When Summer is Here, It's Time for beer!
5 of Our Favorite Summer Brews (and 5 of Our Favorite Beer Kits to Try This Summer)
Summer is just around the corner, and that means something a little different for everyone. Summer is letting your kids run through the sprinklers, catching a baseball game, watching fireworks in your back yard, chilling out by the pool - and sometimes - endless amounts of yard work. No matter what your plans are for the summer, every occasion - from catching lightning bugs to lounging on the beach - can be made better with an ice cold summer brew. But what makes a great summer beer?
The perfect summer ale should be light, crisp, and refreshing. Not to be confused with light beer, because lets be honest here, no one uses that stuff for anything except peer pong these days. No, in addition to being light and refreshing, the perfect summer ale should also be smooth, easy drinking, and pleasant.
The key ingredient: wheat. Summer ales are traditionally made of American and German wheat and hops with notes of citrus. However, anything from a straight forward American Ale to a fruity and wild Blueberry Honey Ale can make a perfect summer beer depending on your taste.
Like this: Bells OberonBells Brewery describes their trademark summer brew as a wheat ale fermented with Bell's signature house ale yeast, mixing a spicy hop character with mildly fruity aromas. Oberon almost seems to be universally loved for its refreshingly light citrus taste and sweet, bold aroma. It may be straight forward, and not much for complexity, but dont underestimate it. This is the perfect session drinker for a long, hot day in the sun.
Try this: Brewers Best Summer AleAn intermediate level kit, but makes 5 gallons of perfectly golden summer wheat ale. This kit is crisp and refreshing with pleasant hints of lemon zest and orange peel. Finishes clean with an ABV of about 4.5%, this is a perfect session drinker for summer gatherings.
Like this: New Glarus Brewing Co.s Spotted Cow Another Midwest favorite. New Glarus describes its Spotted Cow as a naturally cloudy farmhouse ale. This beautiful straw colored ale pours with a thick, creamy head. The brew is malt forward with subtle corn flavors and light citrus undertones. Creamy, smooth, and refreshing. Brewers Best American Cream Ale This kit is clean, light, and simple to brew. Like your favorite Spotted Cow, this beer will be creamy with notes of corn and subtle hops. It pours frothy and delicious with excellent head retention. At 5.25 ABV, this is a brew you can sip all day.
Like this: Magic Hat #9 Magic Hat Brewing Company may say that this beer is cloaked in secrecy, but its no secret that this has become one of our summer favorites. This brew is dry, crisp, and ridiculously refreshing. It boasts fruity notes of raspberry and apricot that add a subtle sweetness that wont gross you out. The color of the brew is beautiful: golden, clear, and effervescent.
Try this: Brewers Best American Pale Ale This kit creates a classic American style ale with moderate hop aroma and bitterness. The ale starts with a pale malt base that provides its rich, golden color. Its light bodied mouthfeel makes for easy drinking. Adding apricot and raspberry extract during secondary fermentation would give it the signature fruity taste of the beloved Magic Hat #9. This kit is simple to brew, beginner level, with the ABV usually landing around 5.0. Its definitely perfect for whipping up a batch for your 4th of July party and watching stuff explode.Like this: 3 Floyds Calumet Queen There are few things in life as refreshing on a hot summer day as an ice cold Kölsch. This beer is lovely golden yellow with excellent head retention. The aroma is enticing with mild herbal and floral qualities. The malt is slightly sweet with refreshing citrus yeast esters and hints of orange peel shine through. Finishes clean and crisp on the palate and leaves you wanting more.
Try this: Brewers Best Kölsch Style Ale The Kölsch is traditionally from Cologne, Germany, but has been gaining popularity recently on this side of the pond. This kit embodies everything we love about the Kölsch: it is crisp, clean, and easy going. The golden yellow hue is particularly inviting on a hot summer day. The Kölsch tends to be less hoppy than many American styles with a slight sweetness to it. This brew is packed with flavor, yet mild enough to drink all day and well into the night.
Like this: Lagunitas Little Sumpin Sumpin Ale Okay, hop warriors, this one is for you. This is the pinnacle of summer drinking. According to Lagunitas, this beer is brewed with 50% wheat malt and all the C hops. This ale is a combination of citrus and pepper notes that really shouldnt make sense. Pine and grapefruit are just two of the flavors brought forth by this brews interesting hop profile. Somehow, it finishes clean and perfectly refreshing. It might leave you wondering what did I just drink?, but its a guarantee that youll be back for more.
Try this: Brewers Best American Pale Wheat This kit perfectly blends the styles of an ale and a wheat beer. Light copper in color, the American Pale Wheat kit will be a bit more hoppy than your traditional wheat beer kits. Easy drinking, with a light hop profile, but you could always add an ounce or two of Citra hops to give this kit a bit of a boost in the IBU department. This is an intermediate kit, with room to experiment and create the perfect wheat beer to sip on your back porch.
There you have it. Everything is better with beer especially summer. Beer is the perfect drink to beat the heat, whether you are picking up your favorite craft beer from the store or brewing your own. Remember, beer is great but making your own beer is better! Cheers!