Remember our earlier post, in which we contemplated the differences between types of craft breweries? Well here’s a new one: session brewing. Because that’s how they do it at Notch Brewing in Ipswich, Massachusetts.
There are two stories here, that of Session beer as a category and that of Chris Lohring, brewer and Notch founder. And then there is the reason these two stories matter.
Okay, we’re with you so far, Notch Brewing!
Session as a category was born in Britain’s pub culture, a byproduct of taxation around ABV (alcohol by volume). Crafting well-balanced, flavorful beers was in fact a craft. To do so well, brewers had to be creative and innovative with flavor combinations and brewing processes. Session beer boasted interesting and balanced flavor profiles and an ABV below 4%. These were not light beers; they were good beers brewed to be enjoyed. The flavor was the priority; the ABV was the creative challenge.
Ah-ha! That makes sense. Who doesn’t want to beat the tax man at his own game? Um, we mean…oh come on: everyone wants to! And we can fully appreciate an interesting, creative challenge.
Chris has been brewing professionally since 1993….Today, Chris is an independent brewer—he owns no facility—instead brewing and collaborating with other breweries. He currently brews his beers at two locations, the Ipswich Ale Brewery (Bottles & Draft) and Kennebunkport Brewery (Cask).
You know what sounds really great right now? A lobster roll and a frosty draught of beer. And maybe a basket of clams. Fried Ipswich clams, we’re talking. And a table, seaside. Sigh. Something are hard to come by in mountain country.