Check out the rest of my recipes in the index.
I often wonder if San Diego breweries are slaves to their reputation: it’s hard to find a beer around here that isn’t big, bold, and exploding with hops; subtlety is certainly not a strong point. I get it, folks are breaking free of the grip of the macro lagers, discovering great beer, and trying to get as far away from the “old stuff” that they can get. Some of us, however, aren’t looking for every beer to melt our faces off; some of us just want a smooth, flavorful beer that won’t leave us on the floor after a pint or two. In my humble opinion, the session beer is where it’s at!
While I think the term “Session IPA” is a little goofy (lump that in with “Black India Pale Ale”), I love the idea: super flavorful beers packed with character that are easy drinking and low in alcohol. I’ve been hankering for English style ales lately, partly because many of them are supremely sessionable, and partly because I love the character that English malt and yeast bring (which is to say, more than a platform to showcase hops). I have a problem though: I’m sitting on a few pounds of bold American hops from the 2013 season that I’m desperately trying to get through before the 2014 hops are released; if I want to get through ’em I can’t got out and buy new English hops.
My solution to this problem is a tribute to my home town and the big, bold beers that are made there: the San Diego Bitter. The base of it is a slight tweak of my tried and true Special Bitter recipe, which showcases English malt and yeast, but is blasted liberally with Citra and Calypso hops. Why Citra and Calypso? All the cool kids love the Citra and the apple/pear from the Calypso matches nicely with the esters from the English yeast (which I typically think of as pear-y).
Is it a session IPA? An imperial bitter? All I know is that it’s easy drinking!