Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Missing Something?

Pubs, you know I love them. Pretty much any time of any day of the week is the perfect time to address oneself to the bar and have a pint. While my affection for, and patronage of, pubs is pretty well known to you, my dear readers, something has been bothering me of late. I have come to realise that something is missing from many a watering hole that I go to.

The majority of hostelries of which I avail myself, whether here in central Virginia or further afield (aka Columbia, SC) have at least 15 taps and often the selection ranges from pretty reasonable to good, but still there is often something awry, amiss or even just simply overlooked. A 'session tap'.

I realise that session beer is still something of a specialist niche interest in the beer drinking milieu in which I find myself, but I think it is one which pub owners are missing a trick with. Just a single tap dedicated to the fine art of making beer that is sub 4.5% abv and sufficiently moreish to warrant a few post work drinkies with friends would make going to the pub an even more pleasurable experience.

I guess I shouldn't really be all that surprised at the absence of a specifically session beer tap in many a pub, given the average strength of an non-BMC beer over here seems to be in the 6.5-6.9% range - based on my thoroughly unscientific calculations, where I looked at a brewery website and worked out their average ABV.

This makes me wonder what many American breweries are afraid of when it comes to dabbling in the fine arts of session brewing? Do they worry that there is no market for such beers (something I believe to be utter nonsense)? Do they worry that the advocates of beer rating websites will pan the beer because they really have no idea what a Best Bitter, Mild or Výčepní pivo is supposed to taste like? Have they bought into the crazy notion that the more hops and weirdness you put into your beer the more 'craft' you are? Who knows? The one thing I do know is I wish there were more independent session beers on the taps of America.

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