Summer Brews

BY: Curtis Stockwell, Beer Growler

Hey everyone! Summer is just around the corner which means we are about to be outside as often as we possibly can! Although not every outdoor soirée calls for beer, many of them will. I want to give you an idea of some of our summertime favorites here at The Beer Growler. As you would probably guess, summer beers tend to be on the lighter side, but that doesn’t mean they need to lack in flavor. Since so many year-round beers are great in the summer, I am going to focus this article on beers that are brewed just for the summer months.

dogfish-head-festina-p_optFirst, I will start off with a beer that I look forward to every year. Dogfish Head’s Festina Peche. This is an interesting take on the Berliner Weisse style which is a typically cloudy, sour, wheat beer often served with raspberry or woodruff syrup to help soften the sometimes intense tart notes. This style is brewed with lactic cultures to give it a green apple like quality. In Festina Peche, the natural peach sugars are broken down by the yeast and intertwine the peach flavors into the aroma and body of the beer, removing the need for an addition of sugary syrup. It’s one of my favorites, and if you are looking to try something new, be sure to give it a try.

I am not typically a fan of beers that lean to the sweeter side, but one of my favorite guilty pleasure summer seasonal brews happens to be Abita’s Strawberry Lager. Louisiana strawberry juice is added to this beer after filtration giving it a smooth, crisp strawberry flavor. To make things even better, Abita has decided to finally offer this beer on draft, which as you know is always better than in a can or bottle. In my opinion, this is the perfect picnic beer and goes quite well with fresh fruit…. especially watermelon!

esq-hopsun-beer-040811_optAnother style that comes to mind for the summer months is hoppy wheat beer. Sometimes wheat beers can be overly sweet or just lacking a little balance in my opinion. But, hops add a bitterness that can be a great complement to the smooth sometimes-fruity flavors of wheat beers. Southern Tier makes a great hoppy wheat beer called Hop Sun. This beer exhibits the bitterness of an IPA, citrus notes of a Pale Ale with the crispness of a Lager. It’s refreshing and has great balance…what’s not to enjoy!

I said I would focus on beers that aren’t available year round but there is a beer that I cannot get enough of that is a perfect match for the summer. I might be burnt at the stake for saying this – but I tend to find the heavier, hoppier IPA’s a little tough to handle on hot summer days. You may not agree with me on the latter and that’s ok, but I do think we can agree that if you are looking for a beer with tons of flavor but doesn’t feel too heavy, Terrapin’s RecreationAle fits the bill perfectly! This beer is a hopped up session ale meaning it has tons of hoppy flavor but only comes in at 4.7% which is perfect if you plan on having a couple of these outdoors on a beautiful day. I think this will be my beer of the summer. If you find yourself enjoying this beer, I would suggest giving Founder’s All Day IPA and Lagunitas Daytime a try. Both of these beers follow a similar philosophy of packing huge flavor in a lower ABV beer, great for hanging out all afternoon.

As I preach with every article I write, there are so many beers out there and everyone’s tastes are different. If I can convince you of one thing, it would be to step out of your comfort zone and try some new beers this summer! Most of these beers are very approachable so this is the perfect season to break out of your beer shell! Cheers!crispness of a lager, and the citrus notes of a pale ale. It’s refreshing and has great balance, what’s not to enjoy!

terrapin

I said I would focus on beers that aren’t available year round but there is a beer that I cannot get enough of that is a perfect match for the summer. I might be burnt at the stake for saying this but I tend to find the heavier, hoppier IPAs a little tough to handle on a hot summer day. You may not agree with me on the latter and that’s ok, but I do think we can agree that if you are looking for a beer with tons of flavor but doesn’t feel too heavy, Terrapin’s RecreationAle fits the bill perfectly! This beer is a hopped up session ale meaning it has tons of hoppy flavor but only comes in at 4.7% which is perfect if you plan on having a couple of these outdoors on a beautiful day. I think this will be my beer of the summer. If you find your self enjoying this beer, I would suggest giving Founder’s All Day IPA and Lagunitas Daytime a try. Both of these beers follow a similar philosophy of packing huge flavor in a lower ABV beer, great for hanging out all afternoon.

As I preach with every article I write, there are so many beers out there and everyone’s tastes are different. If I can convince you of one thing, it would be to step out of your comfort zone and try some new beers this summer! Most of these beers are very approachable so this is the perfect season to break out of your beer shell! Cheers!


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