That's right, he's throwing a bunch of session beers on and giving me a chance to talk about this passion of mine for great-tasting 'little beers.' Now, I do have to say: there are a few beers in the bunch that are over 4.5%. It ain't a perfect world. But it's a PAYG event, with pints and half pints, so if you don't want the 4.5+ beers, don't buy them. Or do, suit yourself. They'll also have specialty hot dogs, made by chef Jason Goodman, and I'm looking forward to that, too.
So, the deets: The fest will be at Farmer's Cabinet (1113 Walnut St., Philly) all day, on both Sept 9 and 10, Friday and Saturday. I'll be speaking about session beers at 1:30 on Saturday (I have an all-day meeting Friday, or I'd hike my butt in for that one, too); it's going to be a bit of a pep rally for session beers, but I'll talk about the hows and whys, like how they're made to taste so good, and why I set my limit at 4.5%. But mostly? We'll be drinking 26 tap beers and 2 gravity pours (one German, one English). Four of those 26 will be Terry's beers, some of the first brewed at the former Shenandoah brewery in Arlington, VA; if you know Terry's beers from the Bullfrog, you'll know why I'm excited about those.
Now, as Matt said: "Prices will vary, but European craft beer is not cheap - even when the ABV is low. I will try to keep them as low as possible, but the price point will not be $3 or $4 a pint, but probably around 6 or 7. Unfortunately, just because a beer is lighter in color and lower in alcohol, doesn't mean it costs any less to buy. I certainly wish that was the case!"
I liked something else he told me:
To be frank, Lew, I am rarely in the mood these days for a boozy or remotely heavy beer. I'd rather be able to have a "session" without feeling loaded or tired. Furthermore, there is something very special and sophisticated about a well made session beer, which is not an easy task for a brewer! I'm on a mini-mission to expose to people the beauty of a low abv, drinkable ale or lager. Bigger is not always better. I hope the american craft beer scene understands this in years to come and the philosophy of 'whiskey barrel aged 10% triple hopped continuously for 6 weeks and then aged in another barrel and wet hopped' is better" soon comes to a close and there is more emphasis put on balance and refinement! Hence good session beers.Yup. Sounds right to me.