…still me bitching and moaning about session beer!
OK, I’m gonna hold the “correct ABV of session beer” rant for another post (that’s going to be a long one!), but I just wanted to get this quick thing off my chest.
In the USA it has now become ‘trendy’ to like/produce/talk about ‘session beer’ amongst a whole generation of beer geeks that have been brought up on quite the opposite. Frankly, many of these people wouldn’t know a tasty, well-crafted, 3-5%, malt based brew if it bit them on the ass. Now to me that’s simply an annoyance, and you probably couldn’t care less that I am aggravated (in fact, it seems like about 1 in 10 of you would be DELIGHTED that I’m aggravated by this!), but there is a more damaging, sinister side to all of this. The damage comes in two areas;
Firstly there is a growing assertion that ANYTHING under 6% *must* be really good since after all, “it’s a session beer”! We’re seeing a new, reverse manifestation of the, ‘it’s-barrel-aged-double-imperial-over-10%-so-it-must-be-good’ mentality, which is just as wrong when applied to lower ABV beers as it is when it is applied to higher ABV. The ability to discern is being lost.
Secondly, because these people know relatively nothing about fantastically crafted, lower ABV beer, they think that by definition the lower ABV should be accompanied by a lower price tag. NONSENSE – pay for quality regardless of the alcohol content. Regardlesss of the cost of ingredients, I find the idea that ABV should drive the price of a beer utterly ridiculous. Acknowledge the craft and be prepared to pay for it. Good beer should cost more. Period.
Of course, these problems are rooted in the extreme culture that pervades everything in the US, and beer is just one part of that culture.