Every year I get questions about what is the best summer beer and which of these beers are going to appeal to my non-craft beer drinking mates and me? I've done my best to assemble nine of the best for you and will give you a quick run down. I'm limited the ABV at 4.7%, so I could get the Mountain Goat in, with the idea being you always want to have 1 more on a hot summers day. In true summer style these have all been enjoyed straight from the vessel, be it can or bottle.
I was quite impressed with this beer. There was good citrus hop characteristics and a reasonable malt base, considering the low ABV. It's actually quite a full bodied beer for the ABV and I'd find it incredibly easy to knock off a few of these on a nice afternoon.
The can design may have changed a bit, but the beer is still eminently drinkable. There's still plenty of tropical fruit flavours, with relatively low bitterness. It finishes very dry and just leaves you wanting more! This particular can had a slightly unusual aftertaste which I couldn't quite put my finger on; it was either wheaty or yeasty. It wasn't particular unpleasant though and certainly wouldn't stop me drinking more in the future.
It's definitely got less fruitiness than the two beers mentioned above. The hops were more reminiscent of a pilsner than a pale ale. There's melon and grass aromas and flavours. This one is definitely going to appeal more to lager drinkers. At only 4.2% I can see these going down quite nicely throughout the warmer months.
Dog Days was definitely the hoppiest of the bunch so far. It had great fruitiness, with peach particularly strong. It's got a lingering bitterness, that is strong enough to excite the tongue, whilst not overpowering the delicate wheat body that this beer possesses. The mouthfeel is nice and light and makes it incredibly easy to down.
I'm not sure if it suffered by being after the Little Creatures, but it seemed the sweetest of the lot. It was pretty light on both flavour and aroma, not that that's terribly surprising. What little there was wasn't overly offensive, with some nice fruitiness, mostly passionfruit, coming through from the hops. It could do the job on a hot afternoon, but it's not great.
Whilst you could knock them off all day, I would recommend you pick something better. This was a pretty poor beer, The body was very light and a little skunky, whilst there were no hints of the galaxy hops that they claim were used in brewing. It tasted more like a disappointing lager in a clear glass bottle, than an mid-strength Australian Pale Ale...
Thankfully it did! It tastes like a full strength American Pale Ale flavour-wise, with the beer certainly not lacking in hops. It's packed full of citrus and tropical fruit flavours in both aroma and flavour, with good, yet not overpowering, bitterness also imparted. The malt base is light but certainly important to the overall balance and body of the beer.
It's actually a really tasty Blonde Ale. I can taste both Galaxy and Enigma hops, which is a pleasant surprise. I get the very distinctive rock melon flavour that Enigma gives me everytime, as well as the citrus and passionfruit that Galaxy has become famous worldwide for. Dollar-for-dollar this may be the best buy in this review...
The Blood Orange Gose tastes exactly like what you'd expect it to. It's got a citrus, blood orange, flavour with a bit of saltiness. It's wonderfully refreshing and it's a style of beer that I really think could take off. The addition of Blood Orange in this one makes it's more palatable to the uninitiated, with sweetness from the citrus over powering some of the sourness.
Most of these, with the exception of the Blood Orange Gose and the Pirate Life, are available from Dans. Result time, I think the best fit for the "Summer Beer" category comes down to 3 beers; Mountain Goat Summer Ale, Little Creature Dog Days & BrewDog's Dead Pony Club. All of these had lovely fruitiness, whilst not being too bitter. They also descend in ABV from 4.7%-4.4%-3.8%, something that could influence which one you pick. Bar the Matso's I don't think you could go wrong with any of the first 8 beers. Only pick the Gose if your mates are particularly adventurous!
Remember it's always Beer O'Clock somewhere in the world!