-Wide and Double-Wide in our trailer park of hop-centric beers. This “session” model is built for frequent excursions, with a very drinkable character and relatively low bitterness tucked behind a big, fruity hop aroma.”

My Description: When it comes to Session IPA’s, there must be noticeable hop flavors and bitterness along with a good malt backbone and a low ABV. This beer has it all. It pours a very large and fluffy, white colored head that lasts forever leaving behind a large amount of lacing. The aroma smells awesome with grapefruit hops and tropical hops dominating along with notes of pineapples and pine hops; the aroma is real nice and a great indicator of what this beer will taste like. Pop-Up is medium bodied with a moderately high carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is delicious with potent citrus hop notes coming through and a solid malt backbone to give this beer body and flavor. Faint pine hop notes, some malt sweetness, and a touch of tang add character and enjoyment. The aftertaste is slightly bitter making for a smooth finish. This beauty is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with burgers, Hawaiian pizza, or a BBQ pork sandwich.

ABV: 4.3% Color: Golden/Copper Sweetness: 2/10 Bitterness: 3/10

Lagunitas Day Time

DAY TIME: 94 Points

All the time

All the time

This Session IPA is available for a limited time in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Sometimes you want a beer, then you realize how much crap you need to do before you call it a day. This is it. Nicely dosed with Big, Round Hop Flavors and a Toasty Malt Foundation to satisfy your every need. But it still lets you stay in the game to do what needs to be done. Yup.”

My Description: Day Time leaves you wanting more because not only is it delicious, but it does not taste watered down or like any other light beer. It pours a large, white colored head with a great retention level that holds the whole way leaving behind a good amount of lacing. The aroma smells like I’m in the middle of a hop farm. It is fresh, strong, and clean with notes of grapefruit hops and some tropical hop notes as well. Day Time is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The thing with this Session IPA is that it has body even though it is light in alcohol, it makes this beer satisfying and enjoyable. Upfront, there are flavor notes of pale malts, bread, grapefruit hops, and some light tangerine notes. The aftertaste is moderately bitter and slightly prickly that lingers for some time. Resiny is a good word to describe how the hops feel in this beer, real nice. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with burgers, blackened grilled fish, or grilled asparagus.

ABV: 4.65% Color: Light Gold Sweetness: 2/10 Bitterness: 4.5/10

Firestone Walker Easy Jack

EASY JACK: 89 Points

Straight Chillin

Straight Chillin

This Session IPA has an IBU of ~45 and is released seasonally in the Spring in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Brewmaster Matt Brynildson went to the mountain and returned with a vision for a different kind of Session IPA, one that would be brewed and dry hopped with a globetrotting selection of new hop varieties from Europe, New Zealand and North America. He foresaw a beer that would deliver massive hop aromas, a signature malt balance and an empty glass before you knew what hit you. And so the newest member of our Jack IPA family was born.”

My Description: Easy Jack is a pleasure to drink and a six pack is an easy purchase. I just wish it had more intensity, the flavors are great but the bitterness is a little low for my liking. This is a session IPA, not a session ale, categorically speaking. It pours a good sized, white colored head that fades to a film and leaves behind a noticeable amount of lacing. The aroma is strong and welcoming with tangerine hops, tropical hops, and a touch of pine hops. I feel that the aroma is the best part of this beer, it is very aromatic and smells fresh. Easy Jack is light/medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. An apparent malt backbone with notes of caramel malt holds up an array of hop flavors including: tropical hops, grapefruit hops, and some pine notes as well. This transitions cleanly into a slightly bitter finish that is refreshing and enjoyable. It is best served with Hawaiian pizza, salads, or grilled fish.

ABV: 4.5% Color: Golden Sweetness: 2/10 Bitterness: 3/10

Great Divide Lasso

LASSO: 78 Points

Subtle flavors

Subtle flavors

This Session IPA is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “LASSO is the new frontier of India Pale Ale. Brewed with a robust roundup of Columbus, Centennial and Cascade hops, its sessionable simplicity proves bigger isn’t always better. But make no mistake – the Wild West hasn’t gone mild. That same untamed IPA spirit thrives, and we reckon this’ll go down mighty fine.”

My Description: This is an average session IPA. It pours a large, off-white colored head dissipates slowly to a thin film that holds the rest of the way leaving behind an abundant amount of lacing. The aroma is subtle and simple with light grain notes, grassy hops, and some pine hops as well. Lasso is light/medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile follows the nose closely with grassy hops and pine hops coming through along with a hint of hop spice. Some grain notes make an appearance and the aftertaste is slightly bitter. However, the flavors seem to lake depth and overall the body feels watered down. It’s a good beer to grab a six pack of and drink during the game if your options are limited. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with a veggie pizza, grilled fish tacos, or sautéed shrimp.

ABV: 5% Color: Orange/Amber Sweetness: 2/10 Bitterness: 3/10

Stone Go To IPA

STONE GO TO IPA: 94 Points

Easy Go To Choice

Easy Go To Choice

This Session IPA has an IBU of 65 and is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “This beer employed the “hop bursting” technique, which in essence is a hopping method where all or most of the bitterness in the beer comes from late hop additions in the brewhouse, like at the end of boil and in the whirlpool, instead of the more traditional approach where most of the hop bitterness comes from earlier additions at the start of the kettle boil. The result is a beautifully aromatic beer with substantial, but somewhat mellow, bitterness. The hop bursting also enhances the flavor retention of the hops, and combined with the dry hop, creates a very intense and complex hop flavor.”

My Description: This is a very clear beer, it almost looks like a Pilsner when poured. It has a good sized, white colored head with a sub-par retention and it leaves behind a nice amount of lacing. The aroma is amazingly aromatic. It smells so fresh and juicy that it’s almost unrivaled. Big grapefruit and stone fruit hop notes and a touch of malt immediately invite you to drink. Go To is lighter bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. This ale has everything you want in a session beer; it is crisp, easy drinking, refreshing, and tasty. Strong grapefruit notes dominate with pine hops and light fruit note additions. A touch of malt adds some body but otherwise this beer is all hops. The aftertaste is moderately bitter and will linger. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with fried chicken salads, Thai noodles, or Cajun shrimp.

ABV: 4.5%  Color: Light Gold/Orange  Sweetness: 2/10  Bitterness: 5/10

STAR ISLAND SINGLE: 83 Points

Star Island? Perhaps Mediocre Island

This Session Ale is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “This medium-bodied golden ale features a slight residual sweetness from Honey Malt and hints of citrus and tropical fruits from the unique Belgian yeast it is fermented with, leaving a crisp dry finish.”

My Description: This is designed to be an easy drinking beer that you can drink a lot of because of its relative lower alcohol content and crisp body.  It has a decent sized, white colored head with a good retention level and good lacing. The aroma is mildly spicy and grainy with an apparent note of citrus. It is roughly medium bodied with a higher carbonation level and a semi-dry finish. It is a nicely balanced beer with some citrus flavor and a touch of malt up front which transitions into a faint aftertaste with just the hint of bitterness. It is a good enough Session beer but the flavors were just too faint for me to really enjoy it. It is best served around 42°F and pairs nicely with sauteed shrimp, a light salad, or a chicken sandwich.

ABV: 4.7%  Color: Pale Gold  Sweetness: 2.5/10  Bitterness: 2/10