We have now officially entered the summer of 2010. Time to think about vacations and heading to the beach and lighter, more refreshing beers. In that sunny spirit, here are some hot weather craft beer choices:
Caldera Brewing’s Lawnmower Lager
Ashland, Oregon based Caldera Brewing normally cans their pale, IPA and amber beers. But this summer they have a special Kettle Series of 22-ounce bombers and one of the varietals is Lawnmower Lager. Beer Geeks may know that “lawnmower” is a somewhat pejorative name for lighter beers that you can have after sweating in the sun in the front yard. This Oregon version is a 3.9% ABV American Light Lager brewed with flaked barley and flaked rice. You might still be able to pick this up at Vendome Toluca Lake.
Sierra Nevada’s Summerfest
I recently was re-introduced to this beer at the great Library Alehouse. It had been a long hiatus on my part but after a traffic-y drive to Santa Monica, this really hit the spot. Summerfest is a pilsner-style lager. Lighter in body than Sierra Nevada ales but still complex in flavor and aroma due to an extra long lagering period. Summerfest should have wide availability on both draft and in bottles.
Mission Street’s Hefeweizen
For $1.99 at Trader Joe’s, this is a serious bargain. And it is a really good and spot-on to style version of a hefeweizen. Nice clove and banana tastes mingle with some really sparkly carbonation. The look on my face after one sip would have told the story much better than words. I was shocked at how good it was.
Maui Brewing’s Bikini Blonde Lager
For those vacation spots where bottles are verboten, a nice canned lager with actual flavor is in order. Maui is widely known for their CoCoNut porter but their lager should not be overlooked. The sweetness and grain flavors would pair well with grilled fish or other lighter BBQ fare. I usually find Bikini Blonde at my local Whole Foods.
Your malted homework this week revolves around the hallowed tradition of the summer vacation. For me, that meant being shoehorned into the back of the family car and driving for what seemed like an eternity with nothing but my imagination and AM radio.
Now with satellite radio and iPods you can have a much better experience. As you are planning your next holiday adventure, remember to give yourself legroom and find a craft brewery at or near your destination. A trip is a great chance to go out on a limb and try a new adventure. If you are in Portland, try Captured by Porches. In the Denver area, how about Equinox Brewing. Almost every city has a brewery, so try one out. Live like the locals.
Or if your are on the “stay-cation”, head over to Eagle Rock Brewery and have food from one of the trucks that are usually there every weekend with their excellent XPA. Which I think is a great summer brew.
Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.
May 19, 2011 at 1:11 PM
For summertime, something like The Bruery’s Hottenroth is great. Lemonade like tartness, low ABV. Perfect for a hot day!