The story here is that of Session Beer.
Session beer is born of workers beer, where refreshment and taste went hand in hand. It slaked the thirst of laborers while they plowed the fields, mined for coal, fired the blast furnace and forged steel. When water was tainted, session beer saved civilization. It’s 4.5% ABV and lower, difficult to brew and a pleasure to drink. But session beer is so much more than a number.
Launched in 2010 by Chris Lohring, Notch Brewing was the first brewing company in the U.S. to focus exclusively on Session Beer. At the time, we simply wanted to brew the beers we loved to drink, and finding them was a challenge. Being a professional brewer since 1993, Chris knew that session beer had been enjoyed in every great beer brewing nation for centuries, yet in the U.S. it was overlooked. So he set out to brew the world’s classic session styles from England, the Czech Republic, Germany and Belgium, as well as explore how session beer could fit with the U.S.’s hoppy beer infatuation. Six years later, you are sitting in a brewery that was built on the back of session beer. It’s proven one thing, that beer consumers like options, and session beer is a great one.
Brewery & Tap Room
Six years of brewing session beer, and we finally built a home. Our new brewery in Salem Massachusetts is open! Here's what you'll find:
Tap Room: Full pours for on-site consumption, quart cans to go, and 16oz cans to go of our Single Series beers (when available). We'll have 6 to 13 beers on tap at all times, highlighting session beers styles from all over. Communal tables, counter service, light snacks, no TVs. It's a place to socialize with friends, or meet new ones.
Biergarten: Communal tables on the South River basin. Watch the tide come and go from our south facing beer garden. Catch a view our harbor seals, birds of all types and striped bass when they are running (no fishing from the biergarten!). Well behaved dogs are encouraged!
Brewery: We hope that our brewery will provide guests a way to see the unique brewing processes and equipment we will be using - a traditional decoction brew-house, open and closed fermentation, horizontal lagering tanks, German gravity dispense, true British cask-conditioning,and a draft system imported from the Czech Republic – tools, process and equipment that will allow a wide variety of session beer to be produced.
Brewery Tours: Free brewery tours every Saturday at 5:00PM. At other times ask a staff member if a brewer is available for a tour and we will do our best. Private tours can be booked through email@example.com.
283 Rear Derby Street
Salem MA 01970
Mon & Tues Closed
WED & THUR 5P–11P
Fri & Sat 12p–11p
- German Soft Pretzel
- German Landjager
- Pickled vegetables
- Pickled eggs (cage free)
- No outside food per Board of Health
- Spindrift Sodas
- Sparkling bottled water
OTHER IMPORTANT STUFF
- 21+ plus only
- Kids 12 and under OK with parent
- Dogs welcome in biergarten!
- Unsupervised dogs or children will be judged by their peers.
Beers at the Tap Room
Zwickel Bier Bavarian Pale Lager - 4.5% ABV
German pale malt, Sterling hops, and a single decoction give this unfiltered lager its elegant subtly. Nothing hits you over the head, and that is the beauty of restraint. A perfect beer for an afternoon of liters.
The Standard - Czech Pale Lager - 4.4% ABV (12°P)
Czech floor malted barley, soft water, Saaz hops, double decocted mash and ample lagering time brings Plzen a little bit closer to Salem, Served through our imported Czech dispense taps in traditional Czech mugs. "The Standard" is a step up in ABV from our Session Pils, and while the Czech Republic would call this standard strength beer, it still falls in our session range at 4.4% ABV.
Tmavy - Czech Dark Lager - 4.0% ABV (12°P)
Tmavy is Czech for dark, and you guessed it, this is our Czech dark lager. Also double decocted, it is rich, malty and roasty but never bitter or sweet. A wonderful balance of malt sugar to Czech Saaz hops land this beer soft and dry.
Slanted & Enchanted - Dry Hopped Hefeweisse = 4.5% ABV
We took a classic approach to the Bavarian Hefeweisse - decoction mash, Andech's yeast strain, German wheat & pale malt - and then dry hopped with the new German hop varieties Mandarina Bavaria and Hull Melon.
