Flavors of the Season: The Beers of Summer, Part 3
When it comes to summer tunes, we have at least two CDs worth of music percolating in our heads at any time. And beer, like music genres, comes in many wonderful flavors. Whopperjaw wanted to know what summer drinking means for people in the beer world, so we asked some pretty knowledgeable folks to offer up a few of their seasonal suggestions. Yep folks, it’s time for The Beers of Summer, Part 3.
Damian McConn, a native of Ireland and head brewer at St. Paul, Minnesota’s Summit Brewing Company, put forth these suggestions:
- Hop Back Summer Lightning is “England’s original Golden ale,” McConn writes, “[with a] slight toasted note from the UK pale malt and a terrific moral hop character.” McConn prefers it cask conditioned, natch.
- Ayinger Bräu Weisse‘s “banana ester notes dominate a superbly balanced beer,” McConn says. “[It’s a] wonderfully refreshing example of an unfiltered wheat beer.”
- Sierra Nevada Summerfest McConn remembers, “[Was] one of the first summer beers I had when I arrived in the US. Crisp, clean with a spicy noble hop character and balanced bitterness.”
Gabe Hopkins, head brewer at Stevens Point Brewery in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, gets right to the point. His three summertime selections are all Stevens Point products:
In Chicago, Goose Island‘s Keith Gabbett is equally direct. His top three:
Brian Destree, of Capital Brewery in Middletown, Wisconsin, had a little more to say about his favorites.
- Capital Lake House – “I’d better have this beer on my list, because it only exists because I wanted a new summer beer for myself to drink.”
- Cooper’s Sparkling Ale – “Super crisp and refreshing. It is bottle conditioned, so it survives the trip from ‘Down Under’ in pretty good shape.”
- The “Silver Bullet” – “I drink a ton of it on a hot summer day when I’m working in the yard. I basically use it for what it is – lightly flavored water.”
We reached Dallas Archer, at Omaha, Nebraska’s Upstream Brewing Company at a moment when he was, possibly, in session. “It’s difficult to pick favorites,” Archer admits. “So I’ll just pick three I really enjoy and resort to often.” Archer then lists the following five refreshers, “in no particular order.”
- Upstream’s A Clock-Wit Orange (a blood orange wit) – “Of course there’s the pride factor, but it’s a great poolside or patio beer.”
- Pabst Blue Ribbon – “Perfect after mowing the lawn or a long bike ride.”
- Sierra Nevada Pale Ale – “A long time go-to for me.”
- Lucky Bucket Brewing Company’s Flip Flop Strawberry Blonde – “Great new seasonal with fresh strawberry.”
- Lagunitas Sucks – “It doesn’t,” Archer assures us. “And I’ll drink everything they have any time.”
Then, Archer realized he was getting ahead of himself: “I’d better stop before I go on forever,” he writes.
We feel you, Dallas.