Craft beer has become increasingly popular over the past few years, and for good reason. With a wide range of flavors and styles, there is a craft beer out there for everyone. As summer approaches, it’s the perfect time to explore some of the best brews the craft beer world has to offer.
Whether you’re a fan of light and refreshing beers or bold and hoppy IPAs, there are plenty of options to choose from. Some of the top summer brews to try include fruity and sour beers, crisp lagers, and refreshing wheat beers. With so many different breweries and styles to choose from, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. But fear not, as I have compiled a list of the top craft beers you need to taste this summer.
The Appeal of Craft Beer
Craft beer has become increasingly popular in recent years, and for good reason. As someone who enjoys a good brew, I can confidently say that there is something special about craft beer that sets it apart from the mass-produced beers of the world.
Craft breweries are often run by passionate individuals who take great care in the brewing process, resulting in unique and flavorful beers that are not found anywhere else. This attention to detail and creativity is what draws many people to craft beer.
Another appeal of craft beer is the variety. With so many different craft breweries and styles of beer available, there is always something new to try. Whether you prefer a hoppy IPA or a smooth stout, there is a craft beer out there that will satisfy your taste buds.
Craft beer also offers a sense of community. Many craft breweries are local and have a loyal following of customers who appreciate the quality and care put into each batch of beer. Visiting a craft brewery can be a fun and social experience, as you can meet other beer enthusiasts and learn more about the brewing process.
Overall, the appeal of craft beer lies in the passion and creativity of the craft breweries and the unique and flavorful beers they produce. As someone who appreciates a good brew, I am always excited to try new craft beers and support local breweries.
Understanding Beer Types
Ales are beers that are brewed using a warm fermentation process, which means that the yeast is added at a higher temperature than lagers. This results in a beer that has a more complex flavor profile, with fruity and spicy notes that are often associated with the yeast used. Ales can be further classified into several sub-types, including pale ales, India pale ales (IPAs), brown ales, and porters.
Pilsners are a type of lager that originated in the Czech Republic. They are characterized by their light color and crisp, refreshing taste. Pilsners are brewed using a cold fermentation process, which results in a beer that is clean and balanced, with a subtle hop bitterness. They are a great choice for those who prefer a lighter beer that is easy to drink.
Stouts are dark, rich beers that are brewed using roasted malt or barley. They are often associated with flavors of coffee, chocolate, and caramel, and can range from sweet to bitter. Stouts are typically full-bodied and have a creamy mouthfeel, which makes them a great choice for pairing with desserts or hearty meals.
Saisons are a type of farmhouse ale that originated in Belgium. They are typically brewed using a combination of malted barley, wheat, and spelt, and are often flavored with spices or fruit. Saisons are known for their complex flavor profile, with notes of pepper, citrus, and clove. They are a great choice for those who enjoy a beer with a unique and interesting taste.
When it comes to beer, understanding the different types can help you make more informed choices about what to drink. Whether you prefer ales, pilsners, stouts, or saisons, each type has its own unique flavor profile that can be enjoyed on its own or paired with food. By experimenting with different types of beer, you can discover new flavors and find the perfect brew to suit your tastes.
Summer Brews to Try
As a craft beer enthusiast, I am always on the lookout for new and refreshing brews to try during the summer months. Here are some of my top picks for summer beers that you should definitely try:
IPAs are a popular choice for beer lovers, and there are many different varieties that are perfect for summer. Hazy IPAs are a great choice for those who enjoy a hoppy and refreshing beer. Pale ales and sour IPAs are also great options for those who want something a little less intense.
Wheat beers are a classic summer beer, and for good reason. They are light and refreshing, with a crisp and clean finish. Some popular wheat beer varieties include hefeweizens and witbiers.
For those who prefer a lighter beer, there are plenty of options to choose from. Summer ales and all-day IPAs are perfect for those who want a beer that is easy to drink and won’t leave them feeling too full.
Blonde ales are another great option for those who want a lighter beer. They are crisp and refreshing, with a smooth and easy finish. Some popular blonde ale varieties include cream ales and Belgian blondes.
For those who want to enjoy a beer without the alcohol, there are plenty of non-alcoholic options available. These beers are perfect for those who want to enjoy the taste of beer without the buzz.
Overall, there are plenty of refreshing and delicious beers to try this summer. Whether you prefer hoppy IPAs or light and crisp wheat beers, there is something for everyone. So grab a cold one and enjoy the summer sun!
