Summer is here, and hot temperatures and light course loads translate into plenty of time and reason to drink a nice, refreshing beer. Here are your top picks for summer 2010.
Magic Hat Summer Scene Variety Pack - Magic Hat fans, continue to rejoice. The second wave of newly increased distribution to North Central Florida has arrived with a summer variety 12-pack. Regular Magic Hat favorites No. 9 and Blind Faith IPA are included, as well as summer favorite, Wacko, and a brand new Odd Notion. Wacko is made with beet sugar, which lends a sweetness and a shocking red color to the beer. Summer 2010's Odd Notion is a wheat ale infused with ginger, giving it a spicy smell and refreshing taste.
Abita Strawberry Harvest Lager - Made with real Louisiana strawberries, this crisp, refreshing lager is truly taken to the next level. Although the bottle may say something about a "hint of strawberries," expect a massive dose of strawberry smell and taste. Even with big strawberry taste, the lager manages to avoid that detestable fake strawberry taffy taste some similar fruit beers tend to have. Although I would have no problem doing it, if you simply can't imagine hanging out with the boys and drinking something so "fruity," sneak yourself some strawberry lager as an alternative dessert for beer lovers like you.
Indian Pale Ales - I hear people say it all the time: "Ew! How can you drink that?" Even with all the strange beers I acquire and pass around for friends to taste, I hear this more often about IPAs than any other beer. IPAs are bitter, hoppy and massive on the tongue, so I understand if you don't like them - yet.
There's no better time to get into IPAs than the summer. On a hot summer day, after splashing around in a pool, when your stomach is rumbling and the mercury is in the high 90s, reach for an IPA. Light, crisp lagers are great for quenching your thirst, but an IPA will satisfy your hunger, as well. Just like the smell and taste of a thick, juicy steak doesn't appeal to you when you are already full, the assault of smells and tastes that an IPA will throw at you will not be welcome unless your body is craving food. With all those complex, multi-layered tastes and smells, really try to hone in on every aspect of what you're drinking.
Starting Out: Hazed and Infused, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Swamp Head Stump Knocker
Full-Strength IPA: Dale's Pale Ale, Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA, Swamp Head Big Nose
Extremely Hoppy: Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA, Stone Ruination IPA, Swamp Head 10-10-10
Insanity: Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA