Mr. Fool…may I call you Pour?…you have completely misunderstood the entire concept of a session beer and, in fact, beer in general. It is a multi-faceted drink, no doubt, but at its very heart is sociability. Meeting with friends and enjoying a beer or three is surely one of life’s greatest pleasures, and while you may enjoy drinking one or two beers and calling it quits, my friends and I, including the aforementioned Mr. Bryson, sometimes wish to stay up and enjoy each other’s company until the wee hours. And we embrace so doing without winding up stumbling drunk.
Which, Pour, is why the session beer exists. It is the social elixir, the pint in our hands as we review the past days or weeks or months, pass judgement on the recent performances of our sports teams or politicians or colleagues and generally shoot the shit, sometimes for but an hour or two and sometimes for considerably longer. It fuels our conversations while sparing us severe intoxication.
And contrary to your belief, Pour, it is only occasionally a pilsner. Sure, if said conversation is occurring in Prague, it might likely be a pilsner or related Czech lager, or in Bavaria it could be a helles or dunkel, or in Downington, Pennsylvania, up the road from where Lew lives, it might be a Victory Prima Pils, but in my local pub it’s just as likely to be a pale ale or weizen or mild ale or other lower strength, non-lager brew. In Pete Brown‘s local, when I’m visiting him in London, it will most certainly be a pint of best bitter, at least for the first one, which it might well also be when I’m catching up with friends at Spinnakers in Victoria, BC. Next month in Antwerp, where I plan to be based for the Alvinne and Zythos festivals, I might start with a bolleke or two of De Konninck. Non-pilsner session beers, one and all.
In short, Pour, in case you’ve missed my drift, session beers are anything but crass imitations of Bud or Coors Light or MGD. They are, in fact, bold and flavourful beers that happen to be lower in alcohol than your standard American IPA or Imperial stout, spiritual if not literal descendants of the British pub bitter or mild from which they appropriated their name. They’re as tasty as the 21st Amendment beer you review, if not even tastier, and millions of us out here in the great, big world of beer diversity enjoy them tremendously.
You should join us sometime.