When it comes to summer beers, I want something light, crisp and thirst-quenching. As far as seasonal releases go for micro breweries, many of them follow this suit…however there are a few that go off the beaten track. Last night we had a tasting of over 20 new summer seasonals (and some of our regular favorites) to see who would hold the crown for best summer beer. The results…well I’m sure you’ll be just as surprised as I was. Below is a description of the Top 4, and later the full list of beers.
#4: Victory Summer Love
Not surprisingly the brewers of Golden Monkey and Hop Devil hit us with another go-to brew. They use a blend of American and German hops to achieve a floral yet citrusy flavor in the beer. Crisp and clean and thirst quenching, just what summer needs. Plus, hailing from the Philadelphia area…we can’t help but support this brewery…and there’s a baseball player on the label – what’s more summer than that?
#3: Widmer Pitch Black IPA
Widmer is quickly rising to the top of the ranks for favorite breweries for us. Although, I personally prefer the Citra Blond (I could replace my go-to Lost Coast Tangerine Wheat with it), the masses spoke and this was the clear favorite of the two Widmer’s tasted. Although a Spring Release, it just hit the Florida market. Black malts are used to arrive a toasty malt flavor, citrus essence, and some herbal aromas. Smoother than most IPA’s, a truly unique style.
#2: Brooklyn Summer Ale
After all the reviews on this brew, I was beyond excited to get it in. What’s even better? It came in cans. I’m always looking for a good canned beer for the store, we’re a beach town and the beach patrol isn’t particularly friendly the glass bottles. But when it arrived…I was shocked. It took me straight back to my younger days with visions of Milwaukee’s Best dancing in my head….not a fond memory. The goal of the beer was to achieve a 1940’s British Pub style ale . Brewed from English barley malt, light golden in color with almost a bready (word?) flavor. Oh, and it comes in bottles as well.
#1: Breckenridge 471 Small Batch Series IPA
A double IPA as the summer beer of choice? Well one this delicious deserves attention at any tasting – no matter the season. The brewery describes its favored small batch beer as, “Hoppy? Brother, 471 IPA redefines hoppy.” And that it does. A combination of five different malts and four different hops, it will separate the men from the boys with a sweet forward flavor followed by a kick-you-in-the-mouth hoppy finish.
Full list of beers is below. We’d also like to thank Widmer & Blue Point Brewery for donating some pint glasses. We’re so happy about them, we’re giving them away to our customers!
Buy a 6-pack, get a free glass…online orders use code “BEERGLASS“
Brew Ha-Ha: Summer Seasonals
- Ace Joker Cider
- Lost Coast Tangerine Wheat
- Cooper’s Sparkling Ale
- Brooklyn Summer Ale
- Breckenridge Brewery Summerbright
- Full Sail Pale Ale
- Bell’s Oberon Ale
- Dogfish Head Festina Peche
- Breckenridge Brewery 471 IPA
- Full Sail Session Lager
- The Bruery Trade Winds
- Lindeman’s Lambic Pomme
- Southern Tier Raspberry Wheat
- Blue Point Brewery Blueberry
- Blue Point Brewery Toasted Lager
- Widmer Citra Blond
- Alexander Keithe Nova Scotia Brown Ale
- Florida Avenue Brewing IPA
- Widmer Pitch Black IPA