Growing up as a teenager in the 80’s, beer was watery, bland, and boring. Let’s face it, when Moosehead was at the top of the food chain, you had a great deal of room for improvement. We used to hear rumors of Australian or Canadian beers that were 5% or 6% alcohol by volume and thought that was so cool.
Move forward to the craft beer movement where some beers are stronger than wine, and most of the better beers clock in at that 5% to 6% alcohol range, and all of a sudden having 3 or 4 beers can leave even a larger guy feeling no pain. Now the craft beer is amazing and is unrecognizable from it’s big brewery predecessors, it does not do that well for a good afternoon of drinking.
For breweries that live off of their tasting rooms or restaurants, this can not be the best business decision. Keeping folks around eating locally sourced and expensive proteins is the key. So welcome the rise of the session beer market in the craft industry. These beers are a little milder with a lower gravity. but designed to be enjoyed all day long.
This is also great for the big middle section of the marketplace. The weekend warrior, the lawmower drinker, the guy who has heard of craft beers but doesn’t have a beer and does have a mortgage. The session beer is much more approachable and welcoming that the latest IPA that burns off the last of his tastebuds.
Joe Sixpack now has a place at the table in the craft beer world.
The session beer movement is perfect for him, and his wife, giving a great tasting beer that will not have him praying after drinking his 6 pack in an afternoon as he watches the race.
I am sure some purists will call it selling out, but I think of it as growing the market and bringing new blood into the craft beer market. If we can educate Joe Sixpack that Bud Light can be replaced with a nice ale, we all win.
That is, everyone but Anheuser Busch.