There's now less than two weeks to go until we can go to a pub! Well, sort of. Beer gardens are go on 12th April and this has got me thinking about what my first, second, third etc. beer will be on my first outing to a pub in 2021.
If you know me then you'd know that I love New England style beer, but most New England styles tend to come with higher ABV and I'm not sure I want to make a fool of myself or be carried home early on my first trip to a pub. So I have been thinking about this tactically to ensure limited risk of mishap or mayhem.
This then got me to thinking about what lower ABV beers are available and during a conversation with friends over Skype, I was reminded of Table beers. What is a Table beer? I hear some of you ask. A Table beer is essentially a lower abv beer which is typically around 2-4% in strength, designed to be refreshing, easy drinking and to be enjoyed by most palates. Historically, it was enjoyed by all the family (including children - do an internet search for 'small beer') with an ABV of less than 1%, mostly in Belgium and France in the 16th Century, literally at the table with the family meal. Table beers also take in a range of brewing styles; including mixed fermentation, wheat beers, wits, sours and pale ales. There is no one size fits all, just a low alcoholic content.
Since the rise of craft beer in the UK over the last 8 years or so, with experimental flavours and ever new and diverse hop variants, not to mention influence from over the pond, the more hearty 6-8% ABV beers have proven popular, with the ABV rising further in some Double IPAs. Though this is gradually shifting. Given that most people will be out of practice of drinking out, I think now might be the time when table beers and session beers will shine, they're not lacking in flavour but allow you to have a few more so you can stay out just that little bit longer to try to claim back some lost time from the pub with friends.
2021 will be the year of table beers (I think).
So, what will you be drinking on 12th April?