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May 6, 2009 05:30 PM

Help me find a summer beer

I'm looking for a beer or beers to enjoy in the warmer weather. I'm looking for beers sold in six packs as opposed to bombers. I haven't yet stumbled upon a perfect crisp, refreshing and interesting summer beer. Lager-ish with some hop profile sounds good to me.
I've tried the much ballyhooed Victory Prima Pils and I find it fine but a little boring. I usually have SN pale ale in my refrigerator and that's close but a little on the sticky side for the really hot days. I don't enjoy the SN summer beer.
Beers I like to drink:
Dog Fish Head 60 Minute (I can't find it in L.A.--I've had it in Tucson and Chicago)
Stone IPA and Arrogant Bastard. Liked both better than the standard pale ale; haven't tried any other Stones.
Alesmith Anvil.
Alesmith IPA--just had this last weekend at Pizza Port in San Clemente.
Anchor Steam.
Anchor Christmas Brews--I enjoy them pretty much every year
Racer 5
SN Pale Ale and ESB. I don't love the torpedo; I like it but not as much as other IPAs
Bohemia (the only Mexican beer that I am excited to drink).
Anderson Valley Boont Amber Ale

Beers I haven't liked:
Lost Coast Great White--don't really like the spiced white type beer.
Lost Coast Downtown Brown--too roasty. The Anvil has the perfect amount of roast; anything more and I am turned off

Beers that I'm just okay with but aren't that interesting:
Pilsner Urquell
Hefes from Pyramid, Blue Moon, etc.

I'm on the westside of Los Angeles.

Thanks for your help.

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  1. You asked for something "[l]ager-ish with some hop profile" which describes Prima Pils to a tee. You also mentioned not caring much for Pilsner Urquell which is more round and less hoppy than Prima but still part of the family. So maybe you don't appreciate what you are looking for right now? Anchor Steam (and it's been a while since I've had one) is a lager brewed at ale temperature. Therefore it isn't "sticky" to you right. Why not stick with that for summer. Another suggestion would be any quality ESB.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Chinon00

      The 60 Minute just hit LA. I know people on Beer Advocate have found it at the Whole Foods in Pasadena so you may want to try some by where you live. I think a good choice would be Ballast Point's Yellow Tail. It is a very good kolsch and should be readily available. Alaskan's Summer is also a kolsch and is very good.

      1. re: pininex

        If he/she found Prima and Urquell boring and not that interesting you think even a great Kolsch style has a chance?

        1. re: Chinon00

          I can't speak for the OP, but I am willing to bet he is running into freshness issues. The bottles of Prima Pils that I have seen when in LA have been old and I don't buy Urquell bottles due to having so many skunked. I say go for the two that are readily available and will be fresh.

          1. re: Chinon00

            My thoughts exactly. I really view Prima Pils as a hop bomb. It just happens to be a lager and uses noble hops rather then crazy west coast ones. But to me it tastes about as hop saturated as any IPA really. Yet effervescent and crisp like a pilsner should. So in many ways its the perfect medium. And yeah, I dont think hes going to find anything more Prima Pils than Prima Pils.

      2. If you find Prima Pils boring, I don't think there would be any lager that would satisfy you - that's about as flavorful as normal abv lagers get. To me, the op's description of lagerish with a bit of a hop profile describes SN Summerfest, but he doesn't like that one either.

        Seems like he should just stick to IPA's.

        1 Reply
        1. re: LStaff

          Yeah- also, Anchor Liberty Ale immediately springs to mind.

        2. My go to beer in the summer is Sam Adams summer ale. It is the best beer they make. I can not get enough in the few months they make it.

          1. Pikeland Pils
            Moretti (trust me)
            Bells Two hearted ale

            5 Replies
            1. re: Diego Sanchez

              Agree with 2 hearted...
              I liked the Oskar Blues Gordon also, not too strong

              1. re: BaltoPhilFood

                What?!? The Oskar Blues Gordon is good, but it is *quite* strong. It's got to have at least 9% ABV. It reminds me of Bigfoot. A fine cool weather brew, but *way* too strong for summer, IMO.

                1. re: Kenji

                  Okay, before anyone else catches it, I was slightly off; the Gordon has 8.7% ABV. Close enough, though; and I maintain that that is still way too strong to meet any normal definition of summer beer.

                  1. re: Kenji

                    Ah you beat me to it! I feel exposed. I'll retract and say 'spring' beer but won't limit it to cold weather as it didn't remind me of Bigfoot at all. Thought if the OP was looking for that flavor it might work?
                    How about I switch it out with Hoegaarden? I also liked Xingu...although it is black beer it was surprisingly light to me...almost tea-like.

                    1. re: BaltoPhilFood

                      Sure, Hoegaarden Wit is classic summer beer. Xingu -- despite the manufacturer's early PR about the beer being invented by Amazon Indians (!!!) is a schwarzbier, a fine style for warm weather. Warm weather does not by any means rule out dark-colored beers. Indeed, my all-around favorite beer -- Ipswich Oatmeal Stout -- is excellent in cold or warm weather (though some would say it's on the high-gravity side for summer).

            2. Anchor's Summer Beer would probably be right up your alley. It's crisp and refreshing, and is made with wheat which gives it a nice twist in terms of flavor. It's not a hefeweizen, but an American wheat, so it's made with a cleaner tasting yeast and is filtered.

              Another good, lighter beer, is Ayinger's Jahrhundert. It's a lager, but with a more interesting malt character than is found in domestic lagers.