The age of the domestic beer monopoly in the United States shrinks with each passing day. The beer industry around the world dominates the alcoholic beverage industry, as consumers drink 3,500 bottles of beer for every one glass of wine – that makes 8,000 times more beer consumed by the liter. Annually, consumers worldwide drink 189 billion liters of beer, but only 24 million liters of wine. While drinking habits may peak during certain times of the year such as holidays, the consumption of beverages remains fairly consistent and rarely makes huge changes in consumption from one day to the next. The changing seasons do have a great effect on the types and styles of beers consumed, as more people start to prefer light and portable beers. When pool or beach parties come to mind, canned beers logically make sense; after all, we would not want to risk broken glass in an environment where people walk around in their bare feet. To commemorate the start of summer, check out this special Cans Edition of craft beers to try this summer, all of which you can find at your local bottle/can shop in Southern California.
5. Victory Brewing‘s Summer Love Ale
When we picture an ideal summer gathering, we picture people having a good time in the backyard with a glass of transparent beer in hand. Unfortunately transparent beer comes with a bad stereotype of having little to no flavor, which poses a problem for the microbreweries churning out full-bodied lagers and blonde ales. Many microbreweries make a fine blonde ale that no one should ever compare to the mass-produced beers in various stores. For example, Victory Brewing‘s lineup of amazing beers makes it way across the country to land in our hands from the east coast to the west coast. They make not get much exposure at beer events, but the name resonates well in California due to their appearances in bars and at retail. This summer, expect to see a lot more of their Summer Love Ale around. Victory makes this 5.2% abv American blonde ale with pale malts, German hops, and Brandywine River water. The initial floral hop aromas bring a great body while leaving behind a refreshing dry finish. An easy and approachable beer, Summer Love Ale appeals to both craft beer enthusiasts and casual drinkers while retaining its natural hop notes.
4. Oskar Blues Brewery‘s Gubna Imperial IPA
Canned beers have existed for a very long time, but for the most part, those belonged to the big breweries mass-producing beers. Microbreweries did not originally can their beers because they needed brown bottles to preserve the quality of the beer. Advances in brewing technology have changed this, and allowed some beers to come to our hands in cans and some other colored bottles. Once this technology made its way to the brewing market, breweries from all over did not hesitate to start canning their beers. One of the earlier breweries to start canning their beers, Oskar Blues Brewery, did not hesitate to get their beers out to retail across the country. They made a lasting impact on craft beer enthusiasts across the country with their lineup of canned beers, which includes seasonal brews like Gubna Imperial IPA. Measuring 10.0% abv and over 100 IBUs, this strong summer brew emits aromas of fresh hops with citrus and resins. The initial sweet flavor yields the way to grapefruit and orange flavors, finishing with a nice bitter hop taste. Albeit strong, it goes down well by itself, or perfect with savory food such as food that one might grill up in the backyard.
3. Avery Brewing Company‘s Liliko’i Kepolo Wit
During the summer time, we often crave tropical flavors. Tropical flavors provides us with visions of relaxing on the beach with a nice ocean breeze and palm trees swaying in the wind. Beach resorts like the Bahamas or Hawaii come to mind, with Hawaii providing inspiration for many aspects of today’s diverse cultures. Hawaii possesses many unique things that the world respects, mainly due to their tropical climate and status, and Avery Brewing has perfectly captured that spirit. Perhaps famously known for their Avery IPA, this brewery from Colorado maximizes their retail production out of a relatively small facility, compared to the likes of other famous breweries such as Stone Brewing. Almost all of their beers go to retail, including seasonal brews like their Liliko’i Kepolo Wit. A refreshing summer beverage inspired by the Hawaiian tropics, this 5.4% abv witbier tastes spicy with a Hawaiian theme including Hawaiian passionfruit in the brewing process. The body contains a big tropical fruit character with pineapple and lime. This makes for a refreshing brew that finishes easy and fares well by itself.
2. 21st Amendment Brewery‘s Hell or High Watermelon Wheat
Summertime snacks include a variety of different types of foods. The hot weather makes us crave cold and refreshing foods like ice cream and fruit. A fruit tray goes a long way in entertaining friends and family during an outdoor party. When one pictures a fruit tray, it would undoubtedly contain watermelon. Watermelons make the perfect refreshing snack due to its high water content, and lends well to going into foods that require lots of water, including beer. Leave it to 21 Amendment Brewery to think about ways of incorporating refreshing food into their brews. This San Francisco-based brewery does not get as much exposure in Southern California, but sure enough you will find much of their brews at your local beer shop. 21st Amendment Brewery makes a fine lineup of brews, such as their Hell or High Watermelon Wheat. At just 4.9% abv, 21st Amendment brews this unique American-style wheat beer with over 400 pounds of fresh pressed watermelons in each batch, providing a bold taste and essence of fresh watermelon, finishing dry and cleanly. If you enjoy watermelons, you will love the taste of this brew.
1. Ska Brewing‘s Vernal Minthe Stout
People often associate summertime with light, bright colors. Something about the heat makes people think about these types of colors, while the cold weather normally reminds us of darker, gloomier colors. Perhaps the contrast of night and day lends to this connotation, but hey – we live in a time of innovation and progress, so we can now think about things in a new light. Ska Brewing has done just that with the way they approach their craft. They look at things in their own light, doing things the way they want to and not from other people who tell them what to do. Ska Brewing’s beers break the norm, and attempt to introduce new concepts to the old finicky beer drinkers. For example, take their summer seasonal, the Vernal Minthe Stout. Of course Ska Brewing would attempt to dole out something like a stout during the hot summer months. This 5.8% abv American stout pours like a normal stout, and will initially yield coffee aromas with hints of dark chocolate. Upon sipping it, the full mint flavors that blend well with the sweet chocolate hits your scent scenes all at once. After all, real spearmint and peppermint went into the brewing process for this fantastic mint chocolate stout. While chocolate and coffee sound like more of a chilly morning type of combination, the mint sensation will greatly cool you down, making this the perfect summertime beverage.