Light beers are like certain people you meet at bars—fun at first, but ultimately shallow and unfulfilling., on the other hand, are more like everybody’s favorite party guy in college. They are full of personality, but easy to get your fill of fast. Fortunately, there’s a happy middle ground: session beers, with their moderate alcohol but still satisfying flavor. They’re like your longtime best buddy.
Sessions are typically a little higher-calorie than light beers—160 to 200 calories per serving—but they have an alcohol-by-volume (ABV) that’s generally under 5%, says Devaraj Southworth, CEO of.
A session beer doesn’t mean any specific style. It can be a blonde ale, lager, IPA, or almost any other light beer style.
“They can be young or old, bitter or sweet, fruity or crisp,” he says, “but the thing that makes a session a session is its ability to keep you from getting drunk too quickly.”
All it means is that the beer in question is low in alcohol. Now you’re starting to understand why the term “session” applies, right? These beers can be consumed in greater quantities for a longer period of time or “session” because they’re lower in alcohol than many of their counterparts.
You could spend an afternoon perusing the beer aisle at your local grocery store or beer distributor and not find the right beer for you. So we did all the hard work. Here, 16 of our favorites.
1. Pilsner Urquell
Born in the Czech Republic in 1842, Urquell is the world’s very first pilsner. In the more than century and a half since its inception, little changes has come to this beer. However, the advent of refrigeration means the fermenting beer no longer needs to age in caves. “With its deep golden color, rich, velvety body, and thick, creamy head, it’s still considered a luxury in its home country,” says Jeff Alworth, author of The Beer Bible.
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