A Good Beer Blog


Have you read The Unbearable Nonsense of Craft Beer - A Rant in Nine Acts by Alan and Max yet? It's out on Kindle as well as Lulu.

Maureen Ogle said this about the book: "... immensely readable, sometimes slightly surreal rumination on beer in general and craft beer in particular. Funny, witty, but most important: Smart. The beer geeks will likely get all cranky about it, but Alan and Max are the masters of cranky..."

Ron Pattinson said: "I'm in a rather odd situation. Because I appear in the book. A fictional version of me. It's a weird feeling."


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Jordan St.John -

"Grampa, what did you do in the great internet war?"

"Well, little fictional Jimmy, I set some jerks straight about a beer."

Ron Pattinson -

After reading several discussions about session beer on the web, I never want to hear the term again.

Alan -

That's it! It lacked the display of unvolunteered oath bolstering in the name of Ron Pattinson.

Craig -

'nuff said!

Joe Stange -

Having sworn off "craft beer" and now "session beer" it's only a matter of time until Ron swears off "beer" altogether and spirals into a troubling obsession with accurate historical pork scratching recipes.

Jeff Alworth -

I believe your fourth bullet point is the most trenchant.

Gary Gillman -

Just on the point of the origin of the term, which Martyn partially addressed. It comes, in my opinion, from Michael Jackson's early writings. I can't pinpoint the book and year. It may have been the World Guide To beer, but more likely first appeared in one of his early pocket guides. I can't recall seeing the term in print before his books; other appearances as far as i know post-date his first publications.

Michael didn't originate (quite) everything; it's possible the term lurks in something Richard Boston wrote, or an early CAMRA publication. Still, I have a feeling St. Michael originated the term.

In my younger days, I was a fan of these beers, but now, not so much. I think it's better to drink one or two stronger beers. Less bloating and total calories, I think, than what you get from a session.

I too get tired of the discussions, but they will recur as long as brewers brew too many super-strong beers with too much taste. :)


Martyn Cornell -

FWIW, the earliest mention Google Books turns up for the phrase 'session beer' is 1993, in <i>The Beer Drinker's Companion </i>by John Dallas and Charles McMaster, and they're talking about a "medium gravity" beer of 3.7 per cent abv. Not that this proves anything about when the phrase was invented, who invented it or what strength a session beer is: the answer is truly in the eye of the beerholder.

Alan -

Jeff, just rub lemon juice on your computer screen and then hold it over a lamp. The message pops right up!

Stephen Beaumont -

Good lord! That is indeed one epic thread. (I just word counted it and it is one pithy comment away from 9,000 words long!) I only wish i had caught it earlier, as i have not the patience to now wade through the entire thing.

One observation that I might add, here rather than there only because I'm already mid-comment: When I was younger and craft brewing was still microbrewing, we marveled at the notion of a pint -- an Imperial pint! -- of 8% alcohol Niagara Falls Eisbock being served at C'est What. Now, my friends and I regularly find ourselves drinking larger quantities of beer of higher strength with no great ill effects, albeit most often prolonging our consumption over a longer period of time, Conditioning, context, maturity or alcohol tolerance, you be the judge.

Craig -

Funny on how nobody commented on the Albany Ale stuff like this.

David -

Haven't you realized that the Alstroms are the center of the craft beer world because they are 'advocates' of beer. (end sarcasm...now)