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 

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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



283 Rear Derby Street
Salem MA 01970

Mon - Thurs 4PM - 11PM
Fri & Sat 12pM–11pM
SUN 12PM -10PM



  • Spindrift Sodas
  • Sparkling bottled water


  • 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

Session Pils - Czech Session Lager - 4.0% ABV (10P)

Yes, there really is a Session Pils, and it is the most consumed style in the country that consumes the most beer by capita. 

Zwickel - German Pale Lager - 4.5% ABV (12P)

A classic and rustic Bavarian pale lager. Brewed with German barley malt, hopped with German Spalt and fermented with a Bavrarian lager yeast. Double decocted, naturally carbonated and cold lagered. That's a lot of stats, but it's a tasty beer for a glasskrug!

Grodziskie- Oak Smoked Polish Wheat Beer - 3.1% ABV 

Brewed for our inaugural Polish Fest, we used oak smoked wheat from Valley Malt in Hadley MA to creates a deep aroma. Wonderfully refreshing yet subtly complex.

Hootenanny - Berliner Weisse - 3.3% ABV

"The champagne of the north" as Napoleon would call it, our Hootenanny is sour wheat beer that was popularized in Berlin. The perfect summer quencher straight up, but we offer the traditional syrups as well - Raspberry and Woodruff. Brewed with NE grown and malted wheat.

Almy’s  - Pale Ale - 4.5% ABV

Old school meets new school! While embracing the hazy tropical aromatics of the new school, Almy’s is also firmly entrenched in the old school with a dry, lingering bitterness. Fun facts: The Almy family constructed our building in 1914 for an REO Motorcar Dealership, and also owned the much beloved department store in downtown Salem.

Dog & Pony Show - Single Hopped American Pale Wheat (Citra) - 4.0 % ABV

Wheat, it's not a style, it's a grain. It's also great for summertime pale ales.

Between the Waves - Single Hopped American Pale Ale (Vic Secret) - 4.5 % ABV

The newer hop variety Vic Secret is on full display in this haze bomb of a pale ale. Pineapple, Passion Fruit, Pine. It ticks all the boxes, except booze. Get over that and drink a few liers.  

Saison - Belgian Farmhouse Ale - 3.8% ABV

Born of worker’s beer, Belgian farmers brewed Saison for the harvest where seasonal workers consumed 5 liters per day for hydration. This traditional lower alcohol content beer has a dry, spicy and refreshing finish. Brewed with MA wheat, hard water, and a traditional Belgian yeast strain.

Guest Brewery at the Tap Room!

Our guest brewer series allows our brewer friends to use our brewery and serve it in our tap room! Their recipe, their beer, their labor!

Gentile Brewing - Beverly MA - Dunkel Lager - 5.0% ABV

Long time friend Paul Gentile took over the brewery and used all of our capabilities! Double decocted, naturally carbonated and cold lagered, his Dunkel is malty and a little chewy, but well balanced with traditional hopping and a slight roast. Come drink our neighbors across the bridge here in Salem!

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.

Hootenanny - Berliner Weisse - 3.3% ABV

"The champagne of the north" as Napoleon would call it, our Hootenanny is sour wheat beer that was popularized in Berlin. The perfect summer quencher straight up, but we offer the traditional syrups as well - Raspberry and Woodruff. Brewed with NE grown and malted wheat.


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!


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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).


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