What’s your Session IPA?

India Session Ales are defined as an IPA that has all the hop presence of a regular IPA but has a significant lower ABV level making it “sessionable”. Eastern Iowa shelves have seen a considerable jump in sessionable IPAs and with the warmer “lawnmowing” weather taking over and soon tailgating season begins, this is the perfect time for brewers and breweries to take advantage of this subcategory of IPAs. Let’s focus on what we can get strictly in Eastern Iowa,  and the one that started the trend for us, I believe, is Founders All Day IPA. So let’s break this down a bit, cue the music:

**Founders All Day IPA**
ABV: 4.7%
Ratebeer: 96/100
Beeradvocate: 87/100

foundersFounders started this strictly in 6 pack bottles and then made the genius move of putting it in cans allowing for easier mobility and also easier to dispose of (see Iowa Football tailgating). This was the beer of choice at the Beer Baron’s tailgates last fall and will probably be again this year. All the things you are looking for in an IPA is evident: great hop flavor, a bit of sweet resin, and bit of malt backbone. Founders is a top-tier brewery, and this brew helps solidify that.



schlafly**Schlafly Session IPA** 
ABV: 4.5%
Ratebeer: 88/100
Beeradvocate: 82/100

Schlafly has really made their mark since hitting Eastern Iowa stores with various styles and last summer, their can sessions started showing up. Coming in 6 packs, this beer does a great job in giving you that initial hop flavor and maltiness to balance. This one seemed a bit sweeter to me than the All Day from Founders but still good.


stone go to**Stone Go To IPA**
ABV: 4.5%
Ratebeer: 97/100
Beeradvocate: 89/100

The newer of the sessionable IPAs, Stone gives us what Stone usually does, an intense hop forward beer that packs a punch! I got a lot of grapefruit and pine flavor from this beer with minimal to no malt balance. Stone starts putting this in cans and we might have a competition with Founders.


pop up**Boulevard Pop Up Session**
ABV: 4.2%
Ratebeer: 94/100
Beeradvocate: 84/100

I recently had this for the first time at a local bar which shocked the hell out me that they actually had it on tap. Not really known for their great craft beer, and their options were limited, I went for the Pop Up. I honestly admit I’m not a huge fan of Boulevard’s IPAs, but I do really love their Smokestack stuff, but I thought I’d give it a go. Floral and citrus aroma with slight but evident citrus hop flavor.

**OVERALL** – If you are looking for a summer party brew you can’t go wrong with any of these beers. They are all very good sessionable IPAs. The cans from Founders and Schlafly make it easier to take to a BBQ or picnic and Founders recently introduced a 15 pack of All Day cans. I haven’t had Hop Rise from Central Waters yet and if/when Lagunitas gets here they will have Daytime IPA too. Either way, drinking any of these this summer or fall can easily lead to a (SLIM and Matt, this is dedicated to you)……..

MY PICK: If I had to choose one, gun to my head, I think I would go with Founders All Day IPA. I think it’s the most balanced but also has the great hop flavor. What’s your Session IPA?


Founders All Day IPA 15 Packs hitting the market

That’s right, 15 packs. Here’s more from the brewery:

We’re excited to announce 15-pack cans of All Day IPA will begin shipping to our distributor partners in March, replacing All Day IPA 12-pack cans without raising the suggested retail price.


This is the first time a major craft brewery has put out a 15-pack.

“We are able to offer 15-pack cans due to production efficiencies from packaging cost savings,” said Co-Founder Mike Stevens. “We’re excited to pass the savings on to our customers as a way of saying thank you for their reception of All Day IPA.”

Developing the All Day IPA recipe was no easy task. “We recognized the need for a full-flavored IPA with a lower ABV,” said Co-Founder Dave Engbers. “The challenge was creating a beer that had intense hop aromatics balanced with the malts without packing a big ABV punch.”

Following a limited release in 2012 due to hop shortages, we were able to send All Day IPA to all of our markets in February 2013, and it quickly became our leading seller. We moved the beer from our seasonal to our year-round lineup in July of last year. All Day IPA was the first Founders product to be released in cans; 12-pack cans of the beer hit the market in August 2013.

All Day IPA is a 4.7% ABV session ale, brewed with Simcoe and Amarillo hops and measuring out at 42 IBUs. We set our minds to brewing this beer because we wanted an American IPA that worked with an active lifestyle. It has won numerous awards, including a silver medal in the session beer category at the GABF in 2010 under a working name and, most recently, a 2014 Good Food Award.

We’re calling this new All Day IPA 15-pack a “Brewer’s Dozen”.

Centennial IPA, the newest addition to our canned offerings, will remain in 12-packs. All Day IPA will still be available in the traditional six-pack bottles in addition to 15-pack cans. Other beers from our portfolio may be canned, as well, but those brands have yet to be determined.