With the nice weather finally looking like it might be here to stay (fingers crossed) the summer beers are hitting the shelves and yes they come out earlier every year. Spring/summer is a thirsty season, one for which beer is made. Delicious and refreshing, my father (a wise man) once told me beer is a natural way to unwind after a long day. From wheat beers and fruit beers to summer ales and brisk lagers, the flavor possibilities are endless, so why not break out of the mass-market mold this spring? Next time you’re shopping, check out one of these world-class summer beers, and follow these simple steps:
CHILL … SIP … REPEAT …
AMERICAN PALE WHEAT ALE
Lagunitas Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale
This brewery out of Petaluma California (and one of my favorites), is known for using TONS of hops. First released as a summer seasonal in 2008, Little Sumpin’ became a year-round offering in 2010 after its fans were hoarding it and demanding more. A cross between a wheat beer and an American IPA, it’s brewed with three different types of wheat and packed full of hops. Its appearance is of a golden, orangeish, hazy hue, and its aroma and flavors include apricots, peaches, pine, clove, rose petals and spice — all compliments of the citrusy Centennial, Cascade and Citra hops. If you like this one, try its big sister, the Little Sumpin’ Wild Ale! It’s a higher ABV version fermented with Belgian yeast, which gives it a distinctive spicy Belgian character.
Bells Oberon Ale
This classic Midwestern wheat ale has a ton of spicy Czech Saaz hops. It’s remarkably refreshing and goes down easy…and yes, you may serve it with a slice of orange, as per brewery tradition. Welcome in your Blue Moon replacement for the summer!! Trust me you’ll thank me later.
Sierra Nevada Kellerweis
Possibly the best way to end a long, hot day is by enjoying a classic hefeweizen. The brewery best known for its prowess in making the most sought-after pale ale brings us Kellerweis, its take on the Bavarian Hefeweizen style. It’s one of the few American-brewed Hefeweizens made using the traditional Bavarian style of open fermentation, a difficult and labor-intensive technique that adds depth and flavor complexity. It uses a Bavarian Hefeweizen yeast strain that imparts a subtle banana and clove complexity along with a bit of lemon tartness and fresh wheat bread flavors. It pours with a huge frothy head and a hazy yellow-orange color, and the smooth malt flavor results in a satisfying refresher. Although many bartenders seem compelled to add lemon to this style, try it without first to appreciate the true taste the brewers intended.
Ithaca Brewing CO. Apricot Wheat
In the interest of being honest, I should tell you that this is one of my wife’s favorite beers. That being said, I can also say that I am under no obligation to include it in this list.
This Apricot is another wheat beer. The subtle flavor of apricots blends nicely with this ale. It also has a remarkable mouth feel from the fruit. This is a good brew to pair with a spicy barbecue or, if you make your own BBQ sauce, trying throwing in a bit of this beer for an interesting twist. I’ve been known to mix it half and half with my favorite IPA and well its awesome!
Boston Beer Company Samuel Adams Summer Ale
This seasonal from the Boston Beer Company, is an American wheat ale that pours a slightly hazy golden color with a foamy white head. Lemon adds its signature to the aroma, along with a slight spiciness from the wheat. Citrus is a popular flavor of the summer season and in this case citrus meets citrus with Hallertau and Mittelfrueh German Noble hops combining with lemon peel zest. An interesting addition thrown in to spice things up is grains of paradise, a spice native to West Africa that’s a cross between pepper, ginger and cardamom. This ale delivers a light refreshing smoothness and the spicy and tart aftertaste is due to the lemon peel and grains of paradise it’s brewed with. This is immensely popular and with its name recognition you can never go wrong stopping by a party with this favorite.
As always these and your other favorites and be found at your favorite beer store Consumers Beverages.
Yours in Beer,
@dahjr187 tweet at me I’m here to help
Want Buffalo Restaurants, Events & Things to Do Weekly?
Subscribe to our newsletter!