One of the greatest trends in craft beer right now is the boom of session IPAs. Picture this: a beer that tastes like one of those hop-bomb IPAs that American craft breweries are known for brewing, but with really low alcohol levels. Like, the same amount of alcohol as those crappy macro lagers we all grew up drinking. It’s pretty much the sweet spot, because you get the flavor of craft beer married with the drinkability of say, a Bud Light.
Within the last couple of years, every brewery has thrown a session IPA into the market. And I mean every brewery. Oskar Blues is now officially in the session IPA game with a brand new beer called Pinner, which is loaded with a handful of different varieties of hops, but comes in at a low, low 4.9% ABV. They call it a “throwback” IPA because, you know, you can throw them back one after the other.
It has that citrus nose you’d expect from an IPA, and plenty of grapefruit and zest in the sip. It doesn’t have the malty backbone that most IPAs have, and that’s something I’ve noticed from a lot of session IPAs across the board. They’ve got the hops down, and the citrus aspect, and they’re dank in a certain way, but they’re not terribly complex.
Of course, that’s just comparing this new breed of session IPAs to their full-bodied IPA counterpart. Pit these session IPAs against most lagers or pilsners or even pale ales that have similarly low ABVs, and they shine like the North Star. And Pinner definitely shines. It’s a beer I could throwback over and over again. Long live the session IPA.
– Graham Averill is a contributor to B.R.O. and runs his own blog about being a stay-at-home dad called Daddy Drinks.