It seems that warmer weather has finally arrived and that we’ve seen the last of any snowflakes that may drift from the sky–at least for the next five or six months, anyway.
The Northampton Brewery deck is open, and other outdoor beer venues will soon follow suit, so I thought I’d use today’s column to do my annual list of great summer beers. I realize it’s not summer yet, but the way seasons run around these parts, you know there will be days (like two Saturdays ago) when it feels like summer, with temperatures reaching the high 70s.
Some of these brews have made my list in years past, while others are new entries.
Either way, please feel free to let me know what your favorite warm-weather beers are. I’m always looking for new options.
So, in no particular order, here are five great brews for the warmer weather:
Victory Summer Love Ale – This crisp blonde ale became one of my favorites last year. It’s refreshingly light in its mouthfeel, while retaining a medium body, with a nice bite from the Noble hops employed in its making. The malt has a tasty biscuit/cracker flavor and it finishes dry with a small amount of hop citrus residue. This is a perfect brew for watching the sunset on a river.
Mahr’s Brau Ungespundet Hefetrub (Kellerbier) – Known mostly as Mahr’s U for this clear golden brew is grassy and somewhat fruity, with a subtle caramel note gracing its finish. Smooth and light-bodied, it finishes crisply. I can scarcely imagine a better hot summer afternoon beer than this one.
Pretty Things American Darling – Oh, wait: I just did imagine one. American Darling is the craft beer movement’s perfect answer to so-called “lawn mower beers” issues by large industrial brands. Although it’s infinitely more complex than any big-brand brew, American Darling blends it’s tasty flavors in such a way that probably wouldn’t scare off a Bud drinker. But those who know beer realize that it’s simply Dann and Martha Paquette’s brewing brilliance that makes the beer an across-the-board winner for all types of palates.
Troeg’s Sunshine Pils – This brew’s name all but announces its desire to be quaffed while soaking in the season’s infrared rays and ultraviolet radiation. Pilsners, when made well, are probably the best warm-weather style. This one features a subtle but tasty citrus aspect, with a body that’s a little fuller than most European pilsners.
Northampton Brewery Summer Fling – It wouldn’t be a proper list by me of its didn’t have an IPA on it, right? This session IPA (just 4.4, alcohol by volume) showcases a flavorful grainy malt character enveloped in a light and citrusy hop blanket. It’s a perfect brew for the Brewery’s beer garden.
Source: Brews for the Warm Weather