Categorized under: beer

Summer Beer Musings

With Memorial Day gone by we can finally talk about the beers that should be hitting the shelves now even though some arrived EARLY Spring when New England was still buried in snow and the nights were cold.   Summer is finally upon us and it’s time to crack open a summer seasonal beer.  The warm summer weather is best matched with lighter beers but we shouldn’t have to sacrifice flavor and quality. My palate longs for beers like kolschs, saisons, hefeweizens or lighter IPAs as opposed to the heavier strong ales, barleywines, and stouts, which I pine for during the winter.

summer beer pics_140611_023

Kolschs are German light ales that got their name from the region of Germany where they originated. A kolsch is typically a light / medium bodied ale that has a light golden color. Two examples available across most of the country, which I enjoy are Goose Island Summertime and Harpoon Summer Beer.

summer beer pics_140611_024

Saisons are Belgian beers that were historically brewed at the end of the cold season and would last through the warm months.  Saisons are often citrusy (orange or lemon) and can be marked with a mild peppery taste from the yeast used.  Hennepin from Brewery Ommegang in New York and Saison Dupont Vieille Provision are prime examples of a saison.  Pretty Things Jack D’Or is one of my favorite saisons, which I can purchase in Massachusetts.  Jack D’or provides a perfect balance of citrus and spice that I enjoy in a saison.



Hefeweizens are unfiltered wheat beers (white beers) that can be divided into 2 main categories German or Belgian influenced. In order to be classified as a wheat beer, the beers had to be made with at least 50% wheat. German style wheat beers are categorized by banana and cloves flavors, which are sometimes accompanied by a distinct bubble gum flavor.  Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier and Paulaner Hefe-Weizen are two well known German hefewiezens.  Three Floyds Gumballhead from Indiana is one of my favorite hefeweizens that exhibits the gumball flavor.

Weinhenstephaner Hefe Weiss

Belgian hefewesizens are referred to as Witbeers, and are identified by orange and coriander flavors. Hoegaarden Wit from Belgium is probably one of the first Wit beers I had but my favorite by far is Allagash White, a local beer from Portland, Maine.

Take the opportunity to step out of the box this summer and try something different / something new. You never know what you’ll like…

-Ryansummer beers lineup

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