Crushable Craft Beer: What Does It Even Mean?

When it comes to drinking beer, there are so many types of adjectives and terms used that get bandied around and at times, it can be confusing or difficult to know what exactly is being meant by them.

Crushable Craft Beer - What Does It Even Mean

One of these phrases is crushable – you see this phrase being used by many craft beer drinkers, but if you’re new to craft beer or have never heard of the phrase anyway, it can get a little lost in translation.

We’ve decided to try to clear up that confusion and create this guide for you to get to grips with what this means, along with some other pieces of top, notable information.

So, let’s find out what it all means!

What Is Meant By Crushable Craft Beer?

Due to the popularity of craft beer drinking, the actual meaning of crushable has been a little clouded.

The term is meant to describe a craft beer that you can drink several of comfortably, which used to be known as a session beer.

The problem was that the term session came with plenty of negative connotations and craft beer drinkers wanted to distance themselves from these connotations.

The original meaning usually defined a craft beer with these characteristics:

  • A low (or moderate) ABV
  • Easily consumable in numbers
  • A light (or moderate) body
  • Balanced in aroma and flavor

You can also describe crushable craft beer drinking as easy-drinking or drinkable.

As we mentioned though, due to negative connotations, these terms and phrases were altered to distance craft beer drinkers from these types of “binge-drinking” terminologies.

And this is the crux of it. Craft beer drinking is meant to be more about the event, invoking conversation and enjoying the drink itself, rather than getting drunk.

Why People Use The Term Interchangeably?

craft beer

We are interesting creatures and humans get used to using the same words over and over again, often without thinking about its meaning.

All you need to do is look at slang terms and common phrases where the etymology is unknown.

Another reason is through new drinkers to craft beer. With newbies, the terms may have been heard incorrectly, and they have simply reused them with their friends.

Suddenly, what the term actually meant and what it means now are effectively two different things.

Having said that, there has to be a separation. Here’s what you shouldn’t use the word crushable for.

When Not To Use “Crushable”?

Binge-drinking is a serious problem in some countries and, as we said earlier – crushable should not be used as a way to describe a craft beer to drink over and over again in order to get drunk.

This type of drinking culture is dangerous and can bring about several health issues. The most common problems when it comes to binge-drinking culture are:

  • Alcohol poisoning
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Dementia
  • Liver damage
  • Harmful effects on unborn babies
  • Financial problems
  • Mental health problems
  • Gastric problems
  • Negative family effects

So, while the term may be used to describe a craft beer that can be enjoyed over and over again, it should never be a term used for a typical binge-drinking session.

This was precisely why the term “session” craft beer drinking was distanced, but unfortunately it’s coming back into the fold.

What Other Terms Are Used With Craft Beer Drinking?

We’ve mentioned a few of these, but there are other terms that are being used interchangeably with crushable craft beer drinking. These include:

  • Easy-drinking
  • Drinkable
  • Session-style

These terms are all pretty much interchangeable with each other. They’re just describing the same thing.

You could say that any one of these terms would be fine but if you want to keep your craft beer drinking experience clean then stick with the term crushable.

How Can I Tell If A Craft Beer Is Crushable Or Not?

craft beer

Well, here’s a quick checklist to help you out.

Is The Alcohol Content Low?

If so, then it probably won’t be too difficult to enjoy multiple times in a row.

Does The ABV (Alcohol By Volume) Make Sense?

If the ABV makes sense, then it will likely be easier to drink multiple times in a row because you’ll be able to consume less alcohol during your drinking time.

Are There Any Flavors That Stand Out?

Some beers have flavors that stand out and make them easier to drink. For example, IPAs tend to have citrus notes which make them easy to drink.

However, this doesn’t mean that they’re crushable. In fact, they’re usually quite hard to drink more than once or twice.

Is There Anything Else That Makes It Easy To Drink Multiple Times In A Row?

There are many factors that contribute to how easy it is to drink a particular beer. Some people like to drink lighter beers because they don’t feel the effects of the alcohol until later.

Others prefer darker beers because they feel the effects quicker. Also, some beers have ingredients that make them easier to drink because they taste better.

For example, stouts tend to be very smooth and creamy, making them easier to drink. However, they also tend to have higher levels of alcohol. So, if you’re looking for something that’s easy to drink, look for a stout.

What Craft Beers Can Be Described As Crushable?

If you’re wondering if there are any examples of crushable craft beers, here are some of our choices.

Pale Ale

This style tends to be light bodied and has a lower level of alcohol.


An IPA is an American style ale that typically has a high amount of bitterness and a low amount of sweetness.

Double/Imperial IPA

Double IPAs are stronger versions of regular IPAs. Imperial IPAs are even stronger.

American Pale Ale

APAs are similar to pale ales, except that they often contain more hops.


Stouts are dark-colored beers that are made from roasted malts. They tend to have a lot of chocolate flavor.

Can High ABV Craft Beers Be Crushable?

craft beer

They shouldn’t be. Most craft breweries try to limit their beers’ alcohol content to around 5% or below. This ensures that they can be enjoyed by as many types of drinkers as possible.

The only exception to this rule is when a brewery produces a beer that contains over 6%.

These beers are called “high gravity” beers. And while they do tend to be harder to drink, they’re still considered to be crushable by some drinkers – but this is the problem.

A low ABV craft beer should be known as crushable, but when we’re talking about the higher ABV craft beers, these should not be drunk over and over again.

Due to their high alcohol content, the danger of binge-drinking crushables is very high.

And of course, this is something that craft beer drinkers are wanting to distance themselves away from, so while a high ABV craft beer may be described as crushable to some drinkers, to the real craft beer drinkers, they are not.

Drinking Craft Beer The Right Way

So what does this mean for you? If you want to enjoy your favorite craft beer, then it means that you need to know how to drink it properly.

You need to learn how to pace yourself when you drink craft beer. You need to understand the difference between having one too many drinks and just enjoying a few drinks with friends.

You need to know what kind of beer you like before you go out and buy a bunch of different kinds. You need to know which ones will help you relax after work and which ones will give you energy or perk you up.

And finally, you need to know how much you should actually be drinking at once. Too much can really ruin your night. But too little can leave you feeling unsatisfied.

It’s all about moderation and getting this balance right may be difficult for some, but ensuring that you understand that the term “crushable” is not an open door policy for you to consume copious amounts of craft beer with the aim of getting drunk is the start.

Remember, craft beer drinking should be a social event. Enjoying the drink, admiring it and respecting its creation, whilst also chewing the fat with some good friends.

The Bottom Line

The term crushable has been lost in translation over the years. This could be due to drinkers trying to move away from negative connotations, or simply due to the growing popularity of craft beer drinking.

Whatever the reason, it’s critical that we understand that while crushable craft beer drinking is meant to describe a craft beer you can enjoy multiple times, it does not mean binge-drinking – and this is why phrases like session drinking have become lost to craft beer drinkers.

We hope this guide has been useful for you, always drink responsibly and enjoy your craft beer!

Andrew Carr