This week, I am throwing all you beer lovers a change-up. With the Dodgers and Angels in full swing, I am going to recommend a few summer craft beers that you can imbibe before and after the 7th inning stretch.
First up is New Belgium’s Somersault. It pours a cloudy orange and has quite a few aromas and flavors hidden in this 5.2% brew. I tasted tangerines with a bit of wheat/cereal notes. New Belgium’s website says that you might notice apricot, ginger and oats. Whatever you taste this is flavor filled and refreshing.
I have talked about Uinta beers before and this Utah brewery has an appropriately named offering called Summ’r. It is bittered with the Japanese Sorachi hop which imparts big lemon and citrus notes. At 4% this is perfect for the game that goes extra innings.
A little harder to find will be the Kern River 5th Anniversary DIPA. Kern River anniversary ales are usually of a Belgian bent but this year they go the Double IPA route. It uses not only the Sorachi Ace hop and the Citra that they work magic with but the new Falconer’s Flight hop named to honor the Oregon brewer Glen Hay Falconer. If you are scared of DIPA’s, don’t be. This one is super mild and incredibly delicious. It will be available in 22oz bottles.
Speaking of Falconer’s Flight, the Maui Brewing Flyin’ H.I.P Hay utilizes this new hop primarily and it gives a red grapefruit bitterness that fades into maltiness as you sip it. Since all of the Maui beers are in cans. This is a great new beer to try at the beach or wherever bottles are banned and part of the proceeds go to charity.
Hangar 24’s Patio Beer is another great low ABV brew that retains all the flavor of a hoppy pale ale. This beer was brewed to celebrate the opening of the Hangar 24 patio back in January of this year. Maybe they will have a few kegs of this “C” hopped (Centennial, Chinook and Citra) at their anniversary party this Saturday.
Summer is a great time to stow away the big beers with big ABV’s and go in search of the styles that really quench the thirst without putting you under the table. Styles like Helles Lager, golden ales, blonde ales and hefeweizens. It doesn’t take too many of these golden yellow ales for you to remember why lagers became the pre-eminent beer of choice in America. They are bursting with flavors that aren’t masked by alcohol or roasted malts. When done well (and there are more and more on the market), they are crisp and delicious.
So slather on the sunscreen, grab your scorecard and root on the local team, be it the Angels and their rally monkey or the Dodgers in Chavez Ravine.
Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.