New Beer on the Block: Last Cast Special Bitter

Greetings, beer drinker!  Yes, YOU!  We’ve got a new alcoholic beverage for you to try.  We’re calling it Last Cast.

Before we get into the details of the beer itself, let’s talk about the style of beer.  Our Last Cast is a Bitter Session Ale.  Remember the Brits?  You know, those guys who love tea, planting flags in foreign countries and making food that is somehow enhanced by vinegar?   Well, they’re responsible for a lot of modern-day beers, including IPAs, Stouts, Porters and Pales.  If the Brits were a Boy Scout, they’d be that annoying over-achiever who had a badge for everything and smugly told the rest of the world how they’re doing it wrong, like how beer is best enjoyed at room temperature.

So naturally, they’re responsible for the Bitter Session Ale as well.

The Session Ale is similar to the IPA in the sense that there’s no true history behind the name.  It’s somewhere between rumor, fact and hypothesis.  We have ideas, but no one wrote down the exact history as it happened.  Possibly because they were too busy drinking beer to write anything down.

With that in mind, here are some of the nitty gritty details of a Session Ale:

Technically called a Bitter Session Ale, this style of beer is characterized by its low alcohol content and drinkability.  A true session  is generally accepted as having lower than 4% alcohol content.  The point of the beer is to be able to enjoy its flavor over a plethora of pints, something not possible to do with a 6-7% abv. beer.  At least without stumbling into traffic.  Beyond the 4%, it’s broken down into two more specifications: a Special Bitter is between 4-4.9% and an Extra Special Bitter is anything 5% and above (but generally not higher than 5.9%).

Perhaps oddest of the name, a Bitter ale doesn’t necessarily imply bitterness.  Kind of like a pale ale.  A pale ale is a style that’s generally pale, but just because it might have a reddish or copper tone, doesn’t mean it’s no longer a Pale ale.  A Bitter Ale certainly has a hop flavoring to it, but it’s mild when compared to the heavy hopped Double and Triple IPA’s of the Northwest. The name is victim to the time in which it was created: at the inception of the Bitter Session Ale, the most popular ales in The United Kingdom were Stouts and Porters, a sweet and malty beer that could make just about any other style of beer seem bitter.

That’s all fine and dandy, but what does this all mean for flavor?  Well, we’ll step aside and let the Brewer and stats do the talking:

Last Cast Session Ale

Style:  Special Bitter (a British session beer)

ABV:  4.5% (easy drinkin’)

IBU:  30 (modest)

Malt: 

  • 2-row
  • munich
  • crystal
  • special roast (great malt backbone)

Hops:

  • Fuggle (traditional hop)
  • Goldings (traditional hop)
  • Amarillo (a little NW twist because that’s our jam)

From the John the Brewer:

Low alcohol, moderate carbonation, and round malt flavor finely balanced with modest hop bitterness create the easy-drinking effect.  In spite of its name, Special Bitter is NOT a bitter beer.  The British use the term metaphorically to refer to sessionable pub beers generally in the way one might use the word “pints” to describe “beer.” 

Pairing Suggestion:

Try this beer alongside our Pretzel, Herbivore Burger, or Stout Battered Fish & Chips!