Yet again another summer season has come and gone. However, it is not time to mourn yet. The weather still has a bit of warmth left in it and there are still plenty of great summer beers around. Sure the pumpkin beers have already invaded, but grab some summer beers and raise a toast.
The summer of 2016 had a lot of memorable moments, ups and downs, and of course plenty of good beers. Many casual craft beer drinkers do not pay any heed to the changing of the seasons in regards to the beer they are drinking. There are however many of us who change our go-to beers with each season.
The summer is the perfect time to enjoy light, crisp, and low ABV beers such as wheat, gose and pale ales. The other popular choice is the IPA, but that is a style enjoyed year round by many. The lighter beers pair perfectly with the hot summer weather and are perfect thirst quenchers.
Attached is a short list of some great summer beers to enjoy to sip up the last of the summer sun. Many of these beers will disappear from shelves soon due to their seasonality so be sure to grab some now while they are still available.
Anderson Valley Brewing- Summer Solstice: This is hands down one of the best cream ales you will ever enjoy. It has been lovingly referred to as cream soda for adults and a better description you will not find. The wonderfully smooth body and perfect cream soda taste without an abundance of sweetness makes this a fantastic beer for any backyard get together. Not to mention the low 5 % ABV makes it a beer that you can go to again and again.
Harpoon Brewery- Camp Wannamango: Harpoon has taken the popular and slightly hop forward pale ale style and injected it with mango. The result is a slightly bitter pale ale with a wonderful tropical fruit aroma and taste. Make no mistake though, this is a not a fruit beer. It is a beer with fruit added but maintains its true roots as a pale ale and does not have any residual sweetness. The 5 % ABV and availability in a can makes it a great beer for the cooler.
Anchor Brewing- Go West IPA: While this is available year round it is a perfect summer thirst quenching American IPA. The semi-aggressive bitter hops is perfect for all hop lovers. Strong notes of pine and citrus dominate the nose and taste but the semi-sweet malt backbone keeps the beer in balance. Anchor is considered the American brewery that brought the IPA stateside. Go West IPA is its latest offering in the ever growing beer portfolio and it shows that the brewery is never content to rest on their past accolades.
Sam Adams- Summer Ale: Sam Adams needs no introduction. For many it is the brewery that got folks into the world of craft beer and it continues to brew great beer. Their Summer Ale has long been a favorite in the warmer months with a 5.3 % ABV and light spicy and pepper-like malts balanced with lemon citrus flavors makes it refreshing.
Dogfish Head- Festina Pêche: Beers classified as “sours” took a long and strange trip to become one of the most popular beer styles behind IPAs. One of the beers that helped to catapult them into the spotlight is Festina Pêche. This tart Berliner Weissbier is a light 4.5 % ABV but definitely not light on flavor. Very strong flavors and aromas of peaches are dominant throughout and, despite the tart flavors coming on strong, they are perfectly balanced. This is quite possibly the best summer seasonal.
Seasons change but just because the months change, summer doesn’t have to go away. Grab a great summer seasonal beer, sit back and relax, and make it summer in your head all year round!
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.