Cascade Session

The inspiration for this recipe comes from the Sierra Nevada brewery, who during my colleges days, made some of the best beer around. Sierra Nevada hops of choice is cascade hops, imparting a grapefruit flavor to many of its beer. While Sierra Neveda’s beer are indeed hoppy (and perhaps some of the hoppiest beers around in my college days), they are also malty. Sometimes though, you just want the bite of hops, without the malt. Enter the brainchild of this recipe: the Cascade Session. The goal is get everything we can that is Cascade – to create a beer that embodies the grapefruitness of cascade without too much accompany malt.


The gravity for this beer is pretty close to the mark. That being said, there was some wort left in the kettle that didn’t make it into the fermenter. So, with less of everything, we can assume in the future greater efficiency. Efficiency aside, the starting gravity was relatively low, to give a nice light sessionable beer.

original gravity for sierra nevada homebrew session ipa with cascade hops using brew in a bag biab

As with other brews, I noticed that the final gravity fell a wee bit short of the goal. (The Citra Session is a similar adventure – with the final gravity being a bit short of the target.) The FG for this batch being 1.010. The target was 1.006.

Final gravity fell a hair short of the target.
Final gravity fell a hair short of the target.

So, fermentation was just barely incomplete. This gives me an idea. I’m going to let the (non-hopped) beers sit for an extra week in the fermentation vessel. Perhaps this will give the yeast the extra time necessary to complete the job.

The Verdict

Pretty good. It’s a great session ale. It’s a little maltier than what I imagined – and a disappointment after having the Citra session I made recently. However, I think the style is true to Sierra Neveda – which doesn’t spare malt flavor in it’s own beers. So, while it’s a good, I think I’ll be closing any further variations of the cascade hopped ale for now. I’ll continue to work on future variations of the citra session – experimenting with how light I can make a session ale and still have it be an enjoyable beer.

cascade session homebrew in a glass - small

t’s a good beer – but my desire for a super light body and citra hops will lead towards other paths in the future:

The Recipe