Spotlight on Breweries
When it comes to craft beer, Samuel Adams is a name that needs no introduction. The Boston-based brewery has been around since 1984 and has become a household name for beer lovers across the country. This summer, I highly recommend trying out their Samuel Adams Summer Ale. This refreshing beer is brewed with lemon peel and grains of paradise, giving it a crisp and slightly spicy flavor that’s perfect for hot summer days.
Located in Brooklyn, Sixpoint Brewery is known for their unique and experimental brews. If you’re looking for something different this summer, I recommend trying their Hi-Res Double IPA. This bold and hoppy beer is brewed with three different types of hops and has a strong citrus flavor that’s sure to impress.
New Belgium Brewing
New Belgium Brewing is a Colorado-based brewery that’s been making waves in the craft beer world since 1991. Their Allagash White is a classic Belgian-style wheat beer that’s perfect for summer. Brewed with coriander and orange peel, this light and refreshing beer has a slightly sweet and spicy flavor that’s perfect for sipping on a hot day.
Allagash Brewing Co
Speaking of Allagash, this Maine-based brewery is known for their Belgian-style beers. Their Allagash White is a classic, but if you’re looking for something a little different, I recommend trying their Curieux. This unique beer is aged in bourbon barrels, giving it a rich and complex flavor that’s perfect for sipping on a cool summer evening.
Located in Boulder, Colorado, Avery Brewing is known for their bold and flavorful beers. If you’re a fan of IPAs, I highly recommend trying their Maharaja Imperial IPA. This strong and hoppy beer has a citrusy flavor that’s sure to satisfy any hophead.
Overall, these breweries offer a wide variety of craft beers that are perfect for summer sipping. Whether you’re looking for something light and refreshing or bold and hoppy, there’s something for everyone.
Pairing Craft Beer with Summer Activities
When it comes to beach outings, light and refreshing beers are the way to go. A crisp pilsner or a refreshing wheat beer can be the perfect complement to a day spent lounging in the sun. For seafood lovers, a citrusy IPA can be a great pairing for grilled fish or shrimp skewers.
Grilling and BBQ
When it comes to grilling and BBQ, bold and flavorful beers are the way to go. A hoppy IPA can be a great pairing for burgers or grilled meats, while a malty brown ale can complement the smoky flavors of BBQ ribs or brisket. For a refreshing option, a fruity sour beer can be a great complement to grilled vegetables or salads.
For picnics, light and refreshing beers are the way to go. A crisp lager or a refreshing wheat beer can be the perfect complement to sandwiches or salads. For a more adventurous pairing, a fruity saison can be a great complement to grilled chicken or fruit salads.
When it comes to camping, sessionable beers are the way to go. A light and refreshing beer can be the perfect complement to a day spent hiking or exploring the great outdoors. For a more robust pairing, a smoky porter or a rich stout can be a great complement to grilled meats or s’mores around the campfire.
Overall, when it comes to pairing craft beer with summer activities, it’s important to consider the flavors and intensity of both the beer and the food. With a little experimentation, you’re sure to find the perfect pairing for any summer activity.
Exploring Beer Flavors
As a beer enthusiast, I find exploring the different flavors of craft beer to be an exciting experience. With so many breweries and styles available, there’s always something new to try. This summer, I recommend trying some brews that offer unique fruity and vanilla notes.
One aspect of beer that sets it apart from other alcoholic beverages is its aroma. The aroma of a beer can give you a hint of what to expect in terms of flavor. Some beers have a fruity aroma, which can be a result of the yeast or hops used in the brewing process. If you’re looking for a beer with a fruity aroma, try a Belgian-style saison or a wheat beer.
When it comes to flavor, vanilla is a note that can add a sweet and creamy taste to beer. This flavor can come from the use of vanilla beans during the brewing process or from aging the beer in oak barrels. If you’re interested in trying a beer with a vanilla flavor, look for a stout or porter.
Fruit flavors are also popular in craft beer. Some breweries add actual fruit to their beer, while others use fruit extracts or natural flavors. Fruit beers can be a refreshing option on a hot summer day. Some popular fruit flavors in beer include raspberry, peach, and grapefruit.
Overall, exploring the different flavors of craft beer can be a fun and educational experience. Whether you’re trying a fruity saison or a vanilla porter, there’s always something new to discover.
Understanding ABV in Craft Beer
Craft beer is known for its unique flavors and high alcohol content. ABV, or alcohol by volume, is the measure of the amount of alcohol present in a beer. Understanding ABV is important when selecting a craft beer, especially during the summer months when lighter beers are preferred.
As a craft beer enthusiast, I know that ABV can range from low to high, with some beers having an ABV of over 10%. It is important to know the ABV of a beer before consuming it, as higher ABV beers can have a stronger taste and can affect your alcohol tolerance.
