Beer Maverick

Session Beer

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Category: Hybrid

Style Description

This is the description of how the Session Beer style of beer should taste, feel and look. However, there may be perfectly fine beers in this style that fall outside of these ranges and descriptions. This information is just to show the most commonly accepted ranges for the Session Beer beer style.

This category includes beers of any style that 1) are at or below 5.0% abv (4.0% abw), and 2) have an original gravity and alcohol content below the range of the classic style as defined in these guidelines. These beers exhibit lower original gravity and alcohol content than the classic style. Drinkability is key to a successful session beer. Beers at or below 5.0% abv (4% abw) that adhere to the specifications of a classic style are not categorized as Session Beers. For example, low gravity beers such as Belgian-Style Table Beers or English-Style Mild Ales should be categorized within their appropriate categories. Drinkability is key to a successful session beer. When using these guidelines as the basis for evaluating entries at competitions, organizers may wish to further subcategorize this category. Competition organizers may request that brewers provide actual percent alcohol by volume (abv) for their entries in this category.

  • Body: Varies with underlying style
  • Malt Flavors & Aromas: Malt attributes should mimic the classic style upon which the beer is based, but at lower overall intensity due to lower original gravity.
  • Hop Flavors & Aromas: Hop attributes should mimic the classic style upon which the beer is based, but at lower overall intensity in order to maintain the balance typical of that style.
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Varies with underlying style

Brewing Properties of Session Beer

The functional properties of brewing Session Beer beers as descided by the Brewers Association. These guidelines reflect, as accurately as possible, historical significance, authenticity or a high profile in the current commercial beer market.

The alcohol by volume is shows the amount of alcohol this style of beer should have.
3.5 - 5.0%
The International Bittering Units (IBU) scale is used to approximately quantify the actual (not perceived) bitterness of beer.
10 - 35 IBUs
SRM is a scale for measuring the color intensity of a beer. Low SRM grains impart a pale straw color while higher values mean it will add a darker color to the wort. Learn more »
(4 EBC)
Original Gravity
Original Gravity (OG) is a measure of the sugar content in the wort before alcoholic fermentation has started to produce the beer.
1.034 - 1.040
Final Gravity
The Final Gravity (FG) is how much sugar is left over in the beer when fermentation is complete.
1.004 - 1.010

If you see an error in our data, please let us know!

Based on Brewers Association 2020 Beer Style Guidelines with changes. Used with permission of Brewers Association.