Before the plague of seasonally inappropriate pumpkin beers descends upon us, (Ugh! They are already hitting shelves) here is a Brew & You End of Summer beer shopping list that intermingles overlooked classics with the bright and shiny new beers.
Overlooked Classic – Orval and the distinctive neck of the bottle collar is a wonderful beer that is hoppy and Brett-y and changes dramatically over time, while still in the bottle.
or try something New and Weird like Freigeist Abraxxxus Pear Lichtenhainer a tart sour wheat beer.
Overlooked Classic – Firestone Walker DBA gets overlooked in the rush for Hop monsters like Double Jack or easy drinking favorites like 805 but this is a great malty beer that pairs wonderfully with food.
or try something New and Weird like Shiner Prickly Pear a summer seasonal from Texas that uses cactus to the best of its ability.
Overlooked Classic – GRB Hefeweizen and Get Up Offa that Brown may seem passe but these have been the most consistently well done beers from Golden Road.
or try something new and weird like Stillwater’s very stylish and mod cans of dry-hopped Session lager, Yacht.
Overlooked Classic – Noble Big Whig IPA gets passed over at times for the Showers series of Double IPA’s or the other concoctions from Evan Price but you could do a lot worse than this peppery IPA.
Or try something New and Weird like the Fringe by Pretty Things Ale & Beer that utilizes the Ella hops in a golden ale.
Normally at this point in Brew & You, I give you a Beer of the Week. This week you get a plea to not buy a beer even though it is ubiquitous at the moment. Not your Father’s Root Beer is a super sweet beer (according to Ray Daniels who started the Cicerone Program) and a product of Four Loko and Pabst even though the label says Small Town Brewery. It appears to my eyes to be a phantom craft beer. Find a Root Beer from a good craft soda maker. Preferably at Galco’s in Highland Park and drink that instead.
Your Homework is to get in on the first ever bottle release from beloved Ladyface Ale Companie. The Ingenuity Series of Barrel-aged beers (Flamberge Flemish Red, Dérailleur® Bière de Garde & Trébuchet® Golden Farmhouse) will be available in 500 ml bottles in very limited amounts. So get your tickets now for next month.
Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.