Tennessee Brew Works, one of the newer breweries in Nashville, is introducing a new series of beers called Tennessee Sessions. The Sessions beers will be specialty beers made of a lower gravity allowing the patron to sample more of them. The idea of the series will be to have an easy drinking draft, while maintaining a full flavor profile.
Continuing in their tradition of maintaining a music theme, they are referring to these beers as “gig” beers, as opposed to their year round “headliners.” There will be one brewing “gig,” and when that beer is gone, it is off the menu. This is in the line of what is known as a “one off” beer, where a brewery will produce a beer one time only. These aren’t quite one offs, though, as popular beers will be brewed again at some future date.
The first Tennessee Sessions beer is a pale ale. It fits squarely into the BJCP parameters for a pale ale with 31 I.B.U.’s and 4.8% A.B.V. And this is a very flavorful, drinkable beer, kind of like what they had in mind. It opens with an orangey aroma. It is dry and crisp to taste, and the orange fades to lemon with just a hint of berry.
The concept of a session beer is thought to go back to England during World War I. There were two “licensed” sessions in the day during which workers making armaments were allowed to drink. The sessions lasted four hours, and the boys could consume all they wanted of the three to four percent alcohol beer. They were then able to go back to work and still make working bombs with which to explode there enemy to bits.
Now, with the explosion of the craft beer industry, and the proliferation of higher and higher gravity beers, the concept of a session beer is starting to find it’s place where it counts, at the bar. The concept of the three martini lunch has kind of gone by the wayside. Maybe the three session beer lunch will become the new norm.
A session beer is also an easy way to transition from the yellowish, fizzy, aroma free, taste free swill that is still holding on to 92% of the beer market place. Often when new craft beer people go to a brewpub or brewery tasting room, they may ask what is the closest thing available to their generally consumed swill. And fairly often the answer is going to be hefeweisen. Light in alcohol, light in color, but big in aroma and flavor. Sometimes not the best transitional beer.
Tennessee Brew Works, featuring “finely tuned craft beer,” there’s that music theme again, has been brewing for close to a year right in the heart of the Nashville Brewery District. Their tasting area, known as the Tennessee Taproom, is two levels of brewery nirvana. They are open Thursday and Friday from 4-8:00 pm., Saturday from 2-8:00 pm., and Sunday from 12-6:00 pm. So hurry down and try some of this great Tennessee Sessions beer.
Time for a pint. Cheers!