As the temperature rises it brings to mind thoughts and images of many things. Depending on who you are this might be a picnic in the park, a day at the beach, or a hike in the mountains. Maybe you simply enjoy relaxing in your backyard. Regardless of what the activity is, almost any situation seems to be elevated by the food and drink that are present. There are many options for both. As the sun beats down and sweat drips from the brow, there is an option arguably more quintessential than the rest. This is, of course, beer.
Victory Prima Pils
Victory Brewing puts an American twist on the German Pilsner. Classic hops including Hallertau, Tettnang, Saaz, and Spalt are used but the quantity is brought to new levels. This creates a blast of fresh herbal notes on the aroma (think mint) along with lemon. Light biscuit and bread flavors from the German malt come through on the palate with plenty of earth, floral, and citrus hop character. Prima Pils is the perfect option for getting all the hops you want in a light, crisp brew.
For those who have a sweet tooth during summer, Anderson Valley has the answer. Their Summer Solstice is a seasonal release that the brewery nicknamed “cream soda for adults”. Caramel has control of the aroma with hints of spice sprinkled on top. The luscious mouthfeel is accompanied by waves of butterscotch, toasted pastries, and light nuts. All this richness is somehow packed into a medium-bodied beer. When is the last time dessert was thirst-quenching?
Sound Brewery may have created the perfect beer for a hot day in their Sommerweizen. It is a wonderful example of the rarely-seen Kristalweizen style. When poured into a glass it shines a brilliant clear, golden color. Fresh wheat bread, pepper, and clove greet the nose. On the palate, these flavors are enveloped in a light creaminess that eventually draws to a slightly earthy and spicy finish. Realize the full potential of wheat’s refreshing qualities with Sommerweizen.
Odell has intentionally positioned their Loose Leaf ale as a beer that you could have more than one of in a sitting. It’s relatively low 4.5% ABV is a testament to that fact. Cascade and Bravo hops ensure that this brew is still full of flavor. Pine and Lemon are right up front on the aroma, standing on top of a light malt base. It is instantly clear that this is a wonderfully fresh and enjoyable beer. Bright citrus and herbal notes complement a moderate bitterness that will have you already prepared for the next sip. Make sure to have at least one, or two, of these whenever the chance arises.
It would be difficult to put together a list of summer beers without including a Kölsch. Reissdorf is one of the best examples to be found of those that leave Germany. Aromas of cracker, florals, apple, and pear delicately float through the air. These are backed by notes of earth, faint sweetness, and a low bitterness. Reissdorf, and Kölsch in general, is the illustration of expert balance.
Reuben’s Brews has impressed with their extensive line of high-quality products. One of the most acclaimed is undoubtedly their Gose. Lemon peel and coriander are first on the nose, bringing the pleasantly sharp character of this beer into frame. Stone fruit, citrus, and light malt all mingle in the mouth before a soft salinity carries it all to a close. If you want a beer substitute for lemonade, this should be one of your choices.