The resurgence of the session ale


After ‘Dry January’ many drinkers might be thinking about their alcohol intake. But beer fans don’t need to kiss goodbye to their favourite brew to enjoy drinking in moderation. We take a look at the resurgence of the ‘session ale’ and why it might be a more balanced way to enjoy a beer.

A lower-alcohol alternative

A session ale is great way to enjoy a pint without feeling so fuzzy-headed. These beers are brewed to be between 3 to 5% ABV, meaning you’ll get less of the after-effects of drinking stronger beer. And because they’re lower in alcohol you could sup a few glasses over the course of the day without feeling too wobbly. It means they’re a great option for drinking at social events, barbecues and all-day extravaganzas such as weddings and festivals where you might want to stay on the ball.

What does the term session beer mean?

Well contrary to popular belief it’s not because you can drink one after another during a session at your local! Some beer aficionados claim the roots go back to early 20th century Britain when workers were allotted short ‘session’ breaks between hours spent toiling in factories. These grafters opted for lower strength beers during quick breaks in the pub because they knew they’d have to return to work. And let’s face it, the production lines might not have been so successful if they’d been supping craft ales weighing in at 6-7% ABV!

No need to compromise on taste

Many brewers like us are creating hoppier and more intense flavours in their ales at lower strengths. In fact drinking a session beer doesn’t mean you need to compromise on taste at all – like the roots of the name, ‘session beers’ often have a uniquely British flavour which means they’re full of character. Just take bitters, porters and our very own IPA’s. Sennen at 3.8%, still provides a bittersweet hoppy kick in a 330ml bottle and Lushingtons our hop-laden, sunshine IPA at 4.2% bursts with summer flavour. It all goes to show it’s about quality not quantity when it comes to a better way to enjoy drinking.

So if you’re looking for a lower-alcohol alternative this year a session ale might well be your answer. Drunk responsibly they give you the benefits of a good brew without the hang-ups or hangovers of a stronger pint.

But for now – history lesson over. We’re popping down the pub to find out what those factory workers were really on about…