Craft On Tap: Summer ’15
(Last Minute) Beer Picks
Summer is here….at least some of it is still happening. With cooler weather coming in a few weeks and pumpkin ales already filling the shelves (drinking some Pumpkick as I type this), you may be at the point of quickly arranging some end-of-summer BBQs and outings. While I meant to do this list 3 months ago, there’s still plenty of time to try my picks for this summer (plus , this year I remembered to do a summer article!!).
While this is my first time to remember to do a summer edition of this recurring article, the rules remain the same as with my prior entries:
- The beers have been tasted (there’s so much beer, so little time/body limitations to try them all…plus it’d be bullshit to rattle off beers that haven’t been tried first). So in other words “duh!”
- The beers can be found in stores (there’s plenty of breweries that are “on-tap only” that I’m fiercely loyal to, but unless you live near me, this list won’t help you out much, plus it isn’t designed to provoke a “I have better places to drink than you” pissing contest), so these can hopefully be found in your local stores as well.
- The beer is distributed to Colorado. That’s where I’m located currently. This stipulation also obviously mirrors stipulation number 1. There’s plenty that I tried at the Great American Beer Festival and wish that came this way (I’m looking at you 3 Floyds, Sun King, Cigar City, Jester King, Heavy Seas and Brooklyn Brewery!!) Needless to say, I’m sure there are possibly some blasphemous omissions from the following lists, but there’s also a very good chance that it hasn’t been tried or made available out here. Plus you can sound off below in the comments if I snub your favorite beer!
- No repeats. I’ve done this particular column for 2 years. It’ll get boring if I just keep repeating past picks. Past picks are always a very good choice, plus more choices isn’t bad either. Check out some of the previous entries in the Craft On Tap link at the top of this page (I’ll wait)!
Anyway here’s my top 6 (last minute) beers to enjoy this summer:
Oscar Blues’ Mamma’s Lil Yella Pils- Oscar Blues has some really incredible beers: Ten Fidy, Piner, Death by Cocoanut, Old Chub, ect. But something about this Pilsner just feels great on those hot summer afternoons. Plus it’s great to introduce craft beer if you got some of those friends hanging out that are used to the typical Bud, Miller or Coors brews.
Great Divide’s Colette- Hands down, this is probably my favorite beer. A few years ago Great Divide made this seasonal beer into a year round offering, which just means more Colette whenever you want! For me, I want it monthly! While it’s good any time (tested and proven) this is an especially nice beer for summer afternoons. This year it’s in cans!
Dogfish Head’s Festina Peche- This is a Berlinerweiss concoction with a wonderful tart peach aroma and taste. Sours and Berlinerweiss beers are fantastic in the summer and this one in particular is a wonderful sipper all summer long. Word is that infusing it with Sour Patch Kids in either their Randall Jr or a simple Tea infuser is pretty awesome.
Avery Lilikoi Kepolo- This semi-tart passion fruit flavored brew has been a taproom exclusive with the occasional rare tapping but earlier this year it was released publicly. Tropical and tart, it’s definitely worth the little splurge for a 4-pack. Perfect for luaus, but just as good anytime else.
New Belgium’s Somersault- This was THE summer beer for me a few years ago (I bought multiple packs), but unfortunately it was discontinued as goes most New Belgium seasonals (with that said, if you read this New Belgium, please keep Pumpkick going). This is a great summer ale with apricot juice brewed carrying hints of ginger. This year it’s back in the summer Folly Pack, but better hit up your store now before the fall version hits, because it may not show up for a while!! My pick had they not revived it this year would be the peach-y sour “Eric’s Ale” from their Lips of Faith bomber series, which is definitely worth checking out as well.
**Bonus** Blue Moon- What?? A “craft” beer brewed by a macrobrewery making my seasonal list?? Yep! Here’s why: Blue Moon celebrated its 20th anniversary this summer and being that it’s a great gateway to drinking craft beer, it earns a well deserved shout-out. Between Blue Moon and Shiner Bock being the first steps into drinking craft beer for me, I owe them my continued loyalty. Honestly, I still like to drink it. Plus this year had a “Blue Moon” as well which is especially fitting for the beer’s big 2-0 celebration.