Good Beer Hunting
About This Show
In the midst of a sea-change, you don't just build a boat. You make the wave. Good Beer Hunting is how industry strategist, writer, and photographer Michael Kiser is crafting the story of beer around the world — not from the outside looking in, rather, from the center of the movement. GBH is the chronicle of the most compelling people, places and products he encounters on his travels. In addition to the website, the podcast is devoted to using craft beer as a bridge between other types of businesses, craft-oriented cultures, and what we eat and drink. Interviews with brewers, aficionados, and makers of all types with one thing in common — a fascination with what's happening in craft beer. Recorded at GBH Studios in Chicago, Illinois. Join him on the hunt.
Most Recent Episode
EP-134 Chris Lohring of Notch Brewing Co.
6 days ago
Session is a new word to many craft beer drinkers’ lexicon, but the idea of session beer far predates whatever new lingo is helping sell balanced, lower alcohol beers. but until session was paired with the term IPA, it was a bit of an obscure word - you may have also seen the words light, or table used in a similar context to basically mean easy to drink, balanced, dare I say crushable. Some of you just cringed, I know. But it’s been hard going for anyone looking to sell these kinds of beers in our culture of extreme flavor, high alcohol, hard to get beers until someone decided to pair it with IPA. They need a pitch, a hook, to get people interested in what really, for most people around the world, defines normal every day great beer. I mean, you don’t see Pilsner Urquell going around pitching itself as light, or sessionable. But this is America. It all needs a qualifier of some sort.
One brewery up in Salem, Massachusetts has done more than just pitch their beer with the word session in the title, they’ve gone all in on the concept, referring to their entire portfolio as American Session Beer. Notch Brewing under founder Chris Lohring, started out as a contract brand, largely because he couldn’t convince anyone that these styles would ever be in favor. That’s hard to imagine in 2017 when it seems every craft brewer is gunning for the easy-drinking lager, hoppy pilsner, and golden ale. So he took a hard road, scraping together support from fellow brewers with capacity, building his brand and base, and finally, just last year, got the investment he needed to open his own small brewery with a taproom and take another step into the future of his idea.
And the beers are absolutely delicious.
When I was there, I had the pilsner, which was clearly more refined and delicate than most you’ll have in the US, and we’ll dig into the reasons why in this episode. I also had the smoked Grodziskie which was layered and balanced and just sang not he palate. And even his take on the hazy IPA, which when viewed through the lens of session beer makes a whole lot of sense.