Left of the Dial - IPA - 4.3% ABV
Celebrating modest ABV of British IPAs, yet with the passion fruit aromas of US hop varieties, Left of the Dial uses British malt, hard water and a new wave hop profile of Citra and Mosaic. The base malt is Fawcett Golden Promise, along with a touch of Fawcett caramalt and oat malt. And that “IPA is strong” stuff? All myth. Just ask us.
El Hombre Dorado - Single Hop Pale Ale (El Dorado) - 4.0% ABV
A single hopped pale ale showing the citrus flavor and aromas of the hop El Dorado. Nothing complicated, every bit satisfying.
Land Speed Record - Pale Ale - 4.5% ABV
A blend of three hops, all of which we have on draft as single hop pale ales. See how a blend changes the dynamics of flavor and aromatics. Simcoe, El Dorado and Mosaic are combined in the dry hop, and we'll leave you to pick out what the hops are contributing. Or, just drink it, it's delicious.
Dog & Pony Show - Single Hop Pale Wheat (Citra)- 4.3% ABV
An American Pale Wheat Beer brewed with Massachusetts malted wheat, pils malt, oats and 100% Citra hops. Although a wheat beer, it pours only slightly hazy and is packed with fruity hop aroma and a delicate but noticeable hop flavor.
Plenty For All - Single Hop Oat Pale Ale (Mosaic) - 4.5% ABV
An oat based pale ale that celebrates juicy British malt and hopped with only Mosaic hops grown here in the US. Plenty for All - no waiting in lines (except in Halloween season), no scarcity, no whales. Drink up, we'll brew more.
Guest Brewer Beers (brewed at Notch)!
Our guest brewer series is simple - we allow our friends to brew any beer they desire in our brewery. Their beer, their recipe, their labor, their name on the board. It's not a collaboration, but an opportunity for our friends to try something new and explore new territory. For Notch it's an opportunity to open up our brewery to friends, and allow for guest beers on tap (we can only serve what we make under our brewing license). It's also an excuse for us to hang out together in an otherwise busy industry.
Starting December 8th: Idle Hands - Wooooo! Weizenbock - 7.5% ABV
Beers out in the world
Session Pils - Czech Pale Lager - 4.0% ABV
Notch Session Pils salutes the session pale lagers of the Czech Republic: crisp, herbal, and hoppy. The Czech culture is a beer culture, and their beer of choice is this low gravity pale lager known as Světlé Výčepní. Enjoy it served fresh through our Czech tap system!
Left of the Dial - IPA - 4.3% ABV
Celebrating modest ABV of British IPAs, yet with the passion fruit aromas of US hop varieties, Left of the Dial uses British malt, hard water and a new wave hop profile. The base malt is Fawcett Golden Promise, along with a touch of Fawcett caramalt and oat malt. And that “IPA is strong” stuff? All myth. Just ask us.
Infinite Jest - Hoppy Pale Wheat - 4.3% ABV
An American Pale Wheat Beer brewed with malted wheat, Pils malt, oats and Equinox hops. Although a wheat beer, it pours only slightly hazy and is packed with fruity hop aroma and a delicate but noticeable hop flavor. Don’t expect the banana, clove, orange or coriander flavors and aromas of Germany or Belgium, but do expect infinite fun.
Black Lager - Czech style Černé Pivo - 4.0% ABV
Our cold weather session lager, built for multiple pints when the days get short. Black in color yet modest in ABV, our Black lager has an upfront malt sweetness with notes of roast and chocolate, yet finishes medium dry without cloying sweetness. This is a Czech staple, and one we love to brew each winter. Enjoy!
Notch Skee Ball League Wednesdays!
It's happening, the weekly skee-ball leauge we've been promising. We are starting simple, and will let the league members refine its awesomeness. Here's the starting parameters:
- Every Wednesday 730 - 9ish PM
- Keep your team or form new ones every week, newcomers always welcome!
- 9 strings
- 9 balls per string
- Max 9 teams
- Teams of 3, each team member rolls 3 strings.
- Top 3 teams win Notch Tap Room gift certificates
- Individual top score of the night wins Notch schwag
- First come first entry for the night (all three team members must be in the room)
- Top three finishing teams secure a spot for the following week
- Fun will be had by all!