Love it or hate it, or think it’s an oxymoron, so-called “Session IPA” is here to stay.
The style pairs a hop-dominant flavor profile with a lower alcohol content than typical American IPAs, making it the kind of beer you can drink during an extended “session” at your local beer bar.
Founders All Day IPA was the first to make it big in the category, and remains a go-to. But other examples include the likes of Sweetwater Hash Session, Oskar Blues Pinner, Stone Go To, and 21st Amendment Down to Earth.
Highland Brewing Co., Asheville, N.C.
Available in six-pack bottles at metro beverage stores and on draft at metro beer bars. Look for cans this summer.
The newest hop-forward beer from Highland brewmaster Hollie Stephenson is a session IPA that joins a year-round lineup that includes Highland IPA and Mandarina IPA. At 4.9 percent alcohol by volume, it features six different malts, with small amounts of wheat, rye and flaked oats, and a blend of Mosaic, Citra, El Dorado, and Azacca hops.
Altogether, it’s a light-bodied, bright and balanced beer, with a touch residual sweetness, and a smooth hop bitterness displaying aromas and flavors of lemon peel, and the expected jolt of topical fruit.
Try bright, light Daycation with Vietnamese summer rolls, Indian chicken korma, fried fish tacos or guacamole and chips.