The ten best summer beers hitting LCBO shelves this month
Any cold beer tastes great under a blasting sun. Some styles suit the warm weather better than others, though. The LCBO’s recent summertime release focuses on lighter, brighter brews imbued with lots of fruit. From funky sour ales to big, bold IPAs, here are our 10 favourite beers to sip on long, lazy summertime afternoons.
$3.95 | 500 mL | 5.1% ABV
One of the benchmarks of the style, this German hefeweizen has hints of banana, spice and floral notes on the nose and a refreshingly tart palate, with just a hint of vanilla. The taste finishes light and bright with a yeasty sweetness.
Brouwerij Lindeman’s Framboise
$9.95 | 750 mL | 2.5% ABV
This light and refreshing Belgian is brewed with fresh raspberries, which add a fruity layer to the already tart lambic. The sweet-and-sour taste and low alcohol content make this a good pick for a day in the sun.
Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck St Louis Gueuze Fond Tradition
$4.50 | 375 mL | 5% ABV
This gueuze is tart and sour up front with a slight vinous quality and some earthy funk, but notes of peach and green apple make it a touch fruitier than is typical for the style. Finishes light and dry.
Jolly Pumpkin Calabaza Blanca
$9.75 | 750 mL | 4.8% ABV
All of Jolly Pumpkin’s ales are aged in oak casks and undergo a secondary fermentation in the bottle. This witbier has flavours of citrus and coriander, plus funky phenols from the brettanomyces yeast.
$4.25 | 330 mL | 8.5% ABV
Based on a home-brew recipe, this intensely hoppy IIPA became one of Sweden’s most awarded beers when Omnipollo scaled the recipe up for commercial production. You’ll taste pineapple, mango and citrus, balanced with a solid malt base. The 8.5 per-cent alcohol content and extra-bitter backbone make this a brew that will stand up against other strong flavours, like pungent cheese or heavily spiced Indian food.
Philips Double Amnesiac IIPA
$5.95 | 650 mL | 8.5% ABV
Philips packs a staggering amount of hops into this big IIPA. It’s boozy, citrusy and piney with a hint of mango, sweet floral aromatics and a malty backbone. It may be a bit overwhelming for those who aren’t used to aggressive hops, but it’s worth acclimatizing your taste buds.
Southern Tier Compass
$9.25 | 650 mL | 9% ABV
Brewed only once a year, this bottle-conditioned, American-style pale ale pours a light straw colour and delivers bright citrus and tropical fruit flavours, floral notes (from the added rose hips) and a slight peppery spice.
Les Trois Mousquetaires Hors Série Gose
$3.60 | 375 mL | 3.8% ABV
A “gose” is a German-inspired sour wheat beer that’s brewed with salted water. This one is lightly hopped, dry and spiced with roasted coriander seed. It’s sour from start to finish, but not enough to make you pucker.
Le Trou du Diable Saison du Tracteur
$3.55 | 375 mL | 6% ABV
Saisons have traditionally been the summertime brew of choice for generations of Belgian farm workers. This one from Quebec’s La Trou du Diable offers complex citrus and passion-fruit notes with a hint of spice and a dry, crisp finish.
Tree Mellow Moon Pineapple Hefeweizen
$5.50 | 650 mL | 5% ABV
British Columbia’s Tree Brewing Company takes the traditional citrus, banana and clove characteristics of a hefeweizen and compliments them with the addition of sweet pineapple. The unfiltered brew has a dry, mild hop finish and pairs well with a spicy entree or tart dessert.