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



  • GUS Sodas
  • Sparkling bottled water


  • Under 21 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. 

The Standard  - Czech Pale Lager - 4.4% ABV (12P)

What most Americans think about when they hear "Czech Pils", the Standard is soft on the palate, firm with hops and delicate on the finish. Double decocted with floor malted barley, naturally carbonated, and served via our traditional Czech faucets. 

Polotmavy  - Czech Amber Lager - 4.4% ABV (12P)

Sweet toasty malt aromas, spicy Saaz hop flavor, rich malt character that finishes dry.  A very old style of Czech lager, Polotmavy has seen a resurgence in its homeland as of late.

Fodderstomph- Dry hopped German Pale Lager - 4.2% ABV

German Pale Lager dry hopped with Grüngeist & Hallertau Blanc. Pure German in ingredients and non-traditional in flavor profile. 

Festbier - Bavarian Lager - 5.8% ABV

Definitely not a session beer! We brewed this for our inaugural Oktoberfest at the brewery, and it felt like the right moment to brew something stronger. This is not the amber colored Oktoberfest you see this time of year, but the Festbier served in the Munich tents. Paler in color, not as sweet, and slightly more hoppy. Decoction mashed and naturally carbonated. 

Giddy Up! - German Ale - 4.2% ABV

British malt meets the new German hop variety Hallertau Blanc. It hazy and all that. 

Green Ghost - Single Hop Pale Ale - 4.1% ABV 

Single hop pale ale with the new German variety 

The Wedding Present  - Pale Ale - 4.5% ABV

Exactly as it sounds. this is a wedding gift for our Tap Room Manager Liz McCarthy. The hops are Nelson Sauvin and Hallertau Blanc, and they provide a big punch of grape and tropical fruit. Toast to Liz & Jeff!

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.

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.



Notch Oktoberfest! September 17th, Sunday, 11AM - 6PM 

It's happening, The Notch Oktoberfest. Expect liter pours, specially brewed lagers, German food from our pals at Karl's Sausage Kitchen & European Market, music from The Mad Bavarian Brass Band, and other Bavarian traditions. We'll be taking over a portion of the parking lot, so our capacity will be increased for the event. 

Enrty fee of $25 includes custom Steinkrug Maß (cermaic liter mug), live entertainment, and a whole bunch of Gemütlichkeit

$25 entrance fee includes limited edition Notch Steinkrug Maß (while supplies last)
Teens: $10
Under 12: Free
Sorry, no dogs for this event




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