Ah, summer. That perfect time of year where sitting on your porch with a cold beverage is just about the most perfect thing in the world. I recently got the opportunity to sit on the porch at the Double Wide Grill in Mars, PA with a representative from Galli Wholesale to check out some summer beers to see what’s new and what we should be drinking as the days get longer and the sun gets brighter.
When you hear someone say they’re picking up a few beers to come and drink with you, the first image you probably get is of a six pack of cold beers waiting for their tops to be popped and poured into your favorite glass. Since the six pack is so synonymous with craft beer, we’ve selected six of the best summer beers Galli Wholesale has to offer. Even though summer doesn’t begin until June 22nd, these beers are all available right now so you can welcome in the season with a bang.
We’ve gone ahead and ordered these beers in the order you would drink them if you were trying them all at the same time. In other words, each of the beers are ordered by less bitter at the beginning and more bitter at the end.
McKenzie’s Lazy Lemon
Hard ciders seem to be a dime a dozen anymore and with tastes shifting towards the unique and varied, it takes more than your basic hard apple cider to make an impression. This isn’t the case with McKenzie’s Lazy Lemon hard cider. This apple-based shandy-esque drink starts with a high-quality hard apple cider and adds in a punch of lemon flavor. Good by itself or mixed with a pale ale or white ale to make a true summer shandy, Lazy Lemon is a perfect summer drink. Light golden in color and with a strong citrus aroma on the front and equal parts semi-tart apple and very tart lemon in the middle, Lazy Lemon keeps the lemon and apple pairing going all the way through to the finish, which is clean and never cloyingly sweet. If you’re planning on spending some time outdoors this summer, McKenzie’s Lazy Lemon needs to be in your cooler.
Food Pairing: Desert, Light Fare
Fast Facts McKenzie’s Lazy Lemon is 100% gluten free.
The art of mixing lemonade and lager beer has been around for nearly 100 years, but only became popular in the United States around 2007. These refreshing beers take the best that beer and lemonade have to offer and combine them in a lower alcohol, extremely refreshing beer that’s more than perfect on a hot summer day, it’s just about a requirement. Saranac Brewing mixes lemonade and real lemon juice with a lager brewed with North American Pale Malt and Mt. Hood hops to create this refreshing beverage. Saranac Shandy pours clear yellow with a solid white foamy head. The aroma is just about all lemon, which is a good thing. Taste is dominated by lemon flavor that’s tart and somewhat sweet, with undertones of the effervescence and bitterness the lager has to offer. The finish is tart lemon with a little bit of pucker. A little on the sweet side, but still not cloying, Saranac Shandy definitely needs to be in your summer 6-pack.
Food Pairing: Summer food, BBQ, Key Lime Pie
Fast Fact: Shandys were created by farm workers that normally consumed beer instead of possibly contaminated water mixing their beer with lemonade to lighten the alcohol content and get fruit juice to help with vitamins and refreshment.
Sly Fox Royal Wiesse
Summer beers are usually all about light taste and medium alcohol content. This is why basic wheat beers are so popular in the warmer months, but simple and light doesn’t have to rule your summer, especially with beers like this up for the grabbing. Sly Fox’s version of a classic German Hefeweizen is definitely light on body, but in regard to taste, you really get a mouthful! When you pour this beer from a can (which is better than a bottle, trust me), the first thing you see is a straw-colored beer that’s hazy with a rich, foamy head. Take a smell and you’re hit with the aroma of bananas, clove, and a hint of citrus. There’s no added flavors to this beer however, all these come from the wheat and yeast used to craft this traditional beer. Take a taste and you’ll immediately get the impression of bananas again, but mated perfectly with a yeasty, cracker-like taste. The finish is clean with a slight yeasty aftertaste, almost like the taste of a good cracker. This beer screams to be drunk on a hot day with the sun in your face.
Food Pairing: German food like wurst and hot pretzels, hot dogs, picnic food, goat cheese, and fresh lemon curd
Fast Fact: Sly Fox brews all their beers in the most traditional way possible. That means this beer uses German Pils and Wheat malts along with German Northern Brewer hops. You probably won’t find another Bavarian-style wheat beer that’s this close to original outside of Germany.
As golden as the sun on a clear day, Arcadia Whitsun pours with a hazy, honey colored body and a creamy white head. At first smell you’ll notice orange peel and a slight bready, wheaty aroma that makes your mouth water a little bit. The taste is tart with tons of citrus and orange peel on the front with a finish of slightly caramelized honey. The beer finishes off with a refreshing wheat and coriander taste that leaves your mouth unburdened by lasting tastes and prepares you for more.
Food Pairing: Grilled whitefish, salads with oranges and nuts, sushi, fruit muffins, goat cheese
Fast Fact: Arcadia Whitsun is brewed in the style of a 19th century English festival ale. These festivals were so focused on beer that they came to be known as “Ales” themselves.
Great Divide Rumble IPA
American IPAs aren’t traditionally known for balance or subtleness. Usually in-your-face hoppy and bitter, a good American IPA is not for the faint of heart. Rumble IPA from Great Divide Brewing is none of these things. An American IPA that’s been aged on French and American oak, Rumble gives subtle notes of vanilla can caramel underneath the piney, earthy Pacific Northwest hops. This beer pours golden with a slightly off-white head. The nose has hints of citrus and oaky vanilla that give way to a taste of piney, earthy hops with a hint of citrus and a malty backbone. Vanilla comes in on the middle and Rumble finishes out with a clean, mellow taste of fading hop bitterness and oak. Great Divide’s Rumble IPA is one of the most unique IPAs out there, and what better time for it to come out than summer when bitter beers seem to be the most refreshing.
Food Pairing: Marinated steak, grilled sweet potatoes, Brie cheese, apple crisp, grilled chicken
Fast Fact: Rumble IPA is actually Great Divide’s Titan IPA that’s aged in oak barrels to give it the complex flavors that make Rumble such an amazing beer.
Blue Point Summer Ale
Summer Ales are what porch drinking is all about. Light, lower alcohol beers that are easy to drink a few of while still being able to navigate the porch stairs safely. Blue Point’s Summer Ale pours clear with a light yellow color and a small, white foamy head. The nose is very mild, slightly bready, with a hint of earthy hops and citrus. Blue Point’s Summer Ale tastes light on the tongue with a little malt undertone that gives way to some citrus in the middle and a light, dry finish. This summer ale is a crisp, refreshing beer that fits in with the idea of summer drinking perfectly. This beer would pair well with just about any picnic or summer food, or stands by itself perfectly well.
Food Pairing: Salads, fish, Mexican food, picnic foods
Fast Fact: Summer Ale is another term for an American Blond Ale, which refers to a variety of beers that are light in color, easy on the hops, and solid on the malt profile.
BONUS BEER: Green Flash Road Warrior Rye IPA
I know we said this was a Summer 6-Pack of beers, but this beer is too good to pass up. Not in our market just yet, Green Flash’s Road Warrior IPA is an Imperial Rye IPA that’s brewed with Columbus hops, crystal and rye malts, and dry-hopped with Mosaic to give you a surprisingly light tasting beer for the amount of hops and alcohol squeezed into this beer.
Fast Fact: Road Warrior IPA is named after Green Flash’s very own sales team. These warriors of the road travel nearly nonstop to get great beer to you, and Green Flash wanted to recognize them with their own beer.
Each of these beers can be found in the best craft beer bars, bottle shops, and distributors throughout Pittsburgh and are proudly distributed by Galli Wholesale.