In the 1970’s, there were only 44 brewing companies in the U.S. Now, there are almost 2,500. Over the past few years, craft beers have been an essential part of the beverage industry’s vocabulary. So, what is the newest trend in the craft beer industry? Approachable, drinkable, and "sessionable" beers are the new terms applied to the new beers that are coming out.
Redhook Brewery, based in Washington State, launched a game changer to the beer world, called Game Changer, which is a pale ale. Right now, the beer is only available on tap at over 900 U.S. locations of Buffalo Wild Wings. The beer is perfect for someone watching a game and drinking beers while spending the afternoon at Buffalo Wild Wings because it is a lighter beer that one can drink over the course of an afternoon. It is slightly cheaper than a high-end craft beer, and slightly more expensive than a mass-produced domestic beer.
Other breweries are using a similar strategy in creating new "sessionable" beers. Of course, restaurants love the idea because people can order more over the course of an afternoon while remaining responsible. Patrick Kirk, the beverage-innovation director at Buffalo Wild Wings explained in a Q&A with Technomic why the chain wanted it’s own special craft beer, noting “We’ve seen an interesting trend, a movement toward craft beerscoming back down to be more sessionable, brewed with lower alcohol and an easy-to-drink mentality. That’s what our guest is demanding…Game Changer is at 4.6 percent ABV, so it’s definitely sessionable.”
Craft beer remains to be only about 5 percent of all beer sales in the U.S., but with a growing line of options, this number may be growing. Americans who have a taste for light, low-alcohol, but still fulfilling beers are now being fulfilled.