Your Porch Brew Awaits
A Review of 1/2 Ale (Session Saison) by Brooklyn Brewery
Posted on 1/26/2015 by Chops
As someone who can remember what drinking life was like back before the American craft beer movement, I cannot help but feel that we have come full circle with the current ''session beer'' trend. Now, before you see my words in a negative fashion, I want to reassure you that I mean this in a positive way.

Back in the day, American beer consisted of little more than bland sudsy lagers mass produced by corporate giants. People could drink a lot of them without so much as a tipsy tingle. But then came the craft beer moment. Ask yourself, how many Imperial IPAs can you drink before the room spins out of control? This is precisely why the session beer trend is in full force. People enjoyed bringing their six packs of suds to social gatherings and not feeling blitzed out of their mind if they down all six. What the session beers have done is marry the best of both worlds. You can now enjoy flavorful craft beer without the huge alcohol and calorie loads.

Many breweries have thrown their hats into the session beer ring. And in true trendy fashion, some are great, but most are crappy attempts to capitalize on popularity. One of the best, in my opinion, is Brooklyn Brewery's 1/2 Ale, a session version of a Belgian Saison.

In the glass, this beer had the pale straw coloration that you typically associate with light lagers. It came with a big fluffy white head that liked to stick around for a while. On the nose, I was greeted by a musky lemon aroma with a dusting of floral notes. Rounding out the mix were notes of honey and barnyard hay. I found it to be a welcoming introduction to what was essentially a simplified Saison.

One commonality with session ales is the body. No matter what the style, the body is typically light, smooth, and non-aggressive. Brooklyn's 1/2 Ale was no different. Flavor wise, I found notes of lemon citrus, grass, cracker malts, honey, white bread, and mild peppers. The hops profile was quite earthy and gave the beer a weedy character. The beer finished very dry and exited with a light lemony aftertaste.

Overall, I found the Brooklyn 1/2 Ale (Session Saison) to be a refreshing and satisfying brew, one that I can recommend to any and all beer fans. Novices can especially benefit from this beer's good flavor, high accessibility, and wee 3.4% ABV. My only word of caution would be to fans of Belgian beers. Do not go into this brew expecting a true Saison, because that it most certainly is not. It comes across as much more of a lager hybrid, which is perfectly acceptable considering its status as a session beer. This is not a beer you pour into a tulip glass and serve at dinner. This is a beer you dump in a pint glass and serve on the porch.

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1/2 Ale (Session Saison) by Brooklyn Brewery
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