What pool and river friendly beers should you be drinking this summer?
After all of this rain, the Texas weather has returned back into form as the temperatures begin to heat back up. That can only mean one thing: its pool and river floating time in Texas. And what is the best thing about pools and rivers in Texas? Beer. Unless you have your own pool or other private access to water, you are fairly limited to what beers you can enjoy. Most palces don't allow glass and and beers on tap can be cumbersome (unless, of course you have a tube for your keg). So that mostly limits you to only canned beers. Another necessity is having those light easy drinking beers (under 6% abv) that can be easily consumed during your water time adventures in the hot Texas sun. You don’t want to get knocked too early and miss your river exit, ending up half way to Mexico, or fall asleep poolside and get yourself burned.
To keep things simple, here is a short list of easy-drinking easy-to-find canned beers for your summer 2015 pool and riverside enjoyment:
Community Razzy (Dallas, TX), 5.5% abv, Raspberry Witbier
Community Beer Company added raspberries to original Witbier for the first time last year and now they have gone as far as canning it this year as well. Along with their Sundial Session IPA, Community is now canning a handful of their seasonal beers for this summer.
Lakewood Hopochondria (Garland, TX), 3.5% abv, Session IPA
Lakewood is the newest of the DFW breweries to start canning their lineup of beers and started with their newest creation in the now emerging trend of Session IPAs. Hopochindria is a bit thin per style and uses hops that are more dank and earthy in flavor and aroma to add some extra punch to the beer.
Martin House River House (Fort Worth, TX), 5.0% abv, Saison/Farmhouse Ale
Martin House Brewing has always canned their beers, making them always easy to carry around to almost anywhere. River House is one of their four year-round beers and comes in their supersized 16-oz. tallboys that allows you to keep drinking without having to reach for another can after the first 12-oz.
Other Texas Breweries:
Real Ale Hans Pils (Blanco, TX), 5.3% abv, German Pilsner
Hans Pils is the ultimate easy drinking beer. It’s not too heavy, and carries more flavor than most pilsners. It’s also usually one of the cheaper craft beer options in stock at most stores.
Saint Arnold’s Fancy Lawnmower (Houston, TX), 4.9% abv, Kölsch
Named for something you’d want to drink after a long day out in the yard, Fancy Lawnmower is a clean crisp refreshing beer, good for anytime you need to cool off without the added alcohol to stop you from doing other things later on in the day.
Shiner Ruby Redbird (Shiner, TX), 4.0% abv, Grapefruit Lager
Recently made into a year-round beer, Ruby Redbird has been fairly successful in the recent line up of Shiner’s newly created beers. This beer is full of citrus and piney hops with a bit of Texas grapefruit for a refreshing splash of flavor on a hot day.
Other National Breweries:
Founders All Day IPA (Grand Rapids, MI), 4.7% abv, Session IPA
Some Session IPAs strip away a majority of the malts from existing recipes, to leave you only with a harsh bitterness and a thin watery beer. Another Session IPA, All Day does not. All Day is a great balance between malty sweetness and bitter hops, while still keeping the abv low.
New Belgium Shift (Fort Collins, CO), 5.0% abv, Pale Lager
Shift is clean and crisp like most lagers, but is a part of the shift of modern day lagers that are adding more flavor and hops to their recipes. Look for these in 16-oz. tallboy cans amongst some of New Belgium’s other canned creations, like Ranger IPA and Fat Tire Amber Ale.
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale (Chico, CA), 5.6% abv, Pale Ale
SNPA has always been a solid standard beer and is what initially kicked off the hop craze in U.S., which ultimately led to the West Coast IPA style. Now that it is available in cans, it can be taken anywhere.
Another option would also be to try the newly minted crowlers (can + growler) that a lot of bars and breweries are starting to use, to allow easy transportation of on-tap beers in sealed over-sized aluminum cans. You can find crowlers at Lonestar Taps & Caps in Lewisville, as well as Collective Brewing Project in Fort Worth. Noble Rey Brewing has also promised crowlers for when they open in the upcoming months.