Homebrew competition: Session beers (under 4.0 ABV) (ended)

//Update: This was our second completely virtual competition. This meant more time to evaluate the beers, more time to give in depth feedback, less drunken evaluating. The quality and variety of beers was really good. We might stick to the format to allow people to sample beers anonymously and take their time to give indepth feedback. The actual meetings would be great to have in person though. We’ll give it a bit more thought.

After all the evaluations were counted Erwin took the number one spot with his Vienna Session IPA. Congratulations Erwin and thank you all that competed and joined us in evaluating the beers!


For our next homebrew competition we will brew a Session beer under 4 percent ABV. It will take place in Se(sh)tember 2021!

For those that do not know, a Session beer is a low-alcohol beer that you are able to drink in relatively high volumes. It is not defined by specific flavours or aromas, which can place it in almost any style category. Instead, what makes a session beer is primarily refreshment and drinkability. The goal should be to reach a balance between the style’s character and the lower alcohol content. Drinkability is an important factor in the overall balance of these beers. The upper limit in terms of alcohol content for a beer to be ‘sessionable’ is a bit debatable but we have decided a maximum of 4 percent ABV to make this a challenge.

Otherwise you have full creative freedom, as long as your beer ends up under 4 percent ABV. As is common for our creative challenges that is the only limitation that you will receive.

How will it work and who can particpate?

As always we are a homebrew group that is open for all – so everyone can participate if they choose to. The competition will take place in September so aim to have your beer ready at the end of August 2021.

Because of Corona there is some uncertainty about how the competition will take place. If rules and safety allow we will meet physically and sample beers together. We also understand that this might not be a realistic or desireable. If meeting physically is not viable we will use the same method of distribution as our previous competition. This means that we collect all beers at a central location, package them, and send them to the participants homes. We hope to have more clarity on how the competition takes place when we move closer to the competition date – expect us to communicate on this in August. Because we have a good backup plan we can ensure that the competition will take place, virtual or physical.

A litte guidance for those wanting to participate: brewing a session beer is not simply scaling down a normal recipe to end up under 4 percent ABV. You will want to use malts that give extra body and mash at higher temperatures to prevent the beer from tasting thin and watery. There is a lot of great literature out there and experimentation really pays off.

Session Beers
This seems to be the highest rated book I found on a quick Google search 😉

Our FOEBAR competition rules apply and can be found here. We might tweak the evaluation parameters to better fit the category. Think of adding a category drinkablity or refreshment.

We have loads a number of members that can help you with taking your first steps into session beers! Need to help getting started? Want to get nerdy with mash profiles? have questions? or just want to show off your progress? Join our message board / mailing list!

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