Summer Session Beers

The temps have risen and summer has finally arrived. Time for a few brews you can sip that won’t leave you feeling bloated and boozy in the mid-day sun. Big IPA’s are great when the weather is cooler in the early evening, but you need a beer that will go down smooth after cutting the lawn or sitting in camp after an afternoon hike. There always is a cold Coors Light or PBR nearby, but how about those times when you are looking for some more flavor?  That is where the newest craze in the craft beer world comes into play—session beers.

Session beers were created by brewers to fulfill a basic need in their everyday life. A beer they could drink during the day that would not wipe them out. Working around beer all day you must exercise caution not to get buzzed up. So brewers created full flavored beers with lower alcohol content. Once they made their way into the taprooms, and their customers started asking for them, breweries realized that they needed to start packaging them for the public. Now it seems that every brewery has at least one in their lineup, and the style is gaining followers daily.

Here are four great session beers you should have in your fridge right now.

Stone-Go To IPA:
Launched by perennial IPA powerhouse Stone Brewing in San Diego last year, this beer has quickly set the standard for what an excellent session IPA should be. Bold and brash with an amazing floral nose, you will find yourself questioning the fact that it is only 4.5% Alc/Vol. To create this amazingly full flavored beer the mad-scientists at Stone created a new brewing technique “Hop Bursting”. Wherein an irrational amount of hops is added during the final phase of the brewing process to coax out extreme flavors and aromas while also imparting a burst of desirably pleasant bitterness. It’s the perfect beer to celebrate sending that new route while out climbing Eldo.


Finkel and Garf-Peach Puree Wheat
This two-year old brewery in Gunbarrel is the brainchild of father and son, Eric and Dan Garfinkel. Their philosophy is to create beer that facilitates great moments. With brewer Myke Johnson they have quietly been turning out some of the best session beers along the front range. Their Peach Puree Wheat might be their best. Full of vibrant peach flavors with a hint of a sour finish it incorporates some of the best summer has to offer. At only 4.7% Alc/Vol you can toss down a couple of these after spending the day rafting and still be ready for your next adventure.


Lagunitas-Day Time Ale
Believe it or not, this brewery is one of the largest craft brewers in the country. As the seventh-largest in the nation the guys, and gals, in Petaluma California know a few things about creating great beer. Long known for their excellent IPA’s, and irreverent attitudes towards authority—one of their beers celebrates a raid by the FBI on their brewery for smoking weed, they are trendsetters. Their Day Time Ale is described as “Fractional IPA” and delivers with a fresh crisp flavor that balances nicely with the malty backbone that holds it together. At only 4.65% Alc/Vol crack one of these after spending a few hours in the saddle of your mountain bike.


Oscar Blues-Pinner Throwback IPA
Ridiculous would be the only word I could use to describe this beer. With a nose that smells just like some fresh weed, this beer should become the official brew of our state. After you get past the contact high from opening this session beer, the flavors will drive you wild. Loaded with citrus flavors up front, with a hint of biscuit on the finish, it is a superb beer. Makes sense, too, since Dale Katechis and his team have been turning out bold big brews since the day he canned his first beer ten years ago. Only 4.9% Alc/Vol this is the perfect beer to pack along for your next camping trip.

HZ12_ShieldLogoLiquid Gear is proudly sponsored by Hazel’s Beverage World which is the go-to store for outdoor enthusiasts and everyone else on the go.  Featuring Boulder’s largest selection of wine, beer and spirits at everyday low prices, Hazel’s has lots of beverages that are easy to carry along and enjoy no matter what your adventure.  So don’t forget to pack the party—fly by Hazel’s before your next excursion and stock up on your favorite liquid refreshments. Hazel’s – Same Planet, Different World

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