Texas summers are hot. And sometimes the only thing that can really cool you off is the taste of a cold beer, while looking out over the Texas Hill Country, of course. Our Food & Beverage Manager, Chris Caldwell compiled his list of must-have summer brews for an afternoon by the pool.
Sierra Nevada (Chico, CA), Otra Vez
Otra Vez is a Gose (pronouced Gose-Uh) style beer and while this style's birth place is in Germany, American producers are making this style their own. Sierra Nevada’s expression of this style screams Texas in a pint. Light bodied and thrist quenching, this beer is created with prickly pear cactus and features grapefuit, salt and is combined with Lactobacillus during the fermentation process to produce a tingly-tart sensation while drinking it. This beer comes in at 4.2% ABV and is light enough to drink all day long at a BBQ or relaxing by the pool.
Karbach Brewing Co (Houston, TX), Weisse Versa
Legend has it that the inspiration of this beer came from a long night of drinking with the Karbach’s Founder Ben Goodman and close beer buddies one night when drinking Hefeweizens and Witbiers (yes, there is a difference between them). The story goes in the midst of the evening festivities that Goodman had the crazy idea of creating a beer that featured both styles signature characteristics so like any brewmaster they starting blending various Hefeweizens and Witbeirs until they found the perfect match. From there they went to the lab and created this beer known as Weisse Versa. It’s a hybrid hefeweizen made for hot summer days, eating seafood or salads and of course, pancakes.
Ballast Point (San Diego, CA), Sculpin and Grapefruit Sculpin
A brewery with humbling beginnings where in 1992 both Jack White and Peter A’Hearn were in college and were seeking out a better alternative than your typical college keg. In 1992, Jack opened a Home Brew Mart to assit his knowledge in supplies, ingredients and techniques to create that better beer. During 1996 Pete went to UC Davis to get a master brewer certificate and found Yuseff Cherney. Yuseff become the first employee at the Home Brew Mart and shortly after Ballast Point was born. Both Sculpin IPA and Grapefruit Sculpin have a collaborative 30 medals making this one of the most decorative IPA beers on the market. Sculpin IPA provides bright flavors of apricot, peach and mango with a crisp hop bit. Grapefruit Sculpin has fresh grapefruit added to enhance the hops natural grapefruit component. Both come in at 7% ABV and are perfect matches with thai and mexican food and chocolate cake.
Brewery Ommegang (Cooperstown, NY), Hennepin Saison
If your tired of drinking the typical Japanese beers when eating sushi do yourself a favor and try this beer. Saison’s (pronounced Say-son) have a base of a pale ale, are generally around 7% ABV and are highly carbonated, fruity, spicy and bottle conditioned. This beer is moderately hoppy with a champagne-like effervescences (from bottle conditioning) and showcases Belgian flavors of ginger, baking spices, and toasted grain. It’s perfect by itself or beautiful piece of Hamachi.
This alcoholic beverage is created with fermenting honey with water and various fruit, spices and grains. ABV ranges from 8% and up to 20% and can come in a variety of styles- still or sparkling, dry, semi-sweet or sweet. The term mead and honey wine are sometimes confused but are totally different. Honey wine is created with grapes where beer mead is not. They are hard to find and sometimes pricey but if you are feeling adventurous this is the way to go for a summer scorcher.