Summer is here, time to put aside your favourite ale and sample something a little different while the sun shines.
Beer blogger Gareth Pettman suggests 12 beverages that will give your taste buds a seasonal makeover.
Brooklyn Summer Ale
Rather an obvious choice perhaps, but for a mow the lawn, light the BBQ, all rounder this is hard to beat. Light, snappy and featuring Amarillo and Cascade hops, this is an excellent gateway beer for those new to American craft flavours.
Pressure Drop Pale Fire
Great new find. Pressure Drop's Pale Fire pic.twitter.com/0CvE3JTRWo
— Ian Brooks (@IanBrooksGKR) April 4, 2015
London based, but without the same level of exposure as Beavertown and Camden, Pressure Drop have been steadily building a reputation for their bold, progressive variations on traditional styles. Interestingly, Pale Fire is often brewed with varying aroma hops for different batches, resulting in subtle differences in flavour profiles.
Beavertown’s Gamma Ray
Having captured a wider audience than Beer Geeks over the least year or so, Beavertown have become a go-to source of hoppy happiness for me and Gamma Ray is the prime example of their enormously appealing range. A hop farm-fresh aroma and a lemony finish make it exceptionally moreish.
Mad Hatter Brewing Company’s Sorachi Face Hugger
— Frazer Ashman (@Hopotage) May 16, 2015
Saison is a beer style which originated for the specific purpose of providing summer refreshment. While use of Sorachi Ace hops in Saison isnt anything new, this packs a punch and is awash with fruity, coconut aroma and a sweet pithyness.
Buxton Brewery’s Ace Edge/Axe Edge
I’ll continue singing the praises of Sorachi Ace hops by nominating Buxton’s Axe Edge variant, Ace Edge. Rather than the full on bitter lupulin assault of Axe Edge, Ace is softer and peachy than Axe, but with the same full bodied sharpness that characterises it’s more resinous sibling. Compare the two side to side and pick your favourite – there’s not many better ways to spend a sunny afternoon.
Magic Rock’s High Wire
Although High Wire is, for now, unavailable in bottles or cans for home consumption, this beer is perfect for a lazy afternoon in a beer garden. Citric and floral aromas abound, with a bitter kick that simultaneously refreshes and invigorates your tastebuds. Look out for a recently released variant brewed with Grapefruit pulp.
Kirkstall Brewery’s Black Band Porter
Like a hot cup of tea, or a spicy curry, some things don’t become less enjoyable just because the sun is out. A pint of Porter, inside a shady, cool pub on a warm day is a joy to behold and if you seek out a pub that hasn’t filled their tap list with Pale Ale, I recommend Black Band Porter as a good juxtaposition of dark and light.
Siren Craft Brew/Omnipollo’s Life is a Peach
— Brew Cavern (@BrewCavern) April 18, 2015
If you’re looking for something with a fruity edge, but aren’t fond of the Kriek/Framboise Belgian Lambics, this American IPA may be for you. However, if you like your beers crystal clear, be aware that this is unfiltered and contains lots of small pieces of actual peach. Initially off-putting for some, the suspended fruit is coupled with a creamy taste for a unique brew. This is a limited edition collaboration, so seek it out soon.
Summer Wine’s Mauna Kea
As the name of the brewery suggests, Summer Wine are based just outside of Holmfirth, but rather than being bathtub brewers they have been continually creating excellent and unique beer for seven years. Mauna Kea is a summer seasonal IPA, brewed with the additional of a hundred kilos of Tropical Fruit. Fruit juice with a stunning selection of hops is one way to describe it, a true one off.
Cloudwater Brew Co’s summer range
— Favourite Beers (@favouritebeers) July 11, 2015
An extremely young brewery, but run by staff with years of experience, Cloudwater are rather unique in producing seasonal ranges, available for limited periods with recipes dependent on what is available rather than a core portfolio. In which case, you should look to get your hands on their crisp, grassy summer lager sharpish.
Roosters High Tea
For an accompaniment to a refined cucumber sandwich/cream tea there’s an alternative to bubbles or a piping hot brew this summer. Roosters have re-brewed their Jasmine Green Tea IPA, created with Taylors of Harrogate, but this time it’s packaged in can form, making it easier for your Butler to chill and carry. Floral and fruity, with a gentle bitterness, this is one to stash in your picnic basket.
Celt Experience Brewery’s Goddess of the Spring
A Saison brewed for an extended period with fresh strawberries and loganberries, this is a vinous, tart sipper for a hot evening. Less cloyingly sweet than most fruit beers, the sour edge adds a slightly savoury note to the finish.
Find out more about Gareth’s beer adventures at barrelagedleeds.wordpress.com