Admittedly this writer has a crush on low alcohol beers. This isn’t some idiot pompously screaming the virtues of a certain light lager, but instead complex but low alcohol craft ales and lagers.
A few year’s ago this website decided, with the assistance of some pubs, to temporarily enlighten the masses to what a session beer really was. Was it successful, not entirely. Was it a waste of time, no. What it did prove was that it was possible to remind people that enjoying a beer isn’t always about extreme hops, or having something that could be enjoyed years later. Sometimes you just need a beer that allows you to stay upright after consuming a few over a couple of hours.
So with that (re: sessionable beers) sentiment it’s going to be interesting when 21st Amendment shows up in the region, with their Bitter American Extra Pale Ale.
Bitter American was first created at 21st Amendment's pub in 2006 as a response to the trend of "extreme beers" - complex beers high in alcohol and often including unusual ingredients. 21st Amendment wanted to offer the opposite: a "session beer," or lower alcohol beer that would encourage patrons to enjoy a drinking session with friends (a staple in British pub culture). This beer packs a lot of hop and malt flavor into a refreshingly low alcohol (4.4% by volume) brew - making it the perfect session beer to enjoy with friends.
"What I love about Bitter American," said Nico Freccia, co-founder, "is that it is the antidote to the strong, dark, intense beers of winter. Winter beers, like barleywines, are incredible styles, but after a while the palate needs a rest. Bitter American provides that."
"The secret to Bitter American is achieving a balance between malt flavor and hops while using a smaller grain bill," says co-founder and Brewmaster Shaun O'Sullivan. "If you just add more hops into a session beer grain bill, you get an unbalanced mess of overwhelming bitterness. Our secret is the use of a special, imported English heirloom malt called Golden Promise. This malt has a rich, full body and distinctive flavor that gives the beer a complex, caramelly and toasty flavor. Against this backdrop, we are able to hop generously to achieve a hop flavor and aroma that belies the strength of the brew."
Who the heck are these guys? Hey, we're Nico and Shaun. We live for great beer. In 1920, there were thousands of breweries across America making unique handcrafted beer. The passage of Prohibition wiped out this great culture. After thirteen years without beer, the states ratified the 21st Amendment, ending Prohibition in America. At the 21st Amendment Brewery, we celebrate the right to brew beer, the freedom to be innovative, and the obligation to have fun. www.21st-Amendment.com