New Summer Beers

Part of the motivation for starting to blog was to come up with a list of reliable beers that I could turn to when confronted with the wide selection at my usual beer stores.  The fact that I’ve been successful in that project means that the number of new beers worth writing about has slowed to a trickle and left blog posts few and far between, a situation compounded by family members again scattering to the four winds over the course of the summer which makes finding time to sit down and write somewhat scarce.

Anyway, one method I’ve settled on for reliable novelty is to stick with the breweries I like but remain on the lookout for their new offerings.  Sierra Nevada makes this easy with their Beer Camp series, which this year made a tour of beer festivals across the country at which they indulged in collaborations with  a lot of unfamiliar brewers and came up with a lot of interesting names for the varied styles.  Among my favorites:

  • Moxee-Moron Imperial Session IPA–this oxymoron was brewed in conjunction with several breweries from the Pacific Northwest and wasn’t really a session beer at 7.5% ABV, but maybe had less alcohol than a typical “imperial” while making up for any lack in that area with an abundance of hops
  • Pat-Rye-Ot Pale Ale–created by brewers from the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, including Dogfish Head, the brewers used rye but also apple cider as part of the fermentation mix
  • Family Values Imperial Brown Ale with cocoa–Midwest brewers used a wide range of local ingredients including wild rice, oats, and honey

Stony Creek Black Water Pils was another example of an unexpectedly light-bodied beer given the dark color in the glass.  I will continue to look for some of the creative seasonal beers that are promised on their web site.

Long Trail Brewery in addition to their regular offerings also has a “Farmhouse” series that I enjoyed toward the later part of the summer.  These beers are crafted in smaller batches and a more creative range of styles than their standard beers.  The selection has changed since I bought my mix pack– the Rye ESB and Session IPA aren’t currently listed on their web site.  It’s worth noting that these beers were not noticeably pricier than their usual offerings (whereas the Beer Camp mix pack was close to double the usual price point).

Early fall also has the promise of some unfamiliar beers from my favorite breweries, but those will have to wait until sometime after all of us chez Dr. Dave are back to school.  Yours truly has been undergoing some intensive physical therapy for a bum achilles tendon, but I’m slowly getting back to my normal level of physical activity and will also hopefully be able to drop some stubborn excess pounds from last winter as I work out with my cross country team.  Looking forward to the rituals of changing seasons and autumn activities.  Cheers!