It’s summer in Chicago, which means the hot weather is here, beer gardens and patios are open and festival season is in full swing. Different occasions call for different beers. A 10% IPA may not be appropriate for an early brunch, but may be exactly what you need before the marathon of performances at Lolla. So, what are the qualities of a perfect summer craft beer?
Be Mindful of a Craft Beer’s ABV
Pace yourself. While the goal remains the same as your college days, day drinking takes a certain level of finesse. If you sprint at the start of the marathon, you may find that your day is much shorter than you anticipated. Craft beer tends to have deceptive levels of ABV. (That delicious IPA you enjoy so much could be an 8% beer). Pacing yourself for the daylong, craft beer festival experience is critical to surviving. The last thing you want to do is sideline yourself during your favorite band’s setlist at Lolla.
What Are The Best Options?
A good first choice might be a sessionable wheat beer or German Hefewiezen, such as our Hefewiezen The Hideout. Toss a citrus flavor in and you’re well on your way to a great time under the sun with a light and refreshing beer.
Pale Ales and India Pale Ales, such as our session IPA Initiation, make for a great choice, as they have the perfect characteristics of a summer beer: light and crisp. Their innate bitterness also makes them a great candidate to pair with a citrus flavor, such as grapefruit, orange or lemon, which will help satisfy your lemonade cravings.
If the above options still haven’t piqued your interest, then this might. A shandy might make for a good choice, as it is half lemonade, half beer. (Who doesn’t want lemonade on a hot day?) They also contain a lower ABV making them a great choice for maintaining your wits about you as you cook your steaks on the grill.
There is a reason that certain beers are only available on taps during different seasons. Not as many people tend to order a thick, milk stout on a sweltering, humid day. The perfect beer for the Chicago summer should have a moderate ABV level with a light, crisp and refreshing taste. While craft beer may not be the first choice to supplement your festival season, if chosen well, it could be the best choice.