I’ve been increasingly on the hunt for flavorful “session” beer lately, something I can drink a couple of and not feel it too much. Drake’s Brewing Alpha Session fits the bill pretty well. It’s 3.8% ABV, so by the time I finish this 22oz bomber ($5.99 at Bottlecraft) I won’t be feeling the booze too much. Ratebeer lists it at 75 IBU, which kind of surprises me, it’s hoppy, but I’d expect the IBUs to be lower along with the the alcohol.
Brian Jensen at Bottlecraft mentioned that he thought the aroma was better than the taste, which I have to agree with, though I don’t have many complaints about the flavor (nor did it sound like he did). This beer smells good. From the smell alone you’d have no idea that it’s such a low alcohol beer, you might think you’re in for a hoppy IPA or even a Double IPA. The taste is definitely hops, pine and grapefruit, but the body is (understandably) on the light side.
I’d drink this again no questions asked, but I think I’ll be on the lookout for slightly stronger Session IPAs. For their part, Drake’s doesn’t call this an IPA or even a Session IPA, they label it a NorCal Bitter– a nod to the low ABV English style Bitter but with their own West Coast touch.