To celebrate National Session Beer Day (an offshoot of the Session Beer Project) one of our Hooch & Hops writers went to Yards Brewing Company in Philly to drink some English style session beers. Here is his report:
Yards Brewing was founded in 1994 in Philadelphia has made quite a name for itself producing mostly English style ales and their Ales of the Revolution series.
April 7th, 2012 was not a day for Ales of the Revolution or Yards’ award winning pale ale however. No, April 7th was a day for session beers and that meant busting out the Yards Brawler, a “pugilist style English session ale.” At 4.2% abv this finely crafted ale is strong on flavor but low on alcohol, definitely a beer that will allow you to go a few rounds.
I was lucky enough to belly up to the bar next to nationally acclaimed beer and whiskey writer Lew Bryson. Lew had just gotten back from the American Distilling Insitute’s Craft Spirits Conference and had some great insight into the burgeoning craft distilling scene. Hooch & Hops hopes they have a chance to tip a few glasses with Lew in the future as he is a font of fine drinking wisdom. We should also point out that Lew has been the driving force behind the Session Beer Project and Session Beer Day. So thank you Lew for keeping a historic beer style in the public eye.
Following a glass of Brawler with Lew, I joined Yards Sales Rep Ian for a tour of the brewing and bottling room. Here are some pics of these two rooms:
In addition to all of the wonderful beer that Yards serves up throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, they also grill up some mighty fine grub. The bison from which this sandwich came was fed the spent grains from the Yards’ brewing process. No wonder Yards was named the 2010 Philly Chamber of Commerce Green Business of the Year. Here is a photo of their tasty Bison sandwich smothered in chili:
The lesson learned from a day like this day is that there are opportunities all around us to introduce better drinking to our lives. Very often these events lead us to interactions with strangers who we would otherwise never have a chance to meet. And in the world of craft beer and distilling, the strangers you meet while out on adventures are often pretty cool people. So look around your local town and see what is out there. Maybe you will find a goat race to celebrate Bock season or your local distillery will be opening for a vertical sampling. Just look around and you are bound to find ways to Drink Better.