Brewing Session Beer way before it was a thing
Launched in 2010, 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. Session beer has been enjoyed in every great beer brewing nation for centuries, yet in the U.S. it was overlooked. So we 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. Seven years later, we have 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.
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. Every great beer brewing nation brews and enjoys session beer, and the US is no exception.
Brewery & Tap Room
Seven years of brewing session beer, and we finally built our Salem brewery in 2016. 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 have 8 to 13 beers on tap at all times, highlighting session beers styles from all over. Communal tables, counter service, light snacks, no TVs (except for the Patriots) and SkeeBall. It's a place to socialize with friends, or meet new ones.
Biergarten: Open year round! Communal tables on the South River basin in the warm months, heated stand-ups in the cold. 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!). Kubb and Cornhole when it's not busy. Well behaved dogs are encouraged!
Brewery: We hope that our brewery will provide our customers 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
283 Rear Derby Street
Salem MA 01970
Mon & TuES CLOSED
WED & THUR 5P–11P
Fri & Sat 12p–11p
SUN 12PM - 7PM
- German Soft Pretzel
- w/ Obatzda. mustard or buttter
- Cheese of the week
- German Landjager
- Pickled vegetables
- Pickled eggs (cage free)
- No outside food per Board of Health
- Spindrift Sodas
- Sparkling bottled water
OTHER IMPORTANT STUFF
- Kids 12 and under OK with parent
- 21+ only Fri & Sat after 6PM
- Dogs welcome in biergarten!
- Dogs & children must be supervised at all times.
Beers at the Tap Room
Loral - Czech Pale Lager - 4.0% ABV (11°P)
Unfiltered Czech pale lager (you can call it a Pilsner if you want) that is medium dry, crisp with a lingering hop finish. Double decocted and fermented with a famous yeast from the home of pilsner. Hopped with the new US variety Loral, that fits this classic style perfectly.
Zwickelbier - Bavarian Pale Lager - 4.5% ABV (12°P)
An unfiltered Bavarian pale lager traditionally served with a slight haze direct from the lagering tank. Hopped with Sterling, this beer displays a nice balance of malt sweetness and hop bite. Single decocted with German Pils malt.
Land Speed Record - Pale Ale hopped w/ Grungeist, Huell Melon & Citra - 4.5% ABV
Intensely aromatic and flavorful from a blend of US & German hops, this pale ale is brewed with 50% wheat malt from Valley Malt in Hadley MA.
Dog & Pony Show - Single hopped Pale Ale w/ Citra - 4.5% ABV
Brewed with Massachusetts malted wheat and a single hop variety, Citra, A bright, dry and crisp pale ale that begs for one more sip, one more liter, one more hour.
Gates of the West - British Bitter - 3.8% ABV
A classic British Bitter brewed with sulfate and calcium rich water, floor malted barley malt, open fermented and lightly hopped. Everything that is popular with today's juicy fruit sweet pale ales this beer proudly not. Clean, sharp, and dry: attributes once heralded in a pale ale are on full display.
Experimental Jet Set - Experimental Hop Series (HBC 438 hop) - 4.0%
A series of dry hopped pale ales using the latest hop varieties under development. These hops carry numbers at first, before they are given a name and selected for full release. The hop HBC 438 carries citrus, stone fruit, tropical fruit and herbal aromas and flavors. We dig it.
Vincent - British Dark Mild - 3.20%
A classic British Dark Mild brewed in the long forgotten tradition of a balanced, malty, low ABV dark beers built for multiple pints.
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!
Turn It On IPA - IPA - 4.3% ABV (Draft only)
Intense tropical fruit and citrus aromatics from El Dorado and Citra hops are combined with our favorite British malts to provide a creamy texture for the high hoping rate.
Teenage Riot - Single hop Pale Ale (w/ Hallertau Blanc) - 4.2% ABV
Hopped exclusively with Hallertau Blanc for aromas of peach, grape and tea
Notch Skee Ball Wednesdays!
It's happening, the weekly skee-ball league (NOT REALLY A LEAGUE but a weekly competition) 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!
Meters for Liters Every Wednesday at 6:30pm
Meters for Liters is a weekly 5k run from the brewery. This is not a race, just a chance to get out and earn some cold beer. Brewers Chris and Nate will run with us as well! When we get back to the brewery, there will be plenty of beer and free pretzels for runners!
No sign up is required but you do have the option to "sign in" before the run. Runners will earn custom Notch swag upon completing 50,000 meters! (10 runs).