Back in April, I wrote about nine breweries that hinge off La Palma Boulevard in Anaheim and Placentia, dubbing it “The La Palma Beer Trail.” Apparently, this spawned a hashtag, and the breweries involved got together to create something based on this fantastic anomaly. “Lets all brew the same recipe!” said one. But due to ingredients and vastly different brewing styles, they all agreed to brew something similar for the season: session beer, and offer an Untappd badge to prove your worthiness of conquering the trail.
According to the newly released book, Session Beers, the term ‘session beer’ in its modern iteration has been in use since 1982, “although they have been brewed globally for hundreds of years,” writes Jennifer Talley. I look to early England to help define the historic style, where beers were brewed low in alcohol due to their taxed ingredients; Scottish beers even calling out their price as per strength (60 Schilling vs 90 Schilling ale equals more strength per cost). These days session beer designates something that is sub 5% ABV, but due to cost of hops, doesn’t necessisarily make a beer less expensive.
Locally, session beers are what beer-industry folks tend to drink. When beer is your job, having something lower in alcohol that is crisp, full of flavor, and locally made (fresh) makes all the difference. I personally lean to Docent Brewing’s Canteen Beer, TAPS Cream Ale, Unsung’s Buzzman, and Gunwhale Ales’ lower alcohol Saison. But with summer in full swing, the collaborative spirit of the La Palma Beer Trail breweries has me excited to make the short trek and try each signature session beer. If you use Untappd, make sure to check into each of these beers during this week to claim your fancy Untappd badge! How cool is that?
- All American Ale Works: Jam Session
- Stereo Brewing: Summer Sun
- Bruery Terreux: Pinafore Grisette
- Bottle Logic: Orange Creamsicle
- Asylum Brewing: Spacegrass
- Hoparazzi Brewing: Limon Blau
- Phantom Ales: Rosemary Pilsner