June 29, 2013 at 8:49 AM ET
America is country with a skittish economy, an insatiable desire for Paula Deen updates, and an entertainment industry that deems Grumpy Cat worthy of a Hollywood movie, but this country is still a place where independent thinkers strive to create new things that make the world a better place.
Just look at our independent craft brewers, who have been hard at work solving a very important problem critical to the future of our (beer drinking) nation: how to make interesting summertime brews that are low enough in alcohol to keep you from withering in the heat of the sun.
Here are six red, white and blue(berry) beers that manage to do just that.
Founders RÜBÆUS (5.7 percent ABV)
This sweet and fruity treat has fresh raspberries added at several stages of the fermentation process, giving it a crimson body and a delightful swath of raspberry goodness throughout its flavor. A sip starts with a rich thread of bready malts, which is quickly chased by a gush of sweet raspberry that fades into a tart and slightly bitter finish. RÜBÆUS is like a raspberry pie in a glass, and would make an excellent sipper to enjoy as the fireworks fly on the Fourth of July.
Kona Brewing Co Wailua (5.4 percent ABV)
Everything about this wheat ale brewed with passion fruit is delightfully soft. This Hawaiian treat smells of mango and passion fruit, and is lightly sweet and creamy at the front, with just a little sizzle of hops on the back end. There’s something laid back and refreshing about this beer, making it perfect for a day kayaking on Kealakekua Bay, or eating Doritos in the air conditioning and watching Magnum PI reruns – whatever floats your boat.
Dogfish Head Festina Pêche(4.6 percent ABV)
Dogfish Head Festina Pêche is as close as you can get to power-washing your palate. This berliner weisse brewed with peach concentrate cleanses your taste buds with a puckerlicious burst of ripe peach and notes of wheat malt, lemon and just a hint of funk. This tart treat (and I mean tart!) drinks more like a super dry sparkling wine, and makes for a great companion on a sticky summer day.
Left Hand Brewing Good Juju (4.5 percent ABV)
If you always finish the ginger when you eat sushi, then you’ll most likely love Good Juju, a beer that doesn’t skimp on the spice. The nose is a heady mix of ginger and a hint of malt, and a sip immediately has this crisp ale dancing lightly on your tongue with a peppery mix of ginger and hops. There’s a blip of malt sweetness in the middle, followed by a dry bitter finish that leaves you wanting another pull. This beer manages to pack a big wallop of flavor without weighing you down.
Blue Point Blueberry Wheat (4.5 percent ABV)
This beer was made for summer sipping – it’s sweet, a little tart and quite refreshing. The smell of fresh blueberries fill the air the moment you crack open the bottle, and a sip reveals a light and natural blueberry flavor that intensifies as it lingers on the palate. Along the way, the blueberries blend with a cereal flavor from the malts, reminiscent of one of my childhood favorites – Grape Nuts and blueberries. This is a fruit beer done just right – not too sweet and not too candied.
Founders All Day IPA (4.7 percent ABV)
Like the moon landing, this beer manages a technical feat some thought was impossible – creating a low-alcohol beer with enough bite and presence to satisfy hopheads. Smelling like a ground up Christmas tree, the All Day IPA hits your taste buds with a tidal wave of resinous hops, leaning more towards pine than citrus. The only giveaway that this beer isn’t as boozy as the big boys comes from its lighter-than-an-imperial-IPA mouthfeel (and the fact that you can drink one while cutting the grass and not accidentally fall into the lawnmower).
It’s good to see that our American craft brewers are still making strides in this age of limitless distraction. Let’s just hope these facial-hair-obsessed folks never discover this beardformer gif – they’d never get anything done again!
Tell us, what you drinking over the holidays?