Designer beer, session beer and Chimay

Chimay beer in a glass.

Here are some bits and pieces we spot­ted around and about in the last few days.

1. We think we’ve worked out when Trap­pist beer first land­ed in the UK. A chain of off-licences called Arthur Rack­ham began import­ing Chi­may (prob­a­bly Rouge) in 1974, per­haps in the wake of the 1974 World Beer Fes­ti­val at Olympia in Lon­don. It first showed up at the CAMRA Great British Beer Fes­ti­val in 1979. Any­one know oth­er­wise?

2. Here’s anoth­er def­i­n­i­tion of ses­sion beer for you to chew on, from Tim Webb and Joris Pattyn’s 10o Bel­gian Beers to Try Before You Die:

Sur­pris­ing­ly, it makes a great ses­sion beer. Just as you think its bit­ter­ness will be too much, it proves it can tempt you to one more.

Beer you want to drink a lot of rather than beer it’s easy to drink in quan­ti­ty… that’s a thought.

3. We’d for­got­ten the term ‘design­er beer’ until we came across a 1991 Dai­ly Mir­ror arti­cle on the then hot trend in ‘boozy fash­ion acces­sories’. Typ­i­cal design­er beers, it sug­gests, are Brah­ma (favoured by Andrew Ridge­ley of Wham!), Dos Equis (David Bowie), Sap­poro (Jason Dono­van) and Per­oni (Tina Turn­er). Chi­may Blue also gets a men­tion, along­side a peach beer from Bel­gium which was sup­posed to have aphro­disi­ac qual­i­ties.

13 thoughts on “Designer beer, session beer and Chimay”

  1. Well, come to think of it, a “ses­sion” doesn’t nec­es­sar­i­ly need to be drink­ing a con­sid­er­able vol­ume of beer, it could also be seen as “drink­ing beer (in a social envi­ron­ment) for a more or less con­sid­er­able length of time”. Whether you knock down six pints or just just a bot­tle of a 10+%ABV beer (as long as you are not tak­ing tast­ings notes of it, he!) is, by and large, irrel­e­vant.

    1. That said, I also see “ses­sion beer” as some­thing I can drink a con­sid­er­able vol­ume of with­out get­ting leg­lesss (or at least, with­out get­ting leg­less too fast), as well as a beer that would not over­whelm my taste buds after half a glass, or some­thing (i.e. beers made for drink­ing and not for tast­ing)

  2. I’d for­got­ten Dos Equis, and I’d com­plete­ly for­got­ten that it was once cool.

    Beer you want to drink a lot of rather than beer it’s easy to drink in quan­ti­ty… that’s a thought.

    In these mul­ti-beer times, per­haps the def­i­n­i­tion would be “beer you want to stay on”.

  3. In these times where such a wide gamut of pric­ing exists, per­haps a ses­sion beer is one you can afford (or jus­ti­fy) to spend a night on.

        1. The voic­es in my head tell me to go to the pub but they become frus­trat­ing­ly silent once I arrive.

  4. I’ve nev­er been keen on the term “design­er”. To me it con­jures up over-hyped and over-priced fash­ion acces­sories, worn or used by peo­ple who think its cool to adver­tise some­one else’s name for free. If we want to take this to the lim­it, let’s not for­get that the fash­ion house, Hugo Boss, designed the uni­forms for the SS dur­ing World War II. Styl­ish per­haps, but worn by a par­tic­u­lar­ly sin­is­ter and despi­ca­ble group of peo­ple!

    Look­ing on the lighter side for a minute, would any­one with even the remotest hint of self respect, want to be seen drink­ing a beer favoured by Andrew Ridge­ley of Wham? Mind you, I won­der where the Dai­ly Mir­ror got its infor­ma­tion from. Was it cool to be seen drink­ing ANY beer back in 1991?

  5. My mem­o­ry isn’t all it should be, espe­cial­ly after a hefty and well-lubri­cat­ed lunch cel­e­brat­ing our son’s 21st birth­day. How­ev­er, was the 1979 Great British Beer Fes­ti­val the one that took place under can­vas, fol­low­ing the fire that razed Alexan­dra Palace to the ground? If so it was where I sam­pled my first Bel­gian beer; it wasn’t Chi­may, but a Kriek and it was NOT to my taste at the time!

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