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What is a 'session' beer?

What is a session beer?


What is a session beer? 


I saw this question asked in a beer oriented Facebook group and I thought it seems such an obvious question that it didn't need an answer but that I realised not everyone drinks like a fish! 

A session beer is oft considered to be a beer which has an alcohol content of around 5 percent ABV or less. The concept of this is that in a 'session' of beer drinking, you won't get hammered by drinking 5 beers at 5 percent as you may just do if you have 5 beers at eight percent.

So basically before the rise of craft beer, most beers were session beers - as history beers have been from 4 - 5 % ABV.

An there in lies the rub - the word session for beer has been totally abused by many craft brewers and their promotion campaigns and now it feels like every damn beer is pitched to beer drinkers as being a session beer. 

Even reviewers have started to throw it into their articles as if it adds a sense of romanticism to beer.

So a session beer is historically a beer of traditional strength. The more modern craft beer meaning of a session beer is any beer ! 

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