IT'S ALMOST LAST CALL FOR SUMMER BEERS
Plenty of variety and taste to help cool off after a long day
By JOHN HOLL
Head to the cooler at your local liquor store around this time of year and
you will likely see a lot of beers with the word “Summer” on their labels.
Most are quite good, like Samuel Adams Summer Ale or the Summer
Blonde from Lambertville’s River Horse Brewing.
But, as the mercury climbs towards the top of the thermometer, there are
other beers available that can help beat the heat and compliment food
straight off the grill.
There are, of course, the year-round offerings from large breweries that
are typically associated with this time of year, including Corona and the
beers ending in “Lite” but there are others to be considered as well.
Pale ales, for example, offer a crisp brew with a not-so-overwhelming
finish of hops. Or a wheat beer, brewed with yeast, that gives the beer a
highly carbonated and cloudy appearance, but can be a perfect thirst
For those looking for a change, the saison style beer should add to
summer’s enjoyment. Typically brewed during the cooler months, it’s
usually released around this time of year.
So, before the summer ends and the brewing world turns its full
attention to autumn and Octoberfest, take a look around the display case
and give one of these styles a swirl in the glass.
SIERRA NEVADA: Kellerweis
Introduced earlier this year, the Kellerweis is a light and refreshing beer
with deep complexity of flavor. The yeast provides hints of fruit flavors
and spices, including ripe banana and clove. This hazy-golden beer
glows with suspended yeast creating a velvety texture. The brewery says
it’s perfect for a sunny day, but members of a recent
NewJerseyNewsroom tasting panel said this beer is perfect for any day
and is among the finest new large scale releases from an American craft
brewery in quite a while.
That sound you hear? Beer lovers cheering the fact that Sierra Nevada
plans to make the Kellerweis available year round.
SAMUEL SMITH: ORGANIC FRUIT BEERS
Long known for making exceptional beers, the small and historical
Melbourn Bros. Brewery has introduced three wonderful fruit beers, in
cherry, raspberry and strawberry. The complex multiple yeast strains
used to ferment these beers lead to a beautiful marriage with pure, rich
certified organic fruit.
FULL SAIL BREWING: LTD 03 and Session Black Premium Dark Lager
Summer is made for pilsners. Crisp and served cold, they’re the beer
most Americans think of during this time of year. Full Sail Brewing in
Oregon released a limited edition pilsner, simply named 03, just in time
for the warm weather.
Pale golden in color, it features a spicy floral hop aroma, a malty medium
body and a smooth thirst-quenching finish. For after hours, Full Sail also
offers its Session Black Premium Dark Lager, which is short, dark and
totally drinkable. The initial tastes are a subtle pairing of caramel and
chocolate malt flavors with precise hopping to provide an elegant citrus
background to the delicate finish of dark cocoa.
FLYING FISH: Farmhouse Summer Ale
In the saison tradition, this New Jersey brewery delivers its tribute to the
highly drinkable "every day" beers from French-speaking Belgium. The
brewery in Cherry Hill is proud of the lightly filtered appearance with an
earthy, spicy hop character. Pour it into a glass and enjoy the beautiful
rich creamy head from the wheat, just before you sip it down.
With so many choices out there, these are just a few suggestions. The
best advice is to experiment. Even if you don’t love the beer you
choose, at least you had the experience of trying something new. You
might also wind up finding a new Summer favorite.
John Holl writes about the craft beer and culture of drinking. He may
be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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A Journalist Looks at Beer
|The Beer Briefing
by John Holl