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Jun 2019

Small Beer Session Pale, Small Beer Brew

Added: Saturday, June 1st 2019

Style Low Alcohol ABV 2.5%

Small Beer Session Pale, 2.5%

Small Beer in Bermondsey, South-east London, specialises in low alcohol beers and proves that such beers can have great character and not taste like cold Horlicks. The range includes 2.1% Lager, 1.0% Dark Lager, 2.7% Steam and now the latest addition, Session Pale that co-founder James Grundy calls the perfect summer beer.

James says he and his team “brew to strength”, avoiding such methods as reverse osmosis or distillation. They don’t use lactose, maltose, dextrins or sugars – “no funny business”.

He adds that the brewery is reaching back into history to Tudor times when “small beer” – referred to by Shakespeare – was the everyday drink when it wasn’t safe to consume water. At that time, small beer was the result of re-using the mash after regular strong ale had been made: there were sufficient malt sugars remaining to brew a weaker beer.

Small Beer is a sustainable brewery where hoses are not allowed, with a dramatic reduction in water usage. Only 1½ pints of water are used per pint brewed: the industry norm is 8 to 10 pints. The site is also run entirely on wind, water and solar power.

Session Pale is brewed with the finest English malting barley, Maris Otter, and is hopped with Chinook and Galena. It has a toasted malt, lemon fruit and spicy hops aroma while tart fruit dominates the palate with a good balance of biscuit malt and spicy hops. The finish starts bittersweet with lemon fruit, spicy hops and biscuit malt but finally becomes dry and bitter.

It’s a delicious beer by any standards and belies its low strength. It comes in a 350ml bottles and is available in Majestic Wines at £2.16 a bottle or £12.96 for a six pack. It’s also available in branches of Whole Foods and Daylesford Organic and online from Laithwaites and the Sunday Times Wine Club.

All the Small Beer products are suitable for vegans. Buy Session Pale – you won’t be disappointed.

Small Beer Session Pale, Small Beer Brew