It’s time. Pretty soon, you’ll be able to ditch work early (summer Fridays are so clutch) to throw back a few frosty brews a sunshiney beer garden. The light, golden seasonal beers that pop up in March and April are as deliciously appropriate as hot cocoa on Christmas. And when there are so many great artisan beers around nowadays, you have no excuse for falling back on Brooklyn Summer Ale (though it is scrumptious). Expand your beer palette! There’s no need to fear strange beer; it’s just like trying new foods, only it’s booze. And remember, moderation is the look.
For your imbibing ease and pleasure, here’s a list of what to drink during these warmer months, based solely on our own (tried and true) tastes. Bottoms up!
The Most Kick-Ass Fruit Beer Ever: Dogfish Head Aprihop
Don’t let “fruity” fool you. Aprihop, the spring seasonal from Dogfish Head (brewers of some of the most complex and interesting beers available), may sound like a sissy girl’s beer, but it’s not. It’s technically a fruit-infused IPA, with real apricots thrown into the brewing process (no flavored syrups here) so you get that tangy hop bitterness plus sweet fruit. Delish.
The Belgian IPA: Lagunitas Little Sumpin’ Wild
“Little Sumpin’ Wild” is the twisted sister of Lagunitas’ year-round “Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’” (also ahmazing). It’s a Belgian-style IPA, and pulls through on both ends with an up-front punch of bitter, fruity citrus notes yet the smooth and rich Belgian finish. Just watch out — the 9.4% ABV can take you from 0 to tipsy real quick. Drunk is not cute.
The Classic Pale Ale: Flying Dog Pale Ale
American pale ales are to craft beer what red lipstick is to beauty: every brand makes one, but only a few raise standard to exceptional. The “Doggie Style Classic Pale Ale” is crispy and refreshing — the kind of beer you want after a sweltering subway ride — with an interesting grassy, floral taste. It’s bomb with burgers or Mexican food, perfect for your next backyard-less cook-out.
For Ex-Pats and Foreigners: Schneider Weisse
Credit must be given to the Germans (beer is kinda their thing and all) and Schneider Weisse is the OG: they started brewing their famed golden wheat ale in 1607, and the recipe has remained basically the same since. With banana and close notes, it’s zesty and smooth and basically like drinking sunshine.
For the Unadventurous: Victory Summer Love
Some people just don’t like beer. That’s OK! Nothing wrong with hard alcohol. “Summer Love” is a great option for non-beer drinkers: light, a little lemony and yummy floral notes. Not too bitter, not too complex. Goes down easy, the first time, the second time, the third time…
Most available at Whole Foods Beer room; see Beermenus.com for bar availabilities