Summer Beer Roundup 2015: Part 1

Now that summer is in full effect, it’s time to start thinking about what beers we want to bring to the beach, drink after mowing the lawn, and enjoy at those hot summer picnics. For part 1, I bring you three beers that are both on tap at Eli Cannon’s Tap Room and readily available at any decent package store near you! 

Clown Shoes Mango Kolsch
First up is the Clown Shoes Mango Kolsch. This beer pours out with a murky golden opaque, paleness and sits with a robust, fluffy head on top. This beer smells immediately of sweet mango and slight citrus overtones. At first sip the kolsch is bright and sweet. Swiftly from here, the mid taste moves to a semi sourness that then gives way (rapidly) to a mango sweetness. This sweet mango note mingles with a bitter hop citrus note at the height of the taste that then leaves the beer sitting mild and slightly sour (with some bitterness) on the back of the palate. A light to medium beer due to how the mango sweetness is cut with the bitter hops, this a refreshing beer that retains the trademark Clown Shoes bite, despite the fruit overtones. The mango kolsch is a beer that can agree with people looking for a little sweetness in their beer, but still want a certain depth of flavor. 

Ithaca Cayuga Cruiser

Next up is the Ithaca Cayuga Cruiser. This beer pours out a pale translucent gold, murky with barely any head and smells very faintly sweetness (though its hard to get a nose on this one). The initial note is a sour taste that quickly gives way to a slight sweetness. This moves to a tart, almost lemony, bitterweetness that bursts abruptly at the pinnacle of the taste note,  then rests sweetly and lightly on the tongue. This is a light and sour beer, but the sour tartness has the same refreshing qualities as a glass of crisp fruit juice. This beer serves as a great indicator of the Berliner Weiss style. It may be a but weird for some, but given a chance I think most will fall in love with the easy style of the beer and the great slightly-sour “kicker” on the back end. As a side note, this beer is a great primer for those interested in trying out the Belgian “sour” style, but aren’t ready to spend big bucks on a beer they’re afraid they may not fully enjoy. 

Black Hog S.W.A.G

Third and last in my first round up, we have the local favorite: Black Hog S.W.A.G! Standing for Summer Wheat Ale with Grapefruit, this beer pours a rich golden translucent color, with a spritely head on top, and a very faint semisweet nose.This beer starts very dryly sweet, but suddenly bursts to life with a blast of bitter hops. As quickly as the hops kick in, the taste fades with a kiss of bitter wheat and ends up on the palate dryly, awaiting the next sip to pipe in more sweetness and another burst of wheatiness. This beer had the biggest body of the three summer beers, standing solidly medium due to that wheaty/ citrus hop burst. Even with the bitters, this is a refreshing beer. Whereas not an IPA, this beer tickles the same fancy of the IPA lover while being more dry, flavorful, and slightly less hoppy due to the wheaty semisweetness. If you have guests coming over for a BBQ who are hop heads, but you don’t want to bust out the big gun IPA’s in 90 degree heat, or if you just want a semi-bitter alternative, then S.W.A.G is for you! 

I will be releasing a few more rounds of the “summer beer roundups” over the next few weeks. Until then, follome here on Blogger, and on Twitter and Facebook for more beer tasting notes, trends, and styles to check out!