Summer Session IPA

March 14, 2014 at 1:00 pm 8 comments

Session IPAs are my new favorite beer. I have always been a hop head but the side effect of my love for the heavy hop has been wooziness after two or three pints and a cloying headache. A session IPA is a great way to get that hop fix during a sunny afternoon without having to write off the rest of your day.

What is a “Session” Beer?

A session beer is a beer you can drink for a long time, for a “session”. They are very low in alcohol, running in the 4%-5% ABV range. Beers that are labeled session beers are usually blondes, lagers, or light ales. Some examples of session beers are Pike Brewing’s Naughty Nellie, Freya’s Gold from Odin Brewing, and the aptly named Session from Full Sail.

No Hop Head Ache

As I mentioned above, to get that yummy hop flavor you have to deal with the higher alcohol content of a typical IPA, somewhere between 6% and 8%. The session IPA trend has breweries creating beers with the assertive hop flavor of an IPA but with the low ABV of a session ale. A great example of this is the seasonal release from Fremont Brewing, 77 Session IPA. It has a wonderful hop flavor and a low ABV of 4%.

Summer is on its way and I hope to be enjoying a few of pints of this simple, home brewed recipe during those long, summer afternoons.

Summer Session IPA

Batch Size
3 gallons

Steeping Grains
3 oz. American Crystal 40L

Malt
3 lb. Light DME

Hops
.5 oz. Citra 13.9% AA @ 60 mins.
.5 oz. Cascade 8.9% AA @ 20 mins.
.5 oz. Citra 13.9% AA @ 5 mins.

Adjuncts
1/2 Campden tablet
1 tsp. Irish moss @ 10 mins.
2.4 oz. maltodextrin @ 10 mins.

Yeast
WYeast 1056 American Ale

Stats
OG: 1..46
FG: 1.014
ABV: 4.2%
SRM: 7
IBU: 64

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8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Brian L. Lacey  |  March 15, 2014 at 9:36 am

    I’m with ya, brother. Love the hops! I usually avoid the high alcohol Imperial/Double style ales because I’m “one and done” for the day when it comes to having a pint of those heavy hitters. Usually, two pints of the “single” IPA’s fill the bill for my limited alcohol tolerance. But with the session IPA’s I’ll be able to slip in a third pint if we’re sitting for a while longer. I do keep my eyes open for the session ales these days. I’ll have to start creating some session ale recipes and brew up a few to share with you. Can’t wait to try your Summer Session IPA when you get it brewed. Cheers!

    Reply
  • 2. gbwordboy  |  March 15, 2014 at 9:43 am

    Yes! Session IPA’s are perfect for me too. In Chicago, I really like Oso Hopdinger (brewery in Wisconsin), though it is a little over the session edge at 5.3%, but still a great beverage. Half Acre’s Daisy Cutter Pale Ale should be put on Mount Rushmore. But while they work on that, even if it is not an official IPA, it has powerful hop flavor.

    Reply
    • 3. Hop Dad  |  March 19, 2014 at 8:49 am

      Now, there’s a concept – a Mt. Rushmore of Beer…

      Reply
  • 4. A Session of Sessions – IPA and Porter | Hop Dad  |  June 10, 2014 at 8:29 am

    […] this week as my session obsession continues. Though I was quite pleased with my first batch of session IPA, I wanted to tinker with the hop profile. The hop flavor tailed off too early so I added another .5 […]

    Reply
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