Not normally a topic on our site but since we recently took part in a brewery tour (for educational purposes you understand) I just couldn’t resist publishing this guest article about one of our favourite topics….BEER!
Recent archeological evidence shows that humans have long been dedicated to the art of brewing beer. Thought to have assisted in fostering goodwill among tribe members and used in celebratory festivals eons ago, beer still maintains an important place among beverage choices to this day.
In recent years, artisanal blends from microbreweries have broadened the spectrum of offerings and presented aficionados with more limited-quantity brews inspired by seasonal ingredients than ever before. Here are just a few of the finest choices for brews that highlight the best that each season has to offer.
For a clean, crisp, lightweight, and refreshing summer beer, it’s hard to top Anchor’s aptly-named Summer Beer. Made entirely from malt, it stands in contrast to the more typical wheat beers with a light and lingering taste that pairs well with meals.
Ithaca Beer Co.’s Partly Sunny is a citrus-infused wheat ale that manages to impart notes of coriander without being too overbearing. Ideal with white meats and fish dishes, it is available from May to August and promises to bring a zingy and refreshing flavor to the season.
21st Amendment Brewery offers a truly unusual beer for summer, the Hell Or High Watermelon wheat beer manages to infuse true watermelon flavoring right into the brew. The result is a sweet, low-carbonated, and refreshing way to stave off hot summer afternoons.
Pumpkin heads the favorite flavors for autumnal beers and there is none better than Weyerbacher’s Imperial Pumpkin Ale, a brew that includes the classic pumpkin pie spices such as cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg to deliver a flavor that is at once reminiscent both of pumpkin and of beer. At eight percent alcohol by volume, this hearty drink perfectly embodies the season.
Left Hand Brewing Company produces a fine blend perfect for celebrating with their Oktoberfest brew. With heady hops overtones, this hearty Märzen-style lager has a deep, coppery color and rich, malty flavor that will hold up well with any German-style cuisine paired with it.
For an authentic beer that embodies the winter season, Schloss Eggenberg’s Samichlaus Bier tops the list. Brewed in Austria, this hearty Dopplebock blend offers a sweet taste, deep color and low carbonation reminiscent of port or sherry. At 14 percent alcohol by volume, this brew promises to warm anyone even on the coldest nights.
Sierra Nevada’s Celebration Ale is perfect for those who love hops. This beer provides a nice head, deep amber color and characteristic bitterness from the addition of hops. At seven percent alcohol by volume, this highly drinkable ale will nicely accompany any celebration.
The cold weather calls for a hearty brew and Samuel Smith’s Winter Welcome Ale seeks to deliver just that with its richly flavored blend that calls to mind caramel and apple tones while it provides deep malt flavor. Pairing nicely with roast turkey, this delicious and versatile blend will intrigue the taste buds all season long.
As winter snows begin to melt, Russian River Brewing Company’s Pliny The Younger will promise at the warmth to come. With overtones of hops yet deceptively smooth, this India pale ale will help to welcome the new season, and its 10 percent alcohol by volume will help to banish any lingering winter chills.
Recalling the artisanal brewing methods of monks during the Middle Ages, Boak’s Two Blind Monks is a Belgian-style Dubbel blend with characteristic notes of malt and a caramel sweetness. Pairing well with hearty meals and packing nearly eight percent alcohol by volume, this brew will help to pass the time until the warm weather is finally here.