(Disclaimer: This is meant to be an informative post and does not support underage drinking in any way kids.)
Images original unless noted
Beer is the third most consumed beverage in the world; it comes only after water and tea. Some consider it to be the oldest fermented beverage, also making it the world’s oldest prepared beverage. It is rumoured that the earliest record of beer goes back to days of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. It is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the United States and definitely the most readily available alcoholic beverage.
The process of making beer is called brewing. In brewing, the starch source of the beer (usually a cereal such as wheat or barley) is converted into a sugary liquid called wort, which is then converted into beer through fermentation by adding yeast and flavoring it with hops, spices, and sometimes fruit.
Today there are almost endless varieties and flavors of beer. Many breweries have a variety of flavors they brew throughout the year, along with a number of seasonal brews. In countries with temperate climate, heavier, darker beers are usually brewed during colder months.
Summer is in full swing in my part of North America, and nothing says summer to me like relaxing, warm sunny days at the beach or by the pool, and barbeque parties with friends. Summer also means lighter, seasonal beer brews which are easier to drink than their wintery counterparts, but still flavorful and definitely refreshing.
Coming from a tropical climate where seasons are simply determined by the amounts of rain, I never really knew the variety of beer brews available or that beer tastes could resemble wine when appropriately paired with food — and season. Here are a few of the summer brews I’ve been able to try so far this summer that could definitely spice up (no pun intended) any summer outing.
Brooklyn Beer Summer Ale
A New York standard, Brooklyn Beer is the craft beer of choice in the city, and the summer ale doesn’t disappoint. It’s light and smooth and will go with all kinds of food. Drinking it outdoors on a hot day will also certainly be refreshing. Not too much bitterness or dryness in this beer, extremely drinkable and ends with a crisp finish. I love the label on the summer ale too – still very vintage-looking but using a very contemporary color combination, even on the bottle cap!
Dogfish Head Festina Peche
Before the Festina Peche I’d only tasted fruit beers that were almost like juice and very sugary. This beer definitely had a peach aroma but didn’t finish sweet. It’s a good summer ale for those who are more adventurous with their beer but not particularly into heavy fruit flavors. Peachy keen, in my opinion. Dogfish Head uses a variation of its matte labels on the Festina, with a lightly peach tinted bottle cap.
Bell’s Oberon is similar to the Brooklyn Summer ale, but slightly more full-bodied and has a rounder flavor. It’s a beer you can enjoy on its own or with food. Like most summer ales, it’s lighter, but definitely doesn’t scrimp on flavor. Oberon has probably one of my favorite label designs too – high contrasting colors that are very festive, with a bright dancing sun and orange cap to celebrate the warm weather!
Goose Island Sofie
Goose Island is an award-winning craft brewery from Chicago that produces several varieties of beer, described as Urban Ales, Classics, or Vintage. While Sofie isn’t technically a summer brew, flavor-wise it has some essence of orange peel, and pairs well with seafood, which seems apt for the warmer months. One of the other things that strikes me about the Goose Island vintages is how they treat their brews almost like wines – down to the delicate labeling! The label and package design of their vintages definitely give them a more sophisticated, classy feel.
While beer is a widely available beverage, it is still alcoholic, so when enjoying your summer brew, be sure to enjoy in moderation, and in good company. Happy summer everyone!