Paige Latham Didora
summer beers – don’t miss out!
And while I am a dark beer lover, this season’s summer beer selection has been, in my opinion, better than usual. I was part of a panel of tasters in this Heavy Table Summer Beer article; I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and it reminded me of the positives to lighter, more seasonable beer. Here are a few of my personal favorites that you simply can’t miss before it’s too late!
First, Bitter Brewer from Surly is a tasty number that I admittedly hadn’t tasted until this year. Well, no more summers will pass without a few of these in the fridge.
English beers are some of my absolute favorites, and this local rendition represents a classic ESB with perhaps a bit more fruit aroma. About 4% ABV is, for me, an excellent range for safe beach or kayak drinking. Bonus? The estimated calories in this one are super low, about 123. I don’t typically discuss that particular stat for fear of feeding into calorie terrorism as well as cliches about female drinkers, but bikini-minded people want to know.
Note that this beer benefits greatly from being poured into a glass- perhaps even more than other beer. However… the park board frowns on beer, let alone glass- I didn’t want to put an even bigger target on my back.
Bitter Brewer is approaching the end of its season (to be replaced by Surlyfest) so head out and grab this one very soon. Then find yourself some flippy-floppies.
Daypack is another low-ABV gem with explosive herbal and citrus fragrance. With substantial bitterness and effervescence perfect for a hot day, you’ll want a few of these.
Stand-out flavors include grapefruit, resin, and biscuit, hinting at elements of both classic British IPAs and West Coast American versions. It bridges the gap very well. The dry finish underscores this beer’s ability to fill that session role for your summer afternoon.
My suggestion? Drink it with sandy toes.
Finally, a good hike or paddle deserves something very refreshing, slightly sweet, and easy to drink. That niche can be occupied very easily by the Stiegl Radler. This beer was discussed last fall during my bench-building adventure. I first discovered Radlers while reading a Star Tribune article by Michael Agnew at summer’s peak last year, and I find them to be the perfect beer for non-beer drinkers and connoisseurs alike.
Radlers are extremely traditional in Germany, where the beer is mixed with soda at the time of serving. The grapefruit notes taste so fresh and complement the cracker-like malt so well that the pairing of soda and beer seems only natural.
Don’t depart on an adventure without a favorite summer beer, and don’t let fall roll in without a sip of these three!