(A nod to Neil Diamond)
Beers Of Summer!
(A nod to Don Henley)
Okay, of course you can drink any beer, any time of year, the Beer Police won’t show up and arrest you for drinking a summer beer after Labor Day. However, your beer snob friends may mock you endlessly.
So … Let’s talk about a few styles that just taste better during the summer.
The Shandy, Radler, Gose, Berliner Weisse
It took me a little bit to warm up to the Gose and the Berliner Weisse, but I finally got there. The bright citrus and tart finish make both styles ideal for summer drinking. I will admit however that I’ve had couple that made my sphincter pucker!
The Shandy and Radler are similar, the idea being to cut with fruit juice or pop to lower abv for a low alcohol drink that’s smooth and refreshing. For a bit it seemed like Leinenkugels had cornered the market on the Shandy, but we’re seeing a rise in craft breweries doing either a shandy or Radler. Although traditionally they’re under 4% abv, most craft styles hover between 4 and 4.5%.
Lager, Pilsner, Kolsch and Hefeweizen
Although “Lager” encompasses many beer styles, here I’m referring to the lighter side, a Helles or American style Lager. These styles are crisp, clean and refreshing when done right. The beer you want after a hard days work, or mowing the lawn or … hell, anytime you’re just damn thirsty!
Many American craft breweries have also brought back the classic Pilsner with some doing German or Czech style and a few just improving on or doing a pre-prohibition American style Pilsner.
I personally have been loving the resurgence of the Pilsner, crisp and clean, big bready malts, herbal, spicy hops, they don’t get more refreshing than a perfectly executed Pilsner.
Ah, the Kolsch, that chameleon lager/ale hybrid of a beer. Typically a little more body than most American style lagers, fruity in the middle, but finishing crisp, clean and refreshing in classic lager fashion.
Banana, Clove, cloudy, yeasty, of course I’m describing the Hefeweizen!
The elder sibling to the American craft wheat, bigger and bolder with the aforementioned notes, yet smooth and approachable.
Now of course there are many more styles for summer drinking, the Saison and Grisette, IPA’s by the dozen, the New England or Hazy, West Coast, session etc …
And if I were write about them all we’d be here through winter, so I picked a handful to write about and post a few pictures.
However, remember that no matter the season or what your town beer snob says, always drink what you like.
Drink craft beer with love, drink with passion and drink with appreciation.