Why April 7th Will Prove Me Wrong

by Billy Broas

In the beginning of the year I gave you my 12 beer predictions for 2012.Session Beer Project

#11 stated that session beers still won’t reach mass popularity in 2012. Well, Lew Bryson is obviously trying to prove me wrong because April 7th is now Session Beer Day.

Despite my prediction, I’m actually thrilled about this. It’s about time light-but-flavorful beers caught on.

So what the hell is Session Beer Day and how do you take advantage of it? If you didn’t participate in the Stout Day last year you might be wondering how these beer days work.

Basically, Session Beer Day is held nation-wide but you’ll want to head to a local bar or brewery who is participating, and hopefully many do. The onus is on them to provide session beers and all you have to do is drink.

Here’s some more help:

How to celebrate

  1. Most importantly, drink < 4.5% abv beer on April 7th.
  2. Encourage your local bars, restaurants, and breweries to offer session beers.
  3. Join The Session Beer Day event on Facebook.
  4. Spread the word.

My post on Primer Magazine


Need help finding session beers? Lew started a session beer list that should help you out.

Update: Here is a resource page that consolidates a lot of this information and answers questions. Use it.

Ken Weaver and RateBeer put together a huge list of < 4.5% beers grouped by state.

And coincidentally, I recently wrote a post on Primer Magazine called 10 Light Beers that Still Pack a Flavor Punch. So no excuses for not being able to find a beer.

Will you be joining in Session Beer Day? Know what you’re going to drink yet? I’m still waiting to see what the Denver beer scene has in store but I imagine there will be plenty of great choices. Crabtree’s delicious Berliner Weisse comes to mind…

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Brett Shegogue March 21, 2012 at 9:07 am

This is perfect! I just brewed a 3% mild on St. Patricks day. Will be ready for consumption on the 7th :)

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Billy Broas March 21, 2012 at 5:58 pm

Hey you gotta love that timing!

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Lew Bryson March 21, 2012 at 9:38 am

Thanks, Billy! There is a major difference between Stout Day/IPA Day and Session Beer Day: we have no idea what we’re doing, we’re completely disorganized, and it’s totally crowd-sourced — grew out of a four-person discussion on Facebook Tuesday afternoon! Kinda rock-n-roll, pretty damned craft beer-like, and it’s taking off. Thanks for spreading the word. I hope to have a resource page up later today, and will post a link, if that’s okay.

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Billy Broas March 21, 2012 at 5:59 pm

Sometimes if the idea is strong enough you don’t need much organization. Looks like that’s what’s happening here. Great job getting this going Lew, and I updated the post with your resource page. Hopefully I got the right one.

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Sheppy March 21, 2012 at 10:04 am

Hmmm… what a coincidence. it won’t be ready for April 7th, but this weekend I am brewing a session beer (should be right at 4.5%). See recipe here: http://www.sheppybrew.com/sheppybrew/recipes/recipe.aspx?id=39

I have it listed as a jalapeno beer, but I am actually splitting up a 5 gallon batch into two 2.4 gallon fermentors. One fermentor will have jalapenos and the other will not.

Another interesting ingredient I am using in this batch…. I’m actually adding popcorn to the mash. Should be fun.

I also have a home-brewed session beer that was a complete screw-up. I meant to brew an Irish Red, but during cool-down, my wort chiller came apart in the beer and I fill the brew pot with an extra gallon (?) of water. I was going to dump it, but I figured I would ferment it out and see how it turned out. It actually turned out not-bad. It was a bit thin, but I gave a bunch away and a bunch of people told me it was their favorite that I had brewed.

Anyway … thanks for sharing the information on Session Beer Day. I’ll be sure to participate.

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Billy Broas March 21, 2012 at 6:02 pm

A jalapeno beer with a popcorn mash? That’s what I’m talking about. Love the story about the wort chiller too (even though that sucks). Reminds me of the time I tripped on the chiller hose and my coffee went flying into the kettle. Turned out great.

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Justin Smith March 21, 2012 at 10:34 am

Unfortunately, I think that due to picking April 7th as the date to celebrate session beers will limit Session Beer Day to those who already appreciate > 4.5% beer. For the last 4 years, April 7th has been celebrated as National Beer Day, and the popularity has been growing exponentially, especially outside the beer-blogger crowd. I think that competing ideas on the same day will lead to session beers still being undiscovered by the masses. The session beer idea may reach a few “beer nerds” (and I included myself in that category), but the opportunity to bring more awareness to the non beer blogging community, will be missed.

There are a lot of unofficial random beer drinking holidays in the US:

New Beer’s Eve – April 6th
National Beer Day – April 7th
National Homebrew Day – First Saturday in May
American Craft Beer Week – Starts on the 3rd Monday in May and goes for a week
International Beer Day – Aug. 5th
National Beer Lover’s Day – Sept. 7th
National Drink a Beer Day – Sept. 28th
American Beer Day – Oct. 27th

National Beer Day (April 7th) is the only with with a historically significant date.

In 1933 during the prohibition era, the Cullen-Harrison Act was signed into law by President Franklin Roosevelt on March 23rd. That law was enacted on April 7th allowing the brewing and sale of beer in the United States again as long as it was < 3.2% (4% ABV). It’s said that people waited in line overnight on April 6th outside Milwaukee breweries in order to legally buy beer for the first time in over 13 years. As a result, April 7th is known as National Beer Day and April 6th is called New Beers Eve.

National Beer Days around the world -

March 1st – Iceland
April 6th – England
April 7th – USA
April 23rd – Germany

http://www.facebook.com/USNationalBeerDay

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Billy Broas March 21, 2012 at 6:04 pm

Thanks for the info Justin. It may not be the optimal day to do it but I think it will have a positive influence nonetheless. Hopefully we learn some good lessons in this first go ’round and make it even bigger and better for next year. It will be a good day for beer all around, that’s for sure.

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Uncle Steve March 21, 2012 at 9:01 pm

BIlly,

Just saw great story on American who started Great Leap Brewery in Beijing, China. I can see you setting up shop in an untapped place. Need someone to sell/market your stuff, I’m in. They sold 2 kegs their first day. Now 11-15 /day. Cool. Love the Session idea. I may have to indulge. Maybe I can meet up with your Dad.

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Billy Broas March 22, 2012 at 12:37 pm

I’d probably go somewhere more tropical but I think you’re right Steve. My Dad is actually going to be out here for session day. We’ll give you a virtual cheers though!

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