As the flowers pop up in our garden beds, new craft beers appear on the shelves for the warmer part of the year. I got together with my friends, Jen and Jeff, Milwaukee couple and homebrew aficionados, to taste a selection of spring/summer beers. We’ve rated our selections and averaged out our ratings for a final score.
Milwaukee Brewing Company
Citrus Happy tied for favorite beer tried because of its distinct grapefruit aroma reminiscent of the fresh cut fruit. That said, one of us did not favor the strong grapefruit beers tasted in the set.
“It almost doesn’t taste like a beer
…more like soda mixed with grapefruit juice.” -Jen
“I love the natural taste. No fake grapefruit here.” -Brew City Biker
“It’s too much like taking a bite out of a grapefruit.” -Jeff
Oatsmobile Pale Ale
I tried Oatsmobile at Bell’s in Kalamazoo and was thrilled to see it on my shelves locally. Made with oats, this pale ale has got a soft, bready malt backbone with a hop-forward kick.
“It’s got a good ‘drive by’ smell.” -Jeff, as he draws the beer under his nose
“The malt is really nice and makes it so that the fruity hop flavor is not overpowering.” -BCB
Xtra Citra Pale Ale
Surly Brewing Company
Not your daddy’s lawnmower beer, Surly released this citrus-heavy session beer with a huge marketing budget that had me seeing it everywhere on social media. I’ve heard it called watery, but we didn’t view it as watery — just light in mouthfeel.
“It’s citrusy, but not hoppy.” -Jen
“It’s got a dank smell and is easy drinking.” -Jeff
Weekend at Louie’s
Milwaukee Brewing Company
Fruit in spring beers is a given. Weekend at Louie’s combines Milwaukee Brewing’s Louie’s Demise amber ale with blueberry.
“It reminds me of blueberry muffins.” -Jeff
“When you open it up, the smell dissipates around the room. I always pick up a six pack when it is released each spring.” -BCB
A new one for powerhouse New Belgium, this watermelon lime ale is on the lighter side and would appeal to a large range of people (hint: good one to bring to a BBQ) because of its clean finish and drinkability. There is a light lime aroma and the watermelon comes through in the flavor.
“It’s good for a hot summer day when you don’t want anything too thick.” -Jen
“I fear the candy-like quality of watermelon may turn some people off.” -BCB
Rebel Grapefruit IPA
Sam Adams has added grapefruit to their Rebel IPA creating Rebel Grapefruit IPA, a brew that’s got both strong flavor and hop bitterness, but not enjoyable for every palate.
“If you’re a grapefruit-head, you’ll like this beer. The grapefruit doesn’t contribute enough though.” -BCB
“If this beer came in a can, I’d take it hiking.” -Jen
Got any favorites we didn’t try? Some are still on their way to my area during the month of May, including Bell’s Poolside Ale, a Belgian-inspired wheat ale with cherry juice addition!
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