Yard Work and the Beauty of the Session Beer

Guest writer Lori Trentham shows us that it doesn’t have to only be craft beer to quench your thirst and that nothing quite pairs with lawn work like an ice cold brew.

We all know when that time of the year comes around. The air is warmer and the sky seems bluer. Birds start chirping as the last grips of winter melt into the colors of spring. There is a definite bounce in your step and everything just seems so…alive.

Then one day you walk outside and while you are preoccupied with the sky and the birds and the warm breeze on your face, you realize that something is tickling your ankles (your pale, pale ankles). So you look down and realize your yard looks like something out of The Walking Dead. You wish you owned a junk yard because maybe there are spare car parts hiding among the blades of grass. Hell, at this point you realize there might even be a whole car hidden in that jungle.

Come to think of it, maybe that’s why your neighbor keeps giving you dirty looks every time you he sees you. Whoops.

So it begins, every year the same.

You drag the cobweb covered lawnmower from its hiding place behind the Christmas lights and the old washing machine that broke five years ago but hasn’t been taken to the scrap yard yet. You fill it with gas, check the oil and the spark plugs, send up a prayer to the high priestess of lawn equipment and give that mower a yank.

After about thirty minutes of cursing said high priestess and several of her minor deities you finally get that son of a gun going. Now after a few back and forths across the yard you realize that all this pushing and pulling and swearing has made you very parched, very parched indeed. More and you can swear you feel your lips cracking in the scorching sun. Then more and you start to think maybe you should have done more cardio this winter. You are so close to having the back yard done but your legs feel like jelly and you throat is so dry.

Schlitz an old school session beer
Vintage Schlitz ad proving our point.

Just keep pushing. Just keep pushing.

Finally! You shove the mower to the side and flop on the grass, exhausted beyond belief.

You lie there for several moments trying to catch your breath when suddenly you have an epiphany. You force yourself up and head toward the house an unseen force pulling your tired legs forward.

It isn’t the air conditioned coolness of the house, it isn’t a glass of fresh squeezed lemonade, and it isn’t the plushness of your favorite recliner. No it is, oh sweet priestess above let it still be there, it’s beer!

Blessed refreshing nectar of the Rocky Mountains beer!

Tucked behind the expired milk and the day old pizza you see it, glistening like the Arkenstone beneath Smaug’s belly. It’s Insert-your-favorite-brand Light!

Your roommate didn’t drink it!

As you put that ice cold can or bottle to your lips, you couldn’t possibly imagine anything else as mind blowingly refreshing right at this very moment. Time itself stands still as that cooling soothing liquid works its pilsner magic.

“How”, you might wonder, and “why” also,”is this the most amazingly thirst quenching thing you can drink at a time like this?” That, my friends, is the beauty of the session beer.

Now when the idea for this little piece first came to me I have to admit that I was quite excited. I love yard work and I really, really love beer.

Then I sat down to write and realized that I didn’t have much more than, “I like beer, it’s refreshing. Also, yard work is fun.” I was very disappointed to say the least. Then one day I was sitting at Bearden Beer Market with friends James Crowder and Megan Bender.  

I mentioned my story to James. Says he, “Ah yes, they’re called session beers, because you can drink a whole lot in one session without getting plastered.” 

A session beer is typically considered to be a beer below 5% ABV which give the beer a high level of drinkability due to it being neither to malty nor too hoppy. The low ABV allows for several to be consumed in a relatively short amount of time without getting blind stumbling drunk as would happen with a higher gravity beer.  

Mankind has been drinking these types of beers practically since beer was discovered. The first beer was, almost definitely an accident. Barley left in an open container was forgotten about and soaked up the liquid from several rains.  This allowed the sugars in the barley to be broken down by wild yeasts in the air and ferment.

When it was rediscovered the first guy that tried it didn’t die and soon beer making became pretty high on the priority list.  Now, thanks to that first intrepid person we can all enjoy a frosty cold one any time we want.

So if you are dreading that first yank of the mower string just remember there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s near the light in your fridge ladies and gents. So roll up your sleeves, go get sweaty and and enjoy a beautiful day with an equally beautiful beverage.


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