With another glorious, sun-drenched Californian summer just around the corner, nothing sounds quite so good as a crisp and refreshing cold beer. Whether relaxing on the beach or quenching your thirst after a long ride on the trails, there is simply no other choice.
With the current trend of high alcohol hop bombs and rich imperial stouts it can be difficult to navigate your local beer store and find something suitable for those long summer days. Well fear not, 2014 is the year for the perfect low alcohol session beer with many breweries producing some excellent Pale Ales, IPA’s and Belgian style ales without the heavy hitting punch of their high alcohol counterparts.
Below are some of the new and exciting session beers that will be on the shelves at Beltramo’s this season. Session beers are typically defined as having an alcohol content below 5%, so go ahead, sit back, relax, and reach for your next beer in style.
Our favorite San Leandro Brewery, Drake’s, release their Alpha Session ($7.99/4 pack) each May (limited availability so get it quick!). This is a super session-able IPA coming in at 3.8% ABV and extensively dry hopped with Simcoe, El Dorado and EXP 01210 for a bright citrus aroma and subtle pine notes.
Stone Brewery out of San Diego needs little introduction and this year they are really stepping up their game with some great new releases. The introduction of the Go To IPA ($10.49/6 pack) is particularly exciting and employs the new ‘Hop Bursting’ technique where most of the hop bitterness comes from huge hop additions at the very end of the boil. This beer is extremely hoppy and with 4.5% ABV you can enjoy those delicious hop aromas all day long.
If you are looking for something a little different from the IPA crowd, the Classique ($12.99/6 Pack) from Stillwater in Maryland is a totally different animal. Billed as a specialty grain beer, containing corn, rice and pilsner malt, the Classique is a 4.5% Belgian style ale with a delicate accent from some classic American Hops for a truly unique experience.
Heading up through the beautiful Redwood trees in Mendocino County will bring you straight to Anderson Valley Brewing Company where you should reward yourself with a cold one of their new Keebarlin’ Pale Ale 4.2% ($9.99/6 Pack). A clean golden color is met with the grassy, citrus zest aroma of 100% Columbus hops and is perfect for a day out in the sun, tubing lazily down the Navarro River.
Christian B., Beltramo’s Beer Buyer