Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Session Beer Gets New Attention in the UK as Well

I've been meaning to put up a link to this article for months; it came out in November of 2015! Seems like a good time. It's about Tweed Brewing Company, in Hyde, England, outside the Manchester ring road. They're focusing on lower-ABV beers, "reinventing the pint", and although they have beers as "big" as 5.0%, most of them are 4.5% and under.

I just love what they have to say about session beer's perception as "samey." Here's the start of the interview with co-founder Sam Ward:
Well, the idea of Tweed all started over a pint. Myself, Dave [Ward, Sam's father] and Anthony [Lewis] were all sat around talking about how session beers were so boring and samey. We all pointed out that if you wanted something quirky and tasty you had to start moving into the 5% plus beers, which we weren’t really into.
Anthony, being a commercial brewer by trade, said that session beer doesn’t have to be that way and went on to say that it’s all usually bitter and dry is because the customer in the pub wanted that… usually male drinkers.
We sat around and said that beer should be for everyone, men and women and also appeal to a younger drinker. Anthony went on to say that it’s very easy to keep a beer sweet and tasty and eradicate the dryness and bitterness.
And that’s really where the foundations of Tweed were laid. A brewery that was hell bent on reinventing the session beer.
Sounds good to me, although I'd note that having sweet and dry and bitter as choices is even better. But I love the idea that English brewers felt a need to re-invent the session beer. Goes with this excellent Gustav Mahler quote a friend made me familiar with today (thanks, Tom):

Tradition is not the Worship of Ashes, 
but the Preservation of Fire. 

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