Folio Weekly: What makes a good
Kelly Pickard:When it comes to enjoying craft beer amidst the oppressive heat and humidity of a Florida summer, I want a beer that’s crisp and refreshing and low enough in alcohol that I can enjoy a few out on the water or grilling out in the backyard. I want a beer that is full-flavored without being heavy on the palate. A “summer” beer doesn’t necessarily need to be a summer seasonal. Pilsner, saison, Berliner Weisse, gose, and a sessionable IPA are all styles that will be in steady rotation for me this summer.
What are some local beers that pair well with warm (see: miserably hot) weather?
I really like Veterans United Craft Brewery’s Raging Blonde. This blonde ale hits all the right notes for me – nice malt character with just a slight hop bite to finish crisp and clean. Aardwolf Gose is so refreshing with flavors of lemon, tropical fruit, and good saltiness – it all comes together for a light and crisp gose I could drink all day. And although it’s a special one-off beer brewed for One Spark, I really love Intuition Ale Works’ Kolsch. It has a grainy malt sweetness with a restrained herbal hop flavor that creates a full-flavored, clean-drinking beer.
Last summer, it seemed like session ales were all the rage. What can we expect
I think we’ll continue to see a rise in the popularity of sour styles. Sours are really a perfect beer for summer. They are generally relatively low in alcohol, bright, refreshing and pair well with a range of summer cuisine.
What are some go-to summer beers from across the country?
I’ll stick with breweries and beers readily available to us in Jacksonville:
Victory Brewing’s Prima Pils – in my opinion, the most perfectly balanced German pilsner out there.
Oskar Blues Brewery’s Pinner Throwback IPA – tons of tropical fruit aroma and flavor nicely balanced with toasted malt character. Clocking in less than 5 percent, it’s totally crushable.
Dogfish Head Brewery’s Festina Peche – tart, crisp, refreshing, with a hint of subtle peach. As a Berliner Weisse style introduced back in 2007, it was a little ahead of its time. I’d encourage people who thought they didn’t like this beer to give it another try.
Crooked Stave’s Surette – a fantastic saison. Tart, bright, with a touch of mild funk.
Stiegl Grapefruit Radler – I jokingly refer to this as the mimosa for beer drinkers. If I get the opportunity to get out on a boat and fish at 8 in the morning, this is what I’m drinking.