The long winter is over and we’re exchanging our bold brews for crisp craft chill. From sun-soaked wheat bears to fruit-tinged summer indulgences, we’ve put together a list of some excellent craft beers for your Memorial Day barbecue. Got any favorites we missed? Let us know.
9. Southern Tier Hop Sun
Southern Tier Hop Sun is a heavily filtered wheat beer with a light body, smooth pour and translucent coloring with a foamy white head. It tastes crisp, clean and slightly hop-bitter, and has a yeasty wheat and citrus aroma.
Pair with: Salad, sushi, fresh berries.
8. Brooklyn Blast
From the popular and prolific Brooklyn Brewery comes a quintessential summer IPA, Brooklyn Blast. It is lush with notes of fruit, pine, malt bitter hops and a large head of light froth.
Pair with: Lamb, brisket, blue cheese, sweet desserts.
7. Troegs Sunshine Pils
This classic golden pilsner is a bready malt with citrus, herb and hop taste and crispness on the back-end. It’s got a light body and a low alcohol content (4.5% ABV) so it’s great for all-day sippage.
Pair with: Chicken salad, brats, salmon, mild cheddar, light desserts.
6. Flying Dog Woody Creek White
Pours a slightly hazy golden-orange with a heaping white froth, and smells and tastes of a zesty blend of citrus, wheat and floral flavors. Smooth, crisp and with a clean finish, it’s a perfect pre-dinner beer.
Pair with: Herbed cheese and crackers, steamed mussels.
5. 21st Amendment Hell or High Watermelon
Hell or High Watermelon is an American wheat brew that undergoes a secondary fermentation with sweet summery watermelon. It’s pale straw in color and super refreshing with the taste of watermelon, wheat and other fruits. Perfect for poolside pounding on a hot day.
Pair with: Triple-creme cheeses, salty meats, spicy dishes.
4. Brasserie Dubuisson Scaldis Peche Mel
This rare fruit beer is made with natural peach extracts which complement the original Bush Amber brew’s bitterness to create a well-balanced beverage. Just because it’s a fruit beer doesn’t mean it’s light; at an ABV of 8.5%, you’ll want to savor this one. Its flavor is that of a sweet, ripe and juicy peach with a hint of bitterness on the back-end.
Pair with: Fruit salad, rich dessert.
3. Curious Traveler Summer Shandy
The Summer Shandy’s lemon-lime-orange zest flavor puts the acidity over the top for some, but is found to be smooth and refreshing for others – and perfect for a hot day outdoors. With its crisp citrus notes and low ABV (4.4%), it practically hydrates you.
Pair with: Spicy foods, grilled meat.
2. Founder’s All Day IPA
IPA’s are known for being strong in both taste and ABV, but Founder’s All Day brings it down a few notches to offer a complex taste and aroma, clean finish and all-day drinkability. It’s got a light amber color and rich frothy head.
Pair with: Game meats, aged goat cheese, barbecue, curry dishes.
1. Lips of Faith – Le Terroir
New Belgium’s Lips of Faith is an earthy brew with a tart fruit and wood flavor. It has a hazy golden-orange color, and a snow-white foam head. Sharp, crisp and great for a lazy evening porch-side.
Pair with: Peppery or pungent cheeses, salad.
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