Friday, April 5, 2013

Notch Issues Session Beer Day Manifesto this thing on? Check, check, one two...Hey! 

Good to see everyone, good to see everyone. Everyone got a beer? Yeah?! Well, me too, so CHEERS!

So hey, this Session Beer Day, April 7, is a pretty big thing, all right? And Chris, you know, at Notch? Chris decided we needed a manifesto. Yeah, to tell everyone what this is all about. I got it here, hang on... [pats pockets, finds and unfolds piece of cardboard with crayon scribblings] Yeah! Here it is. Check this out... 

The 2013 Session Beer Day Manifesto

This Session Beer Day, founded by the father of American Session Beer, Lew Bryson, Notch shall celebrate Session Beer as follows:

Beers of  4.5% ABV or less, flavorful, and built for multiple rounds. No negotiation, no interpretation.

Larger vessels, such as the Willi, Nonic and Glaskrug shall display your allegiance!

Stemmed glassware and all its variants shall be shunned!

Vessel sizes of 1/2 liters, imperial pints and full liters shall be celebrated!

Vessels sizes of less than 16 oz shall warrant a surcharge (said surcharge all ready applied in most locations)!

Toasts must be boisterous and plentiful, and begin with a rousing "hear, hear"!

Speak no ill will of beer, but speak not of beer! Speak of politics, religion, sport, art, love and friendship. But never bore your comrades with beer geekery!

Evaluating beer through swirling, excessive sniffing or discussion (see above) shall bring a swift boot!

Non-verbal actions, such as nodding one's head in approval of beer being consumed is allowable.

Note-taking or mobile app rating of any beer shall be cause for expulsion from any fun, forever!

Social media sharing of Session Beer Day shall be encouraged, especially during boisterous toasts of Glaskrugs and general session beer awesomeness! 

All right! Pretty cool! And look, that thing about mobile app guys want to get your Untappd badges, okay, but get it done and stop noodling. Drink and talk, drink and sing, drink and laugh, but here's my addition to the Manifesto: Session Beer Day isn't about the beer as much as it's about the drinking and the drinkers, and what we do while we're drinking. Have fun, enjoy the day, enjoy the company. Be German: talk to your tablemates. Be English: buy rounds. Be Czech: drink the same good beer at a steady pace all day. Be American: be loud!

Thanks to Chris Lohring of Notch Brewing for this very much tongue-in-cheek manifesto, and for all the great beer and great thinking he's done for session beer!

It's Always Sessiony in Philadelphia

And that's the only "Sunny" reference I'll make...but seriously?

Every day is Session Beer Day in Philly.

Shut up. As Walter Brennan said in "The Guns of Will Sonnett" (and I can't believe I remembered that in one take from a 1967 TV show), "No brag. Just facts." Let me back it up.

First, there are the great session beers we see from Victory (many of which don't make it far outside the area) -- Uncle Teddy's Bitter, Dark Lager, Milltown Mild, Donnybrook Stout, and the new seasonal Swing Session Saison -- and Sly Fox: O'Reilly's Stout and Chester County Bitter. Then here in town there are session beers in regular dispense from our two city brewers: Yards has the widely-available Brawler and Philadelphia Brewing the popular and sudsily-refreshing Kenzinger. And Nodding Head brewpub is almost always running two taps of session beer, and can barely keep their excellent Ich Bin Ein Berliner Weisse on tap during the warm weather -- no, really, people love it and drink the hell out of it.

We have these beers all the timeThey're part of the scene, and part of the reason a lot of people in Philly wonder just what the hell I'm doing with the Session Beer Project: why bother, we've got all that! Well, as the rest of you know, I do it because of love. You should all be so lucky.

That doesn't mean we don't do Session Beer Day! Yards is celebrating at their brewery taproom with specials on Brawler all day (noon to 4, and a great space) April 7; and Nodding Head will be running at least five taps of session beer, between 3.5 and 4.5% (plus their usual Sunday jazz brunch with Victor North's Jazz Trio, so, you know, can't lose, right?).

Just another wonderful day in America's Best Beer-Drinking City™...

Hey, you Session Beer Boy (and Girl) Scouts: Untappd has your merit badge!

Thanks to Untappd for granting Session Beer Day a badge again this year!
And once again, it's a twofer: drink a session beer (any beer listed as 4.5% ABV or less in Untappd's database o' beers), and you'll not only get the Session Beer Day 2013 badge, you'll automatically get the National Beer Day badge. Rather than fight over whose day April 7th was, we've agreed to share it. So raise a glass with whoever's drinking with you, check in and get your badge...and then put down your phone and enjoy the session!

SF, Come On IN! Session Beer Day at Magnolia w/Mavericks and 21st Amendment

Magnolia Gastropub and Brewery in San Francisco has been a friend of session beers for years, and I've enjoyed much less than my share (only because I don't get there anywhere near often enough, for which I blame the seductive call of the excellent beers at Toronado...) but always enjoyed the flavor and quality a lot. So it's no surprise that they're hosting a Session Beer Day event, a "half the taps takeover" with guest beers from 21st Amendment (whose Bitter American has done a lot to popularize the idea of session beer) and Mavericks, the new line of session beer fronted by Pete Slosberg, who -- with Pete's Wicked Ale -- did a lot to popularize the idea of craft beer back in the 90s. Here's the story from Pete:
Come celebrate with us at Magnolia Brewpub, at 1398 Haight St, San Francisco, this Sunday, and you can experience the true, wonderful, delicious world of Session Beers. Session Beers from Magnolia, Mavericks, and 21st Amendment will be taking over half the taps for the day, starting at 10am until they are gone. We look forward to seeing you there.
 There ARE other session beer events on the west coast (I'm pretty sure there are...), but this is going to be a good one, with solid supporters of the concept. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

How About Session Beer Day...TO GO!!!

