Los Angeles' beer pros tell you their favorite suds to sip this Summer
The bad news: Red Dog no longer exists. The good news: You can now drink beers you didn't find in the trunk of your older brother's Dodge Neon. The better news: We asked five local beer experts to pick their favorite beers for the Summer, and none of them have anything to do with Red Dog OR your brother's 1996 Dodge Neon.
Saison Dupont (Saison/Farmhouse Ale, 6.5% ABV)Jason says, "My favorite style of light beer is very nearly always a Saison. In a nutshell, a Saison is a funky pale ale. By "funky", I mean that instead of the hoppy notes pervasive in most pale ales, one gets notes of straw and hay. Most of them undergo a secondary bottle fermentation that yields a champagne-like piquancy -- microcarbonation. If pinned down, I'd say that the classic Belgian version, Saison Dupont, is my favorite, but that's very much like claiming Heinz ketchup is your favorite -- it's the product that virtually defines the style. But I have found myself drinking Great Divide's Colette as well: its carbonation is quieter, and it's decidedly less funky than the Dupont version -- but there is a light, tart grassiness that lends itself to an easy backyard brew.
Rolle Bolle by New Belgium (Belgian Pale Ale, 5.5% ABV)Meg says, "My other Summer pick would be Rolle Bolle by New Belgium. At a conference in San Francisco, I spotted a gentleman holding a yellow beer from afar and asked him if they were pouring Shift (another favorite of mine from New Belgium) -- I needed a beer to palate-cleanse and break from the IPAs. It wasn't Shift -- it was their Rolle Bolle, a brilliantly bright, tropical yet fruity, blonde-ish Belgian beer. A treat indeed, perfect for Summer.
Erzquell Brauerei Bielstein's Zunft Kölsch (Kölsch, 4.8% ABV)Anne says, "Not new per se, but I was lucky enough to find this Kölsch at Total Wines not too long ago. It's also light and refreshing, but a bit more bitter and reminiscent of a dry white wine. Pour it into a tall, thin glass and sip away on your patio.
Victory Summer Love Ale (American Blonde Ale, 5.2% ABV)Dan says, "Who doesn’t like to win, right? I certainly do. Which is why I drink Victory. Not only does the name sound like the very definition of winning, but I also love the smell of Victory in the morning. Or is it napalm? I always get those two mixed up. Victory is brewed in Downingtown, PA, just 30mi from my hometown of Philadelphia. And, while I used to chug too much beer and vomit on a regular basis back in college, never -- not once -- did I hurl from chugging Victory Summer Love Ale. That, my friends, is what’s known as 'drinkability.'
Humulus Lager from The Bruery (American Double/Imperial Pilsner, 7.2% ABV)Christina says, "Man I love this beer for Summer. It's the hoppiest beer The Bruery makes, with piney, grapefruity aromatics, and lots of floral and herbaceous characteristics -- but it's also really nice and light-bodied, more like an American lager. The balance is amazing. This is the beer I love to drink when I want to feel like I'm drinking a lighter ABV beer -- but I'm really not!"