The Summer Solstice was this past Sunday and that means the Summer of 2015 has officially started. Best of all, it really feels like Summer: beer festivals are in full swing, pools are starting to get crowded, and meals are getting lighter. After a long day at the office, or long day outside, the only thing other than a cold drink of water I want, is a cold refreshing beer. I’m a person who naturally likes to keep busy; I love that feeling of accomplishment when everything is checked off of my weekend “To Do List.” In fact, whenever I make a list, the first item is always “make a list” and the last item is always “have a beer.” This way, I know I will check off at least two things.
Summertime also brings wonderfully light, sometimes fruity, but always delicious seasonal beers. We’ve already covered some Brewmasters Favorite Beers in a previous post, which got us thinking about the Summer seasonal beers we are most looking forward to. This is introduction to craft beer list that. We thought we would share some brews that pair perfectly with sunshine and warm nights.
Grapefruit Shandy: a traditional shandy is beer mixed with a little something extra, like lemonade, soda or ginger ale. The proportions are to taste, but it is usually around a half and half mix. Leinenkugel’s Grapefruit Shandy is a playful spin on this tradition. Each batch begins with traditional Weiss beer, then gets combined with natural white grapefruit flavor. For someone who is experimenting with summer beers, this 4.2%ABV is always a great first option for testing out new flavors. Alternatively, Summer shandy combined with a few spices makes for a killer marinade for grilled chicken.
Skinny Dip is the perfect beer after a long day at work. I love the light, fruity, and smooth flavor of this beer partly because it pairs well with so many light refreshing summer meals. With 4.2% ABV, this beer is sure to become a summer classic. A grilled pizza or chicken dish is my go to meal for this refreshing beer. The other beautiful thing about New Belgium is that, with their summer ale, they support swimmable waters by donating $1, up to $10,000, to Waterkeeper Alliance for every use of the hashtag #WaterkeeperDip. Post and donate!
As the second oldest craft brewery in the United States, Shiner has a reputation for having a fiercely independent spirit and a healthy dose of well earned pride. Not only do I consider their classic Shiner Bock a “gateway” beer into the world of craft beer, it is simply perfect for any occasion. As far as Summer seasonal beers go Shiner has out done itself with their newest summer seasonal, Shiner Prickly Pear. Not only is it refreshing, but it will temper even a hot Texas summer, if only for a moment, with a tart, citrusy flavor and a crisp finish. I highly recommend this 4.9% ABV brew for an amazing day of grilling. With such a wonderful flavor Shiner can complement almost any meal.
All Day IPA keeps your taste buds satisfied while keeping your senses sharp.Taste is a pronounced version of aroma. Balanced body of citrus and hops with a decent kick from the hops at the end to remind you it is an IPA. With a 4.7% ABV this beer is very smooth body that has a slightly bitter aftertaste as the beer gets warmer no alcohol aftertaste. I think that the All Day IPA can handle a spicy meal like a curry dish or some spicy tacos.
Fist City is a supremely drinkable brew for those who love hops. With a 5.5% ABV and year round availability, it has the taste of summer with its California hops. It is amazingly fresh and exciting, especially for a recently available canned beer. I highly recommend Fist City if you enjoy the taste of hoppy flavors without having an IPA. Fist City has more of a smooth flavor without having too much of a bite. I personally love an ice cold Fist City with some grilled brats, steaks or a classic burger.
Honey Kölsch is a sweet and satisfying Kölsch, a wonderful honey color and flavor. It is not overly sweet but it does satisfy that need for more of the sweet rather than the sour beers. With 5% ABV, this kölsch is best as an evening or desert beer. We like to think of it as a reward for our productivity; a relaxing nightcap to end the day. One of my favorite thing about this beer is that the honey harvested is from their wild flower fields. I think a crisp refreshing salad or a light fluffy cupcake would complement this beer perfectly.
In researching these Summer beers I came to the conclusion that if you would like to make your own Summer beers you can always get yourself a brewing kit and experiment with your own shandy’s. Our Father’s day blog has a great resource for brewing kits from our friends at Midwest Supplies.
We would love it if you would share any of your stories, recipes & pictures related to your beer experiences.