Every year, right around the end of May or early June, New England starts to heat up and the humidity moves in. People start having barbecues, we go camping and just generally spend a lot of time outside. Yard games and time in the water are all favorites and, to be honest, nobody wants to sit down and talk about beer...we want to drink it, it just takes a backseat to all the fun we’re having. So, with that in mind, here are my six-pack of beers that will kindly share the spotlight but still bring the flavor.
The rules were that the beers had to be low alcohol enough to drink all day, good for outdoor hot weather and come in a multi-pack (four- or six-pack)...after all, in summer I usually want to drink from the bottle or can and who wants to carry around a bomber? Also, I didn't want to just tell you about a bunch of summer beers...I wanted to wait to see what we were actually drinking this summer! So, without further ado, the Drink Craft Beer Summer Six-Pack.
How can you possible have a summer beer list without a “just beer” lager? If you want just a little more to it, though, then this is the 4-pack for you! Clean and crisp, with a very light malt profile it’s got just enough hops to be more than your average American lager. In 16 oz bottles, you get a bigger serving than your normal 12 oz bottle, but with this beer that’s just perfect!
While the Jabby Brau is a great “just beer,” Leisure Time Lager is the complete opposite while still being a great summer brew. Chamomile and local wheat make this a floral, dry and minerally libation that makes you want to keep sipping. Jack’s Abby keeps the spices in check, so they add just the right character to make the brew interesting. Try this for your friends who want something a little different.
You know when you just want a beer but you don’t want to think about it? Rather you want to be able to be outside playing baggo or wiffleball? Or maybe you want to socialize with friends and family? Whatever the activity, if it’s a situation where beer is a second thought to what’s at hand, don’t reach for some mass market lager because this is you want! The carbonation is smooth and not overwhelming. The hops provide a bit of flavor, but there’s nothing challenging about them. The malt is a bit sweet, balancing the hops, and has a great biscuity flavor. Over all, this is one of those beers that’s a delicious social lubricant. Don’t worry too much about it, just enjoy it!
From the outset, even the can looks summery...and it only gets better from there. First of all, it comes in a can, which is always a great trick to have up your sleeve during the hot months. The beach, camping, on the river or whatever, avoiding glass is sometimes a must-do. With lemon and lime peel, kaffir lime leaves and lemongrass this is a great citrusy, clean, crisp and slightly acidic beer.
Most people in the craft beer world are always looking forward. What’s new? What haven’t I had before? I’ll admit, I’m guilty of this as well. But sometimes you want an old standby, and this is the brew that turned many of my friends onto craft beer. So why not go back to it? Belgian yeast esters, banana and peppery spice just take over when you smell it. Up front the beer is simply crisp and refreshing while the wheat and yeast all vie for dominance in your nose and on your tongue. With a dry finish to wrap it all up I’m going to have to drink this one more often!
What’s better than a 12 oz can? A 16 oz tall-boy can! With a banana-y aroma and dry, tangy wheat in the body it smells and tastes just like a classic Bavarian wheat beer. After seeing and smelling it, you won’t be able to resist drinking it! As you swallow the wheat really brings a drying character that, along with the carbonation, finishes nicely. This is going to be an instant classic at all your barbecues this year so pick some up, both you and your non-craft-beer-drinking friends will love it!
So what are your favorite summer brews? Especially those of you outside of New England. What do you drink when the weather gets hot and you're spending time outside with your friends and family? Let us know in the comments below, on Twitter or on Facebook.