Editor’s Note: This sponsored column is written by Nick Anderson, beermonger at Arrowine (4508 Lee Highway).
July is already here, and the weather here in the D.C. area has settled into the combination of heat and humidity that we’ve all come to know and… well, we’ve just come to know it. There are the ‘songs of the summer’ and blockbuster movies of the summer, but I feel like I’ve just found my beer of the summer.
Blue Mountain Kolsch 151 has just become available in cans, and as much as I’ve enjoyed it in the past, something about the new format just works for me. At 5.0% ABV, Blue Mountain Kolsch may not be a Session beer by definition (though that depends on the definition you subscribe to), but it is clean and refreshing, with subtle fruity notes thanks to its yeast and light hop addition. As is tradition with a Kolsch, Blue Mountain’s has a round mouthfeel reminiscent of a Helles Lager or even a Bock, but remains an Ale. Kolsch 151 is going to be a go-to for cookouts and parties for me this summer and hopefully beyond; if you haven’t had the chance to try it I highly recommend it.
Here are some other beers I’ve been enjoying this summer:
Dogfish Head 61: It’s not a summer Ale, nor at 6.5% is it something I’d advise trying to session, but Dogfish Head’s new year-round beer 61 is great, and I can’t get enough of it. 61 is Dogfish Head’s 60-Minute IPA with the addition of Syrah sourced from wineries out in California. The combination is fantastic, with the earthy character of the hops carrying a dark fruit flavor that isn’t overwhelming or sugary, but is certainly present. When it comes time to talk about our favorite new beers of 2013, I’m going to upset a lot of people with how much I liked 61, but don’t pass it over — give it a try, and you might see why it’s become so popular so quickly.
Abita Satsuma Harvest Wit: This is the most overlooked of Abita’s Harvest Series beers, and it’s one that never seems to be around long enough. I can’t explain why, but this year’s Satsuma is especially nice, with what seems like a greater restraint in the yeast character than before. That restraint makes this year’s Satsuma Wit feel less rich and more dry; factor in the citrus notes and there’s hardly a better beer for a D.C. area summer’s day.
Boulevard 80 Acre: A newer addition to the Kansas City brewery’s line, 80 Acre is a hoppy Wheat Ale that clocks in around 5.5% ABV. The mix of the bright Wheat Ale with focused, floral hops is dead on in 80 Acre, with each element balancing and showcasing the others. How 80 Acre isn’t in more stores and on more draft lists already is beyond me.
What are you all enjoying this summer? Let’s hear about it in the comments. Until next time.
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