With the recent announcement by a very large internationally owned brewing conglomerate to change the name of its beer to “America” there is no better time to crack open a truly American brewed and owned beer than on the Fourth of July.
The fourth is a time for backyard barbecues, lazy afternoons in the sun, and an evening filled with fireworks and celebrations. Beers that allow for celebrations to ensure full memory are the best choices for the day. Low alcohol and full flavor beers should be fully stocked.
The initial complaint many drinkers had when this craft beer revolution began was the higher ABV. The higher ABV meant fewer beers consumed before the effects kicked in and led to many celebrations being less than celebratory.
Thankfully though brewers have been brewing full flavored and low alcohol beers perfect for an array of celebrations throughout the year and the Fourth of July is the perfect excuse to enjoy many of them. So this weekend be sure to have a well-stocked fridge for all the fun that will ensue. Here are just a few recommendations for great beers to have on hand for this Fourth of July.
Ballast Point- Even Keel IPA: The IPA is the most popular craft beer style and is a must to have on hand for any get together. Even Keel is the perfect example of a session IPA. The 3.8 percent ABV is lower than most macro beers and still packs one hell of a hop punch. Deep notes of citrus and tropical fruits sit in light cracker malt for an extremely easy drinking experience that won’t result in any embarrassing repercussions. The brewery has a variant on this beer called Mango Even keel with natural mango added giving an even more vibrant and impactful flavor while keeping the ABV intact.
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery- Festina Pêche: The Berliner Weiss style is one that seems to have something for everyone and Festina Pêche is a wonderful, summery example. The bright peach flavors sit perfectly in a slight tart notes that are extremely invigorating. The 4.5 percent ABV makes for a beer that is not too heavy for a hot summer day and the perfect accompaniment for any backyard barbecue. This is a perfect beer to offer to guests who make the claim they do not like beer. After one sip they may never utter those words again.
Sam Adams- Downtime Pilsner: Sam Adams is a brewery known far and wide. It has a strong reputation built upon its wonderful Boston Lager and the brewery has not shied away from experimenting and regularly adding to the beer portfolio. They have yet another phenomenal beer perfect for the summer. Downtime Pilsner takes the popular pilsner style with noble hops and adds the wonderful bright and fruity mandarina hop. The result is a pilsner that is refreshing and crisp with a slightly fruity kick. A wonderful flavor profile and 5 percent ABV make a strong argument that this may be a new go to beer for the summer.
Hardywood Park Craft Brewery- Cream Ale: The cream ale style is one that has long been attributed to being an “old timers” beer. The style seems to have fallen by the wayside with many craft brewers not even having an offering. When this style is done well it is a true classic. Hardywood is a brewery that has gained a world class reputation through their beers so it should be no surprise that their Cream Ale is phenomenal. Crisp malts with a very creamy mouthfeel and 4.4 percent make for an extremely tasty beer that is one for any old timer or craft beer newbie to enjoy!
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.