Well, it really doesnít take summer for anyone to want a beer, but the summer does seem to evoke a thirst for a cold beer.
As the thermometer climbs and we realize jeans, coats, and gloves arenít needed and that shorts, tank tops and shades are the preferred clothing, we find that our "beer clothing" changes too. Yes, the summer season is a time for liquid refreshment that cools you down and quenches your thirst. It should be at home around the BBQ grill as well as after a softball game on a hot day.
What to choose? When it comes to summer, my philosophy is to keep it simple. Stouts? Well, you could. India Pale Ales? Sure, if you want to. Lambics? I guess fruit can be refreshing. Doppelbocks? Sure. The point here is you can drink whatever you want, however, with that in mind, wouldnít you rather have something a bit lighter? There is a plethora of beer choices for summer. Many brewers (both micro, macro and imports) make fine summer quaffers.
Some suggestions you ask?
If you are in the east, Harpoonís Summer Beer or Tremont Summer Ale might cool you down. Those in the Midwest anxiously await the release of Bellís Oberon, Great Lakes Holy Moses or Goose Island Summertime to quench that thirst. Maybe you are out west and a Bert Grantís Summer Ale or Pyramid Sun Fest is just the ticket on a warm evening. Many breweries are regional and offer their fine products to those close by. Others, such as Samuel Adams Summer Ale, Peteís Summer Brew, Redhook Blond and Sierra Nevada Summerfest, can probably be found on the shelves of a store near you.
This summer, make plans at your next backyard steak cook-out, to introduce your big brewer, beer-drinking friends and family members to a summer beer from a smaller brewer. Donít be surprised to see a smile on their faces. It seems most people equate micro-breweries with heavy beers and when they try a lighter fare, such as these summer offerings, they are usually pleasantly surprised how tasty and easy to drink they are. These refreshing light ales, white ales, hefeweizens, and others, are a fine way to introduce newcomers to the beers of summer.