Scott Smith at East End Brewing in Pittsburgh -- a serious supporter of session beer with his Session Ale Series and year-round Fat Gary's Nut Brown -- just Tweeted excellent news for Session Beer Day: discount growlers of session beer at the brewery and their Growler Store location! 
Here's the full story from East End's website: 

Happy SESSION BEER DAY, April 7th!
A bit of history: the Repeal of Prohibition didn't happen all at once. There was a "Little Repeal Day" where lower alcohol beer was first made legal in late March of 1933. This was eventually followed by the Full Repeall of the 18th Amendment late that year, which made all forms of drink legal again. Apparently as a nation, we needed to ease back into the pool since no one in the country had consumed a drink for roughly 13 years. Sure, let's go with that.

To celebrate this pre-victory against such absurdity, and to further the cause of treating GOOD BEER like the excellent social lubricant that we all know it to be, we're doing our part for Session Beer Day here in the US. And since we happen to have 3 Session Ales in our lineup right now (and we pretty much ALWAYS have 3 Session Ales in our lineup), we're running the following Growler special at both our locations on Sunday, on fillups of these three beers:
Fat Gary Nut Brown Ale (3.8%), Honey Heather Ale (4.0%), and The Bitter End (4.2%)
  • A buck off the fill up of a single Growler of any of these beers.
  • Two bucks off of EACH Growler when you fill two of them. ($4 total)
  • Three bucks off of EACH Growler when you fill three of them ($9 total)
And yes, this still works if you want to double/triple up on one beer.  So stop in and see us on Sunday.  Between tipping back a couple lower gravity beers on a school night and the 60 degree temps, it's going to be a great finish to the weekend!
Cheers - Scott

How can he do it? He's KUH-RAAAAAAAZEEE!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Or is the place to be New Albanian Brewing's Session Head 2013?

On the other another state, Roger Baylor's New Albanian Brewing is throwing their "Session Head" celebration on Session Beer Day; it's a new tradition of winding down from their longer-running "Gravity Head" celebration of huge beers. I was lucky enough to help celebrate the first Session Head last year, and it was a good time, as Roger recalls here, along with more details about this year's event AND the SBP.

Anyway, you want to know about the beers. Here you go, straight from Roger:

Here are the beers being featured at NABC’s Session Head 2013. Kindly note that the full list will be available ONLY at our Pizzeria & Public House location (the original Rich O's -- Lew). Meanwhile, as many of the NABC house session beers as possible will be tapped at Bank Street Brewhouse on Session Beer Day (Sunday, April 7). (and if the weather's nice, that's a beautiful location for it! -- Lew again)

NABC Community Dark … English Mild, 3.7% abv
NABC Get Off My Lawn … Session IPA, 4.2% abv
NABC Gold … Blonde Ale, 4.2% abv
NABC Grätzilla … Grätzer/Grodziskie, 3.3% abv
NABC Houndmouth …. Hoppy American Wheat, 4.5% abv
NABC Tafel … Belgian Table/Session Ale, 4% abv

Against the Grain Ludicrously Terse … English Bitter, 4.5% abv
Apocalypse Brew Works Hop Project: Simcoe … American Pale Ale, circa 4.5% abv
Country Boy Nacho Bait … Jalapeňo Blonde, 4.5% abv
Flat12 12 Penny Scottish Ale … Scottish Export Ale, 3.4% abv
Founders All Day IPA … Session IPA, 4.7% abv*
Stone Levitation Ale … Amber Ale, 4.4% abv
* a nudge high, but we’ll live with it (I'm officially averting my eyes...--Lew, last time)

Still more events to come!

Is the Bulls Head The Place To Be? Their list for Session Beer Day

Got this from Paul at the Bulls Head Pub in Lititz, Pa., a strong supporter of session beer.

This is all day for Session Beer Day (this Sunday, just to remind you).

Terrapin Easy Rider pale ale 4.4%
Summit Organic IPA 4.5%
Sly Fox O'Reillys nitro stout 3.6%
Round Guys Berliner weisse 3.7%
Free Will 10W porter 4.5%
Abita Purple Haze 4.2%
Yards Brawler 4.2%
Goose Island Honkers Ale 4.2%
Otter Creek Hop Session ale 4.25%
Goose Island 312 Wheat 4.2%
Coniston Bluebird 4.2%
Roy Pitz Old Jail ale 4.3%
Lindemans Framboise 4.0%
Kostritzer Dark 4.3%
Plus 2 backups!!
The casks will be Bullshead Mild (3.8%) and Sly Fox Chester County Bitter (4.5%)

And for those of you who are always complaining that session beer should be cheaper... All beers are $4.50 each!