Summer’s here! Kick back with a cold brew — one that’s refreshing, easy to drink, and perfect for those long, hot days by the barbecue. To start sipping, we asked our beer expert Jason Henry for the best styles to look for this season, along with a few of his favorite picks.
Pilsner: This light, crisp German lager is sure to quench your thirst. It has a grainy malt character and flowery hops, and it’s dry, with just enough bitterness to keep you wanting more.
American Pale Ale: This is the style made famous by Sierra Nevada Brewing Company. Brewed with citrusy American hops, it has a biscuit-like flavor with hoppy aromas.
Kolsch: A soft rounded beer with minimal hops, kolsch beers are slightly fruity with subtle malt additions. The German hops give this style a uniquely grassy character and refreshing, almost tangy finish.
Hefeweizen: Characterized by aromas of wheat, banana and clove, this rustic style is typically unfiltered, pouring a hazy straw color with a mousse-like head. It has very little hops and a pleasantly tart flavor.
|Victory Prima Pils|
This is a Pilsner with an American twist — it’s brewed with traditional German malts and hops, but extra hops give it crisp, earthy flavors and a bitter finish. The flavor is rounded out by notes of lemon and orange peel.
|Firestone Walker Pale 31|
This prototypical American Pale Ale has won more awards than we can keep track of. It’s brewed with four hop varietals, lending flavors of grapefruit and orange rind and pine. The malts add just a kiss of sweetness to balance the hops.
|Drake’s Blonde Ale|
This Kolsch-style beer has spicy, herbal aromas and flavors of light honey and grain. Its clean finish will leave you wanting another pint — perfect for a sunny day.
|Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier|
All Hefeweizens should be measured against this world classic, which strikes a balance between sweet and sour. It’s a cloudy brew with a white head and aromas of honey, wheat, lemon and banana and complex undertones of coriander and spice.