4 Beers For Festival Season 2012
- By Amy Ettinger
- Published on June 07, 2012
This year, we’re upping the ante and giving you beers that pair up perfectly with some of your favorite summer events.
The goal is always the same: finding the perfect brew while hustling to grab a couple extra six-packs before turning down that one-way, bumper-to-bumper path toward the festival fortress.
After ambling through security and finally setting up camp, cracking a fresh can – still chilled from the ice that will inevitably melt by Sunday morning – is protocol. And it’s the official start to the best weekend of the summer.
Sure, it may be straightforward, in your nature or most importantly, cheap, to grab a case of PBR or Bud Light. And I’ll be the first to admit that however outdated, Magic Hat’s #9 will always remain a top three in my book. But for anyone who can truly appreciate flavorful notes of citrusy florals and spices twisted among complex layers of wheat, barley and hops, then I’ve got four beers that will not only quench your thirst, but may become a mainstay in your cooler this season.
Dogfish Head Festina Peche – 4.5 percent ABV
Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales, Milton, DE.
The Festina Peche pays tribute to the Berliner Weisse, one of the world’s lightest dry and sour wheat beers. Traditionally, this style of beer is crafted with fruity syrup to complement its tanginess, but Dogfish Head brews this malt beer with peach concentrate to add flavor without exorbitant sweetness.
It’s a light, dry beer with a moderate tart sourness. The citrusy aroma offers strong hints of peach, though peach is not as prominent in the taste.
Perfect For: High Sierra – A light beer to enjoy in the high heat of a July afternoon in California.
Stone Levitation Ale – 4.4 percent ABV
Stone Brewing Company, Escondido, CA.
The Levitation Ale is more of a dark, amber beer, but still retains a crisp lightness that makes it suitable for the summertime. The flavor balances hoppy citrus notes with a rich, caramel and toffee-like taste.
This beer is definitely the most full-bodied of the list. It offers enough flavor to stand out, but is light enough to enjoy one after another. So some of your friends can scarf down some munchies while drinking it while other friends pregame and your snob friends critique setlists.
Everyone will be happy with this beer in their hand.
Perfect For: Phish in Atlantic City – Ideal for a well-seasoned beer drinker or a nice complement to enjoy with burgers or a lot grilled cheese before the show.
Victory Summer Love Ale – 5.2 percent ABV
Victory Brewing Company, Downington, Penn.
Only available May through August, Victory Brewing Company’s award-winning Summer Love Ale is a clean, light-to-medium-bodied blonde ale. Light malts are combined with citrusy hops that dominate the foreground.
Summer Love has an almost bitter, yet solid finish. The crisp, grassy aroma enhances its refreshing summertime allure.
Perfect For: Lollapalooza and Outside Lands – This beer will appeal to craft beer connoisseurs and casual beer enthusiasts alike.
Ideal for the broad range of tastes and types that congregate every year at Chi town’s Grant Park and San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.
Ninkasi Maiden The Shade – 6.8 percent ABV
Ninkasi Brewing Company, Eugene, OR
Ninkasi Brewing Company, named after the Sumerian Goddess of fermentation, has been concocting a plethora of tasty beers over the past five years. My first taste of Ninkasi Spring Reign Ale was love at first sip – I was pretty sure I had found a new summer companion. But to my dismay, I found out that Spring Reign is only offered seasonally from March through June 1.
Though the end is upon us, don’t worry – I dug down to the origins of this thirst-quenching creation to discover some of the equally satisfying counterparts that Ninkasi is serving up. I give you, Maiden The Shade – a special release summer IPA.
The Maiden boasts powerful combinations of seven different varieties of hops with the addition of flaked barley to achieve a smooth bodied beer and lighter style IPA that’s perfect for the summer months.
Perfect For: IMPULSE Music and Arts Festival – An up-and-coming festival with heavy electronic music, warm Georgian weather and plenty of beautiful, young girls may be the perfect time to channel the Goddess.
What’s your favorite festival beer? Let us know in the comments below.