The Wine Country Staff
It’s about that time of the year when the only things on my mind are the beach, BBQ’s, surfing, bike rides, and of course, refreshing beer with good friends to enhance every single one of those events.
While most people may enjoy any canned domestic light beer on a sunny day, there are PLENTY of beers that can do a better job than their watered down counterparts. Before you head to the supermarket to by mass quantity cheap beer this summer, try thinking about pleasing your palate with some quality beers to quench your summer thirst.
For me, just about any Mexican beer with lime sets the mood just right on a mid summer day (a Negra Modelo with lime to be exact, in case you were wondering).
One of the first beer styles that come to mind other than a beer with lime from our neighbors to the south is the oh-so classic Weissbier (Wheat Beer) from Germany. A Weissbier or Weizenbier is a beer made with a majority of wheat rather than malt. While several beers fall under this category, the main thirst quenching essential summer beers are the Hefeweizens, Berliner Weisse, and Witbeirs. All three of these styles are smooth and lighter on the palate carrying citrus notes and ending with a crisp finish.
The well-known domestic Hefeweizen (or Hefe for short), brewed by Pyramid Brewing in Seattle, is a decent representation of what a Hefeweizen can offer. But to truly enjoy this style, one must find the beers that are imported from overseas where these beers originated.
The oldest brewery in the world, Weihenstephaner, makes a world class Hefeweisebier that is very refreshing carrying strong notes of fruit and lemon that truly represents the quality beer coming from Germany. Another solid Hefeweizen from Germany, and brand new to The Wine Country is the Hopf Helle Weisse. This beer carries more notes of banana rather than lemon, but nonetheless just as refreshing and smooth. Another new wheat beer new to us is Baltika #8 from Russia. At only $2.49 per 500ml bottle, this is an easy choice for those looking to not break the bank or the quality of beer.
Berliner Weisse is another style of wheat beer that is both delicious and refreshing. This style is different from a regular Hefeweizen in that it carries more of a tart or sour taste that seems to make my mouth water just writing about it. This style is great for anyone that wants to try out the sour style of beers and doesn’t want to be overpowered by some lip puckering sourness. Professor Fritz Briem 1809 is an excellent example of a quality Berliner Weisse. With notes of several tart fruits, this is a great beer that is sure to refresh your palate any day of the summer.
For anyone who enjoys Blue Moon, you, my friend, like the Witbeir style. Originating from Belgium, this style is also brewed with a majority of wheat, but with the addition of coriander, orange peel or other various spices and herbs. The domestic breweries have done a pretty good job at staying true to this Belgian style, with Avery and their White Rascal and Allagash with their Allagash White; these are some must-try domesticated white beers carried here at The Wine Country.
But if one wants to bask in a true Belgian Wit, he or she must try St. Bernadus’ Wit. This Belgian Abbey ale is world class with strong notes of coriander and orange that is guaranteed to keep you coming back for several more. Another imported White Beer that is top quality and is a must try for any beer connoisseur, comes from Japan. The Hitachino Nest White ale is smooth, creamy and very well balanced.
All of these wheat beer styles are very easily approachable by any beer consumer and should definitely be enjoyed in the presence of a sunny day and good friends.
Other than these Wheat Beers, there are several other styles that I would suggest on a hot summer day including Pilsners, Pale Ales, Saisons and many more!