TOP SUMMER BEERS FOR NON-HOPHEADS?

corona

Don’t say Corona or I’ll cut your larynx out.

A colleague asked me to recommend some beers for summer.  He can put away craft beer with the best of them, but has not developed a taste for rip-your-tongue-out hoppy beers.  Over the winter I turned him on to TEN FIDY, Founders Imperial Stout, Brother Thelonius and some other malt bombs.  But he says that the TEN FIDY he drank while mowing his lawn this weekend was not that refreshing??

So Aleheads and friends, please share your recommendations for summer beers that are not too hoppy.  (Refreshingly hoppy is OK; I am only trying to eliminate beers that deserve names like “Hoptimum” and “Hoptrocity.”)  Bonus points awarded for beers he may actually be able to find here in Massachusetts.*

*  I now proceed to break this principle.

For what it’s worth, which I’m sure you’ll tell me is not much, here is my list:

  1. Pilsners: Oskar Blues Mama’s Little Yella Pilz – the best pilsner that doesn’t come in a 2-liter glass boot.
  2. In the wheat category: Lagunitas A Li’l Sumpin’ Sumpin’ – makes my list every year.
  3. If you like sour: everything on this list.**

**  I told you so.

Happy summer, Aleheads!

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UPDATE 6/3/13 1:4o p.m.: now with picture.

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14 comments

  1. Really good hefeweizens are some of the best summer beers, for me. We Aleheads often look down on wheat beers, but there’s as much taste per square inch in a good hefe as there is in an IPA.

    The issue is finding some of the best ones. For those near St. Louis, Urban Chestnut’s “Snicklefritz” is particularly good. I remember having a spectacular one as one of the house beers of Grand Rapids’ Hopcat as well. That kind of beer is meant for serving on draft, outside, in the sunlight.

  2. Anderson Valley Summer Solstice in the bright orange cans are a good bet for sunny outdoor endeavors- tastes like a creamsicle, looks bitchin’. As you note, it’s a great time for pilseners. Sierra Nevada Summerfest is a good example, also available nationally in cans. We’re starting to see session-strength saisons on the market this time of year, like Victory Swing or Flying Dog Farmhouse Summer Ale. Easy-drinking but lots of flavor right around 4.5% ABV.

  3. Massachusetts? Hey, I live there!

    My favorite new Summer beer is Newburyport Brewing Plum Island Belgian White. As local as local gets so I’d assume you’ll only see it where I am on the North Shore (Vinnin in Swampscott stocks it). Pure canned goodness. The Greenhead IPA is also fantastic.

    I also like Notch Brewing for all of their session beers in the Summer. All under 5%

    My old standby for hot Summer nights has always been Saison Dupont. Easy drinking yet still sophisticated – Touch of spiciness brings everything together.

    Can’t argue with Mama’s Little Yella Pilz. Absolutely delicious.

  4. Czar Vladibeer S. Bootin' · ·

    I don’t know if Firestone Walker pops up in MA but they have a unfiltered hefe I’m drinking a case (per Slouch’s recommendation) to see if I like it. I like it and thus recommend SOLSTICE.

    Also, my favorite widely available pilsner (and favorite beer by that brewery) is still Brooklyn Brewery’s Pilsner. Has enough body to compete with many pale ales but definitely won’t tear your face off.

    Of course, when I mow the neighbor’s lawn for some extra spending money I like to wear a backpack full of Czechvar to ease the day along. It belongs in a boot, yes, but so does the Commander.

    CZAR

  5. Recipe for Summer success – Backpack full of Czechvar, fist full of dollars, and a pocket full of kryptonite. Can’t go wrong.

  6. SideKick Pale Ale: Two Brothers Brewing
    Apollo: Sixpoints Brewing

    Reviews of Both by me and my compatriots: http://www.beerbarons.blogspot.com/2013/05/the-scene-indy-motor-speedway.html

  7. Lots of summer refreshers out there! Here goes my list in no particular order (pardon any repeats):

    21st Amendment Bitter American and Hell or High Watermelon Wheat
    Victory Swing Session Saison, Headwaters Pale Ale, and Prima Pils
    Founders All Day IPA (you guys were spot on with this one. As usual!)
    Ayinger Brau Weisse Hefeweizen
    Saison DuPont
    Lost Abbey Red Barn Ale
    Great Lakes Elliot Ness and Dortmunder Gold
    Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale and Star Island Single
    Unibroue Ephemere
    Deschutes Chainbreaker White IPA
    Duchesse De Bourgogne
    Brooklyn Summer Ale
    Goose Island Summertime
    Dogfish Head Festina Peche
    Epic Sour Apple Saison
    Anchor Liberty Ale and Summer Ale
    Ballast Point Calico Wheat

  8. If it’s beer in Massachusetts, then Sea Dog’s fruit brews (raspberry/blueberry) are good for warm weather. If Boulevard can be found, I suppose their unfiltered wheat is a good choice.

    Also … Massachusetts? In the summer? Shouldn’t this conversation start and end with Sam Adams Summer Ale?
    (I kid)

  9. Jimmy chug chug · ·

    I know it’s not Massachusetts, but you can probably find Sierra Nevada Summer Lager. It is awesome! Also River Horse Summer Blonde Ale is kick ass! It is a Jersey brewery, but they may be up there considering they are only a couple of states away.

  10. Been digging Sidekick by Two Brothers, Apollo by Sixpoints and Osiris by Sun King

  11. How about every beer ever made in England ever? ;-)

    Well, until about five years ago. Now it’s all double IPA’s and suchlike…

  12. Saisons are the new summer lager. Get with it ^.^

    XOXO

  13. Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale is fantastic

  14. Anonymous · ·

    Anderson valley summer solstice

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