Table Beers are by nature – session beers. (4% or less. Debate rages on to say 5% or less.) Notch is releasing Tafelbier (table beer), a Belgian influenced beer that clocks in at a mere 2.8% ABV. It’s perfect thirst quencher for summer.
I kayak all the time in the summer, and I like to pack beer for lunch and breaks along the way. Kayaking is no time to be drunk, really, but having some beers along the way is FUN. Yes, beer can still be fun! Notch Tafelbier is exactly the beer for that time — light bodied, yet tasty, and perfectly acceptable to be pulled from cooler ice cold and consumed right out of the bottle. I also like to spend long days barbequing in the yard — real wood smoked barbeque, the 4 to 12 hour marathon ordeals — where you gauge the addition of more wood or charcoal with each beer you’ve consumed. If you have a pork shoulder to attend to, a 2.8% beer is your friend for the day (and night). I’m sure you have some summer rituals or activities that Notch Tafelbier could help you extend?
Table beers are making a comeback as a style, especially in the states. Stillwater Artisanal Ales just released one, a lighter ABV meant for table consumption. Interestingly, Notch’s Chris asks you to break convention, and enjoy the beer the way you want:
...people always ask me what temps to drink my beer, or what glass works with what style. I have my personal preferences, but that doesn’t require you to follow them. To each his own. But with the Tafelbier, I suggest you break convention with most of the craft beer dogma about serving temps, drinking vessels and such. Drinking straight from the bottle out of an icy cold cooler is perfectly acceptable, as is drinking it from a chilled mug from the freezer. No beer police will summons you, or question your beer geek cred. Have fun, there’s always plenty of time for serious beer contemplation later.
Hops: Saaz, Styrian Goldings
Malts: Belgian, Canadian
Availability: 22oz bombers. Now
Notch Brewing’s Saison has been promoted to year round status. This saison (or Worker’s Beer) is a mere 3.8% ABV. Starting in 22oz bottles was a way to test the demand for a low abv session saison. 6-packscarry a higher packaging cost. With such a positive response, the promotion is now official. Saison launched in June, 2011.
Brewed in the traditional Saison style of Belgium, this is the classic farmhouse beer. Originally brewed by farms to slake the thirst of seasonal workers (les saisonniers), this refreshing beer had a lower alcohol content that is not often seen in today’s modern Saison. Notch returns the Saison to its roots, not only in alcohol content, but by using local ingredients much like the Belgian farmers. The wheat used in Notch Saison is malted by Valley Malt in Hadley Massachusetts.
Hops: Mt Hood, Styrian Goldings
Malts: Pils, Red Winter Wheat, Oats, Belgian
Yeast: Belgian Saison Yeast
Availability: 22oz bombers, Draft through 2011. 2012 – 12oz bottles.