Finally, summer is on the way and it’s time to talk about the best beers for warm weather drinking. Summertime is great for trying out new styles and different varieties of the styles you already enjoy.
India Pale Ale (IPA)
IPA’s have become wildly popular and this is a great time to explore the huge number available to us. For those in Northeast Ohio, locally made “White Rajah” from The Brew Kettle is wonderful example of this style that has gained national attention for this brewer and a must try. Session style brews (low alcohol) have been gaining in popularity. They have all the flavor but are lower in alcohol than traditional IPA’s. Lots of craft houses are making them now as popularity grows. I suggest “All Day IPA” from Founders Brewery in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It’s available in cans or bottles and it’s great.
A good wheat beer is a wonderful summer quaff. A couple of classics that I recommend are Weihenstephaner “Hefe Weissbier” from Germany and “Wittekerke” from De Brabandere Brewery in Belgium. Both delicious! Arcadia Brewing in Michigan has “Whitsun” as their seasonal, brewed with coriander and orange peel for a bright fresh taste. Their neighbor, Bell’s Brewing, created a wheat seasonal called “Oberon” that is so good it is now a classic.
Pilsners are always better on hot summer days. Two of my favorites are “Pilsner Urquell” from Plzensky Prazdroj, the Czech brewer who created the style and Stiegl “Pils” from Germany, named the best in Europe last year. I can’t list all the great Lagers that are in the market now. These two are the tip of the iceberg.
Shandy (aka Radler)
Shandy is a style made popular in the USA by the Leinenkugel family of Wisconsin. Originally beer mixed with lemonade, now you will find them with just about every fruit flavor you can imagine. My tastes run to the classic style like Samuel Adams “Porch Rocker” but I must admit that the Stiegl “Grapefruit Radler”, a blend of their wonderful Pils and grapefruit soda, is the most refreshing beer I’ve ever had.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention ciders. Once the most popular beverages in Colonial America, they are enjoying a remarkable come back. From New England though the Mid-West to the North West, cider production is ramping up. There are literally dozens to choose from and as many variations; straight cider, fruit flavored, barrel aged, still or sparkling. Something for every palate.
We hope that you’ll come visit us soon and see what’s new in craft beer for the summer.