In some people’s minds, session IPAs are relics that have gone the way of cassette tapes and Myspace. But I’d argue the category is still useful, even if some young anklebiters need it explained to them. For many mid-strength beers, the goal is to be as accessible and crushable as possible, whereas for a session IPA the goal is to squeeze in as much hop character as possible.
Newstead have done a cracking job of getting the soul of an American IPA into 3/4 Time. (Well, at least three quarters of the soul.) The beer pours a bright gold struck through with copper, and the same malts that bring the colour also bring a satisfying flavour: some crystal malt character, some biscuit, some sweetness. It’s on this base that the hops shine, balancing an Aussie larrikinism (think passionfruit and stonefruit) with a San Diego assertiveness (think citrus peel bitterness).
Of course, 3/4 Time is light in body and crisp in the finish in a way that bigger American IPAs aren’t. But when you’re three quarters through the game and you’ve got time to down one more beer, isn’t that what you want?
- Session IPA