It's summertime, and the living is easy. Fish are jumping, and the cotton is high . . .
There's a lot of innovation going on in craft brewing. There are new trends appearing all the time. Sometimes these trends can sneak up on you. They happen around you and then maybe you notice. And we've just noticed that summer beers (or at least the beers we find ourselves drinking in the summer) are getting a whole lot more interesting.
Summer beers tend to be lighter - lower alcohol brews that are more drinkable and more refreshing. They make sense as the days get longer and the weather gets warmer. Beer academics sometimes refer to these brews as "session beers." We're not academics, sometimes calling them "lawnmower beers," meaning summer beers are the ones that you grab on a hot afternoon when you're almost done with your yard work. They're beach beers gone craft. Many are awesome, and they're all just in time for summer!
We think of Victory's Prima Pils - an Americanized German Pilsener - as the Godfather of the summer beer. It's been around a while and deserves all the accolades it receives. With an ABV of 5.3%, it's packs a little higher alcohol punch than some of this season's newer releases, but it drinks crisp and is brilliant chilled!
Flying Dog's UnderDog Atlantic Lager is the new kid in town, and it's a contender! This hop-forward lager has a light floral nose, and it weighs in at an ABV of 4.7%. Like Victory's Prima Pils, Flying Dog's UnderDog Atlantic Lager is a year-round release, but it's got summertime written all over it! It was 80 degrees last weekend on the East Coast, and we were drinking Underdog out of cans . . . The only thing missing was the convertible!
Another new arrival to the summertime scene is New Belgium's Shift Pale Lager. With an ABV of 5%, it's stronger than Underdog and not as strong as Prima Pils, but it's just as perfect for the season. Shift's unique blend of Target, Nelson Sauvin, Liberty and Cascade hops is a difference-maker and in a perfect summertime move – Shift Pale Lager only comes in cans!