Tap This: Summers beers offer smooth drinking experiences for poolside fun
Memorial Day is upon us and with it the promises of warm weather and sunny days. The summer conjures images of relaxing poolside with a cool refreshing beer. While many beers are inherently refreshing, some are more suited for summer.
There is no shortage of great summer seasonal beers, but some are better than others. Here is a short list of five must-try beers that are perfect for warm weather, backyard drinking, and sitting poolside:
Anderson Valley Brewing Company — Summer Solstice: Many summer seasonal beers focus heavily on fruit additions or steer into lager varietals. Anderson Valley, though, enjoys marching to their own drummer, and this is shown with Summer Solstice. This cream ale has a heavy emphasis on the cream and drinks more like a smooth cream soda than a beer. While it is referred to as “cream soda for adults” it is still a light and refreshing beer and goes extremely well with seafood dishes.
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery — SeaQuench: Dogfish Head has never shied away from brewing unique beers that incorporate a variety of ingredients. SeaQuench is a 4.9% ABV tart gose-style beer with black limes, coriander and sea salt. The result is a beer with a strong citrus presence and tart bite that is extremely refreshing. An excellent beer for Sunday brunches with omelets, eggs Benedict or berry-topped pancakes or with lighter lunch dishes such as chicken topped salads, fish tacos or grilled Thai beef salad.
Brasserie Du Bocq — Blanche de Namur: Is there anything that says summer more than a fresh wheat beer? This Belgian witbier has a solid wheat malt backbone with strong Belgian yeast aromas and a powerful coriander presence in aroma and taste. At 4.5% ABV, this witbier still has a strong flavor profile that has something for everyone. Fans of Belgian beers will want to have this delicious beer on hand throughout the summer months.
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. — Pale Ale: Sierra Nevada is one of the forefathers of the craft beer movement, and it all began with their Pale Ale. The first batch of Pale Ale was brewed in 1980 and despite all the changes that have occurred in the craft beer community since that time, it still tops many lists as a favorite amongt craft beer drinkers. Even a novice to craft beer knows that the sheer volume of beers available is incredible, and the fact that a beer can stand the test of time, like Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale, is reason enough to always have this beer on hand. It is also a great beer to pair with traditional backyard barbecue dishes.
Carton Brewing Company — Boat: No summer beer list is complete without an IPA, and this light, highly drinkable, 4.2% ABV session IPA is one of the best. The crisp hop quality is balanced superbly against the light malts that allow the hops to shine while maintaining malt flavor. The drinkability factor of this beer is off the charts, and it is the beer of summer despite being available year round. While not widely distributed, a trip out to New Jersey to purchase a case or two from the brewery is worth any and all effort. If you have not tried Boat yet, stop reading, get in your car, and go get some now!
The summer season is by far the best beer drinking season of the year. The light and highly drinkable beers that are available during this time of year truly enhance the enjoyment of the outdoors. No matter what style you enjoy best, this list has something on it for you. Find some now — and soak up the summer before it’s over.
Derek Warren is a beer fanatic, avid homebrewer and beer historian. Derek can be heard weekly on the Beer Geeks Radio Hour at noon on Sundays on WILK 103.1 FM with past episodes available on iTunes.