SUMMER BEERS TO SAVOR

BY WILLIAM DEAN

  Long days. Warm nights. Cold beer.

  We’re talking summer – a time when craft breweries on the North Coast offer an abundance of refreshing options.

  They include crisp, bubbly pilsners, smooth ales, hop-rich IPAs and bold, fresh-fruit blends. Even a shandy (more on that later).

  Many of the brews are special releases that will disappear after the season. Some are only available on tap for a limited time.

  Getting thirsty? Here are eight summer beers worth trying:

FORT GEORGE BREWERY

Wojak Hopman

   Wojak Hopman – An unusual IPA with a zany name that’s too complicated to explain here. This collaboration with Gold Dot Beer of McMinnville combines the citrusy pop of an IPA with the crispness and clarity of a lager. It’s like a science experiment that works. 7% ABV. 

Ponchatoula Strawberry Lager

  Ponchatoula Strawberry Lager – A smooth and refreshing hazy lager brewed with more than 18 gallons of fresh strawberry juice. Named after Ponchatoula, La., and its annual Strawberry Festival, this easy-drinking beer has surprisingly subtle aromatics. Available only on draft, so head to the pub. 4.2% ABV.

BUOY BEER

Italian Pilsner

  Italian Pilsner – The holy trinity of pilsner attributes: crisp, clear and golden. Brewed with Italian barley and three varieties of German hops. This well-balanced beer offers notes of oats and honey, with herbal hop aromatics. Cold-fermented and lagered for 40 days. 4.8% ABV.

ASTORIA BREWING

Sowing Season

  Sowing Season – A classic aged saison: light and refreshing, yet with complex character. Dry-hopped with newer luminosa hops, which are known for having fresh tropical aromatics without the usual piney character. Notes of cinnamon. 4.6% ABV.

OBELISK BEER

Raking Light

   Raking Light – A delicate pilsner that’s perfect for summer. Made with Belgian, German and Czech malts and hops. Bubbly, golden and extra pale. Complex aromas of herbs, crackers and fruit. 4.7% ABV.

Noble Gold

  Noble Gold – A special golden ale brewed to celebrate the Astoria Co-op’s 50th anniversary. Made with pilsner malt, wheat, and a quartet of hops. Classic floral spice, with stone fruit and citrus zest. 5.0% ABV.

PUBLIC COAST BREWING

Blueberry Fields Forever

   Blueberry Fields Forever – The Cannon Beach brewery’s first shandy is a refreshing hazy blueberry lemonade made off a wheat ale. (A shandy, originating in Britain, is a beer cocktail made by mixing a light beer with a citrus beverage like lemonade). Some 420 pounds of plump blueberries from the Public Coast farm went into the batch. Fresh lemon and lemondrop hops provide a little zing. 5.4% ABV.

NORTH JETTY BREWING

Jetty Juice Orange-Vanilla Hazy IPA (North Jetty photo)

  Jetty Juice Orange-Vanilla Hazy IPA – Remember summers walking around the yard with a Creamsicle? Well, thanks to this Seaview, Wash., brewery you can do that with a pint glass. Orange and vanilla aromatics spring forth from a hazy New England-style IPA. 5.6% ABV. 

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