Session Beers: Brewing for Flavor and Balance

By Jennifer Talley

Sharing a beer or two with friends after work or play is one of life’s many joys. Session beers, whose mild strength invites more than one round, adhere to high quality standards and are dedicated to balance and drinkability above all.

Some naturally low-alcohol beer styles were “sessionable” long before that word was coined, but brewers have reinvented traditionally stronger classic beer styles to make them, too, well-suited to casual drinking sessions. Responsible consumption of these high-quality, easy-drinking beers gives beer lovers the freedom to celebrate community and friendship while consuming less alcohol.

Such beers can be challenging to brew, but they present many opportunities to showcase skill, flavor, and refreshment. Session Beers explores the history behind some of the world’s greatest session beers, past and present. Learn about the brewing processes and ingredients to master recipe development. Explore popular craft session beer recipes from some of the best brewmasters in America, and discover why beer drinkers enjoy exploring and drinking session beers.


Session Beers Pre-Sale for BA & AHA Members: August 23 at 8:00 AM MT – August 30 at 11:59 PM MT

• Shipping starts on August 23
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Table of Contents
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Price: $19.95


    From the Foreword

    For me, the great collection of beer recipes in the second half, generously peppered with the personal stories of the brewers who make them, stands as the shining heart of this book. The raw brewing talent that is represented in this compendium is stunning and a testament to Jen's ability to connect with other brewers.

    —John Mallett, Director of Operations, Bell’s Brewery, Inc. and author of Malt: A Practical Guide from Field to Brewhouse

    “I was so thrilled to hear Jen Talley was selected to write this book for the Brewer's Association. Jen always struck me as someone who could create anything despite whatever barriers were in her way. Way back in the early days of craft brewing, instead of seeing brewing in a low-alcohol state as a constraint, Jen found creativity and flavor. Her sincere and loyal passion for low-proof and sessionable beers resonates through this book, which contains an immense breadth of knowledge, history, and brewing recipes shared by Jen's brewing colleagues and Jen herself. It is clear from this lovingly crafted book that every brewer should embrace the art of brewing session beers, if not for the challenge, then for the reward of being able to drink more than one and still enjoy oneself. Thanks Jen—I will have another!”

    —Mary Pellettieri, Co-Founder and President, La Pavia Beverages, Inc. and author of Quality Management: Essential Planning For Breweries

    “A veteran of low-ABV ‘session’ brewing, Jen Talley brings an enormous amount of practical and technical information to this subject. It's obvious her time at Squatters Pub Brewery in Utah fostered respect for the art and soul of brewing beers under 4.0% ABV. As someone who has been at this business of brewing for over 20 years, I can honestly say this book provided some keen insights into the thought processes and execution behind these fickle beer styles. I guess you actually can teach an old dog new tricks. I for one cannot wait to share this information with my brewers.”

    —Tomme Arthur, Co-Founder and Brewmaster, Lost Abbey and Port Brewing Co.

    After growing ever bolder with high-alcohol beers in the US, it feels as if session beers have brought back beers for us to drink and enjoy. Session Beers looks back to those authentic and exciting lower-alcohol beers that were there before the term “session beer” existed. Also, no wonder that a brewer experienced at brewing below 4% ABV in Utah wrote this book. Way to go, Jennifer!

    —Peter Bouckaert, Founder and Brewmaster, Purpose Brewing and Cellars, and co-author of Wood & Beer: A Brewer’s Guide

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  • Author: Jennifer Talley
  • Pages: 249
  • Dimensions: 6×9
  • ISBN: 978-1-938469-41-1

About the Author

Jennifer Talley

Jennifer Talley

Jennifer Talley is the author of Session Beers: Brewing for Flavor and Balance. Jennifer’s brewing career began in Utah as brewmaster at Squatters Pub Brewery in Salt Lake City. She honed her skills through a variety…Read more