It’s hot outside. Okay, it’s not August yet, but it’s definitely heating up out there. Thankfully there’s beer. It’s almost like cool, refreshing beer was made specifically to battle the hot summer climes. (It was actually made because it was safer than drinking plain water AND it made one feel funny—in a good way.) Beer for your solstice | summer beers not light beers.
Time to put away the stouts and dark beers of winter and jump right in to the lighter beers of summer. We don’t mean LIGHT beer, of course. That would be uncivilized. Tapped Life is a fan of pairing your season with the appropriate beer, so we offer these suggestions for battling the sun’s blaze.
Wheat beers: Hefeweizen, Witbier, Lambic and American Wheat. Many styles fall under the umbrella wheat beer. They have a larger portion of wheat in the brew than malted barley, which lends to a smooth, silky mouthfeel. They’re perfect for summer because they pair so well with picnics and barbeques. Plus, sometimes it’s fun to give your beer an orange garnish.
Fruit beers: They’ve come a long way in the last decade. Some are made using real fruit instead of flavored syrup or extracts. Some breweries are doing a really good job with them: Magic Hat, Leinenkugel’s, and Abita just to name a few. Don’t be afraid to try them again.
Pale Ales: Pale ales have a hoppier profile than most of the beers on our summer list. But, with a fairly equal hop-to-malt profile, they are on the mild end of the hoppy beer spectrum. Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale was the first American Pale Ale, using large quantities of American hops, and helped define the APA style. Usually at 5% ABV, pale ales are session beers and perfect for long summer get-togethers.
Lagers: Pilsner and Maibock, just to name a few. Most of the Big Beers out there are lagers, and craft beer folks sometimes dismiss them, but lagers have a place in your summer line up. Compared to what normally passes as a lager or pilsner, it should be aromatic, subtly malty, crisp and refreshingly bitter.
Kolsch: It is cold-conditioned like a lager, but kolsch has a more prominent hop profile. Think of it as a lager-ale hybrid. The ale yeast will add a little fruitiness, but nothing overpowering. It’s a bit of an obscure style, but many brewpubs are creating their own take on Koln’s (Cologne’s) namesake beverage.
Whether you’re lounging by the pool or just finished mowing the lawn, any one of these brews would be a fine choice to quench your thirst. Just remember, even though nothing sounds better than an ice-cold beer, you should never keep your beer that cold. If your beer is chilled below 44˚ F, it cannot properly release its carbonation. The carbonation allows you to experience all of those fine aromas and flavors. Plus, if your beer’s that cold, your palate basically freezes and you can’t taste anything anyway. And what’s the point of that? Might as well just have a glass of water.
Share this post