American Craft Beer delivers craft beer news, entertainment and lifestyle 24/7 and because we do, we’re occasionally sent books to review. And we recently received an exciting new book by the award-winning brewer Jennifer Tally that takes on one of craft beer’s most prevailing trends …Session Beers
For more than a decade American craft beer has been fueled on HUGE beers. High octane and alcohol creations that launched many a brand and multiple brewing careers.
But for every action there’s a reaction and in the midst of this BIG beer mania, a counter-trend quietly started to surface…the session beer.
Brewers began returning to crafting beers that wouldn’t kill you with their high alcohol content…Beers that were made for an evening of drinking…Beers that were brewed to be paired with another.
Session Beers: Brewing for Flavor and Balance is the first book that we know of that examines this phenomenon and it’s a timely and essential addition to any serious beer lovers’ library.
Let’s start with the fact that if anyone was meant to write about these delicate low-alcohol creations it is Jennifer Talley.
She began her career at Squatters Pub Brewery in Salt Lake City, where Utah’s liquor laws at the time demanded her attention to lower ABV brewing techniques. So while the craft beer industry was increasingly intoxicated with bigger and bolder brews, she was refining the art of flavorful beers that neccesarily had to stay below 4% ABV.
And with its forward by John Mallett, himself a fine author as well as the Director of Operations at Bell’s Brewery, Session Beers explores the history and origins of these distinct brews and their place in today’s craft beer world.
Talley also gets into the profound cultural implications of ‘session’ drinking as well as its financial realities
And then Session Beers becomes something entirely unexpected…an in-depth and exhaustive ‘cookbook’ for brewing your own session beers at home.
Session Beers includes more than 24 recipes from the nation’s most impressive brewers…acclaimed breweries like Firestone Walker, Bells, New Glarus Brewing, Stone, Russian River and more!
As balanced and nuanced as the brews she explores, Jennifer Talleys’s Session Beers is a work of keen insight that’s crafted for the ‘inner brewer’ in all of us. Recommended
All image credits: Brewers Publications