When it comes to summer beers, lower ABV beers are typically preferred. Beers with an ABV of 5% or less, such as session IPAs or wheat beers, are perfect for outdoor gatherings and day drinking. These beers are refreshing and easy to drink, without the risk of getting too tipsy.
On the other hand, some craft beer lovers prefer beers with a lower ABV, around 4.5%. These beers are perfect for those who want to enjoy the taste of craft beer without the strong alcohol content. Beers such as blonde ales and pilsners are great examples of low-ABV beers that are perfect for summer.
In conclusion, understanding ABV in craft beer is important when selecting the perfect summer beer. Whether you prefer a low-ABV beer or a beer with a higher ABV, knowing the alcohol content of a beer can help you make an informed decision and enjoy your craft beer experience.
Reviews and Recommendations
As a craft beer enthusiast, I have tried many beers over the years. Here are some of my top recommendations for brews you need to taste this summer.
AleSmith Brewing Company Speedway Stout (California)
- ABV: 12.0%
- Synopsis: The Speedway Stout is an Imperial Stout, characterized by a rich, complex, and full-bodied flavor profile. The high ABV of 12.0% is typical for this style, contributing to its robust character. This beer likely features notes of roasted malts, chocolate, and coffee, with a strong and warming finish.
Founders Brewing Co. KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) (Michigan)
- Synopsis: The Founders KBS is an iconic bourbon barrel-aged stout. Known for its rich, velvety mouthfeel and flavor notes of coffee, chocolate, and bourbon, this stout is typically released annually and is highly sought after. It’s likely to have a high ABV, given the barrel aging and stout style.
Reformation Juicy Lager (#61)
- Type: Lager
- ABV: 4.9%
- Brewery Location: Georgia
- Synopsis: The Reformation Juicy Lager is a lager style beer which is known for its crisp and clean profile. With an ABV of 4.9%, it falls in the typical range for lagers. Given its name, it may have a juicy or fruit-forward flavor profile, which is somewhat atypical for a lager, suggesting an innovative spin on a classic style.
Jackalope Brewing Co. Sarka Pilsner (#58)
- Type: Pilsner
- ABV: 4.8%
- Brewery Location: Tennessee
- Synopsis: The Jackalope Brewing Co. Sarka Pilsner is a traditional Pilsner style beer, characterized by its light and crisp flavor profile with a typically clear golden color. Its ABV of 4.8% is standard for this style. Given its place on this list, it likely exhibits a high level of craftsmanship, with a balanced malt and hop profile.
If you’re looking for a convenient way to try new craft beers, consider using a beer delivery app. Some popular options include:
These apps allow you to browse a wide selection of beers and have them delivered right to your door.
Before trying a new beer, it’s always a good idea to read some reviews to get an idea of what to expect. Some reliable sources for beer reviews include:
These sites allow users to rate and review beers, so you can get an idea of what other people think before you buy.
Overall, there are so many great craft beers out there to try this summer. Whether you’re a fan of IPAs, sours, or something in between, there’s sure to be a brew that you’ll love.
Comparing Craft Beer to Other Beverages
Craft beer has been gaining popularity in recent years, but how does it compare to other popular beverages? As a beer enthusiast, I have tasted a wide variety of beers and other drinks, and I can confidently say that craft beer offers a unique and enjoyable experience.
Compared to wine, craft beer offers a wider range of flavors and styles. While wine is limited to grapes, craft beer can be made with a variety of ingredients, including fruits, spices, and even chocolate. Additionally, craft beer has a lower alcohol content than wine, making it a more refreshing option for summer drinking.
When it comes to mass-produced beers like Miller Lite and Pabst Blue Ribbon, craft beer offers a more complex and flavorful experience. These beers are often made with lower quality ingredients and lack the attention to detail that craft brewers put into their products. Craft beer also offers a wider range of styles, from light and refreshing American wheat beers to bold Belgian-style ales like Golden Monkey.
In terms of traditional beer styles, craft beer can hold its own against classics like Pilsner Urquell and German Pilsner. Craft brewers often put their own spin on traditional styles, adding unique ingredients or tweaking the brewing process to create something new and exciting.
Finally, compared to light lagers and other mass-produced beers, craft beer offers a more flavorful and interesting option. Light lagers are often made with a focus on drinkability and low cost, while craft beer is made with a focus on quality and flavor. Craft beer also offers a wider range of styles and flavors, from hoppy IPAs to rich stouts.
Overall, while craft beer may not be for everyone, it offers a unique and enjoyable experience that is worth trying. Whether you’re a beer enthusiast or just looking for something new to try this summer, craft beer is definitely worth exploring.