Every industry has to deal with the ebb and flow of trends. Fashion is the most volatile, which is good, because it’s so hard to find a Von Dutch trucker hat these days. Craft beer is hardly immune, and the biggest trend of the last year has been the rise of session beers. Defined as a beer with a sub-5% alcohol content, the idea is to create a beer that won’t thoroughly intoxicate the drinker after multiple servings.
The problem with a lot of session beers is that they sacrifice flavor at the altar of drinkability. Think of it like Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Some session beers feel too thin, some have a hop profile that completely overpowers the grain bill, but every so often a brewery gets it just right. Green Flash Citra Session IPA falls solidly into that third category, and is one of the shining examples of the industry’s current session IPA trend.
First released in 2013 as part of Green Flash’s Hop Odyssey series, Citra Session IPA makes a return trip as a late summer release in 2014. The beer pours as gold as a summer sunset, and strong citrus aromas burst forth from the white head. If the scent was a 10 on the citrus scale, the flavor cranks it way past 11, as you get strong flavors of grapefruit and orange. This beer is like chewing on a piece of perfectly-ripe citrus, with just enough pith to give it a pleasant bitterness.
Who’s to say how long the session beer trend will continue to be a thing, but if more breweries put out flavorful brews like Citra Session, it might be here to stay. This beer is a refreshing way to cap off a hot summer day.
Green Flash Brewing Co.
City: San Diego, Calif.?
Availability: August and September in 22 oz. bottles and draft