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AHA Guideline

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Session Beer

Session Beers are the color of the classic beer style being made to lower strength. Appearance will vary with style of beer being made to lower strength. Aroma depends on the style of beer being made to lower strength. Any style of beer can be made lower in strength than described in the classic style guidelines. The goal should be to reach a balance between the style's character and the lower alcohol content. Drinkability is a character in the overall balance of these beers. Beers in this category must not exceed 4.0% alcohol by weight (5.0% alcohol by volume). Beers above these limits that are entered into this category may be disqualified before judging or after results are announced. Body is variable with style. For purposes of competition, entries containing less than 4.0% abw (5.0% abv) which could be appropriately entered in any other classic or traditional category should be entered in that category and not entered as a session beer.


  • Original Gravity (°Plato) 1.034 - 1.040 (8.5 - 10)
  • Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato) 1.004 - 1.010 (1 - 2.6)
  • Alcohol by Weight (Volume) 3.00% - 4.00% (4.00% - 5.00%)
  • Bitterness (IBU) (10 - 30)
  • Color SRM (EBC) 2+ (4+)