You may have noticed that there was no post last week recapping my experience with Beer Bettys. In celebration of American Craft Beer Week we held a mixer with our male counterparts, the Gary Brewseys and kicked back on the patio with some cans of Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada. The regional rep from Sierra Nevada, Scott, led us in a discussion of his brewery, which you can read about here. This week I posted a photo of the flight from Beer Bettys on my Facebook page, and asked people if they knew the theme of the flight. The responses were all over the board, just like this weeks style of beer, Summer Ales. There are no specific style guidelines for this type of beer. Seasonal’s are mainly an opportunity to experiment with different styles and specialty brews. It is up to each individual brewery to decide what tastes like summer to them and what style to aim for. As a result, the types of beers produced are all over the board.
Michelle, our instructor and bar manager at The Mayor of Old Town, asked us to think of what beer is our own personal summer beer. The beer that we think of when we are longing for a cool breeze on a hot day, or wishing we had our feet up on a patio some where. The beer you have probably tied to a raft at some point in your life as you floated along in your innertube. The beer you reached for after hauling a ton, literally, of mulch and mowed the lawn. That thirst quenching, cold, beer. Typically summer beers are thought of as light, malty lagers, but many breweries have broken out of that box. I guess I am comfortable in that box too, as my summer beer is Ska Brewing’s Mexican Logger. Light, with a crispness from saaz hops, it is perfect for sitting on my patio watching people head to and from Old Town. It is a quintessential example of a summer beer. Plus, it is in a can, something that came in very handy on a recent hike up to Horsetooth Rock.
The group came to a concensus that canned beers are perfect for summer. You can float them in the river to keep them cool and toss them in a backpack for your next hike, without worrying of broken glass. You can dance at your favorite summer music festival without spilling, my favorite reason to drink out of a can. Also, a can keeps sunlight away from your beer. So while you are out floating, hiking, dancing, kicking back, etc, the suns rays won’t skunk your beer.
With school ending, and the days getting longer, which beer do you reach for?
Avery Karma (5.2% ABV)- This Belgian Pale Ale is one of my all time favorite brews. The perfect balance of biscuit malt, floral hops and sweet Belgian yeast make this a must try summer beer. It pours a golden caramel color, and has flavors to match. I prefer this beer on a rainy, cool summer day.
Anderson Valley Summer Solstice (5.6% ABV)- A velvety smooth cream ale with only 4 IBUs! My favorite of this weeks flight, it has vanilla aromas and flavors. The low bitterness makes it way too easy to drink.
Breckenridge SummerBright Ale (4.5% ABV)- Pouring like a typical summer beer, this one is a popular style for this season, Golden Ale. Wheat and citrus come through with a bubbly mouth feel. This one used to be a favorite, but now is just too bland for me. A great beer for those just getting into craft brews.
Sierra Nevada Summerfest (5.0% ABV)- The only lager of the group, it surprisingly had the biggest hop profile. A clear golden pour, it had a crisp dry finish you would expect from pilsner style.