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The Perfect Beer For Summer

The best-tasting boutique beers you can buy.
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Boutique Beer Bust
Chill out with these premium brews, perfect for summer sipping.

Beer Tasting Guidelines

Beer tasting is similar to wine tasting, but with entirely different flavors to look for, particularly the malted barley and hops. To fully appreciate the flavor spectrum, slowly decant the beer into a clean, dry, room-temperature glass. Take note of the bouquet, which is most pronounced directly after pouring. Aroma and flavor vary by style, but generally look for complexity and balance of sweet and spicy. Hold the beer up to light and make note of color and clarity. Then taste the beer slowly, discerning the full depth of flavor”again, a balance of sweetness from the malt and bitterness from the hops.

 

New Belgian Sunshine Wheat
This light-bodied wheat beer, brewed with coriander and orange peel, is similar to the Belgian witbier style, except the yeast normally left in suspension in witbier is filtered out, rendering it crystal clear. Coriander dominates the nose and flavor, with orange peel close behind, followed by the smooth wheat background and clean finish. This thirst-quenching brew is great alone after a day of yard work or with Sunday brunch or seafood. Try this with an asparagus quiche, a bright salad, or beer-steamed mussels with fries.

Pyramid Hefeweizen
Slightly heavier than the Sunshine, this classic American wheat is brewed in the German tradition with a special hefeweizen yeast, which is left in suspension and imparts spicy clove and vanilla notes. The Pacific Northwest twist on this style is hoppier, with a slightly cleaner yeast profile than Bavarian counterparts. Most American restaurants serve hefeweizens with a slice of lemon (an Austrian tradition), but Bavarians say save the garnish: This beer has plenty of flavors on its own. Serve it with seafood, salads, light pasta dishes, or poultry.

Saint Arnold’s Fancy Lawnmower Beer
Ksch is a light German ale style from Cologne with a sweet, crisp flavor. Only a handful of beers from Cologne can carry the appellation, but several American brewers make beers similar to the style. Brewed with pale barley malt, a small percentage of malted wheat, German hops, and Klsch yeast, this beer is golden or almost straw-colored, with sweet malt flavor balanced by a slight hop bite. Brewed in Texas oldest microbrewery, Saint Arnold’s Fancy Lawnmower beer is a great match for lighter fare but might be overpowered by rich or spicy dishes.

Beer Terminology

 

Malt refers to any grain that has been sprouted to rouse enzymes and then kiln-dried. Barley and wheat are the most popular

malted grains in beer.

 

Hops are the flowers of the perennial vine humulus lupus. The flowers are dried after harvest and are boiled during the brew process to extract their oils, which add bitterness as well as spicy, floral, citrus, or grassy flavors to the beer.

 

Yeast ferments the beer, creating alcohol and dispelling carbon dioxide.

 

Ale ferments at room temperature and generally has more fruity flavors than lager.

 

Lager is fermented and stored cold, between 32 and 50 degrees. Lagers generally have a cleaner flavor profile than ales.

 

Hefeweizen is a compound of the German words hef, or yeast, and weiss, or wheat. Yeast is a major part of the flavor, so swirl the bottle to rouse the yeast sediments before decanting.

Rahr Helles
Rahr & Sons Brewing in Fort Worth, currently the only microbrewery in the area, introduced the pale, German-style lager when the brewery opened last year. It’s a light, clean beer with generous German hops in the nose and flavor with a dry maltiness in the finish. Rahr Helles is a true lager, which means it has been fermented and cold-aged to keep the flavor profile clean. Although it’s a German beer made by a German-trained brewer, the character is truly Texan, so enjoy it with true Texas barbecue.

Anchor Liberty Ale
Most famous for its Steam beer, Anchor Brewing Company also brews a classic and venerable American pale ale. American pales differ from their English ancestors in their domestic ingredients, which give a sharper profile and a heightened citrus flavor. Liberty Ale is deep golden to light amber in color with an intense floral and citrus bouquet due to generous “dry hopping” (hops added during cellaring). The bitter backbone brings more floral hop flavor than most pale ales, yet the malt sweetness comes through. Try this with full-flavored or even spicy cuisine: rich steaks, piquant ribs, or grilled salmon. 

BridgePort IPA
English IPAs (India Pale Ales), originally brewed in England during colonization of India, had to be both transportable and thirst-quenching. This was achieved by high alcohol and generous hop levels, both means of preserving beer. BridgePort IPA, an award-winning example of the Americanized style and new to the Dallas area, is golden in color and dominated by hops character ranging from bitter to spicy to citrusy and floral, all balanced by full malt undertones. The bitterness makes this suitable for red meat, spicy food, or a poultry marinade.

WHERE TO FIND THE ABOVE BEERS
Mr G’s Beverage & Deli Center, 1453 Coit Rd. Plano. 972-867-2821.
Central Market, 5750 E. Lovers Ln. 214-234-7000. 320 Coit Rd. Plano. 469-241-8300.
Whole Foods Market, 4100 Lomo Alto Dr. 214-520-7993. 2218 Greenville Ave. 214-824-1744.
PK’s Fine Wines & Liquors, 4311 Lomo Alto Dr. 214-521-7470.

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