Summer is knocking at our door, and that means that is time to kick back and enjoy something a bit different from what we drink the rest of the year… a delicious seasonal summer ale. Certainly, ale can be good to you 365 days a year, however since summer provides an awesome opportunity to enjoy some new brews of the season, we thought we’d talk a bit about how seasonal ale came about.
Where Did It Originate?
Long before there was refrigeration, brewers had to come up with a way to make do with the ingredients that they had in season. While hops and barley were abundant in the fall and made for tasty darker and stronger beers, the necessary ingredients for dark and rich beer were harder to come by in the spring, therefore the creation of lighter beers with less stout was born.
The concept of using wheat in brews came out of Germany a few hundred years ago. The Germans quickly found that brewing with just wheat was rather messy, and was more manageable if both wheat and barley were combined during the warm summer months. As a result, “weiss” or “weizen” became a very popular beer in Germany, and still is to this day.
What Makes a Good Summer Ale Good?
If you are searching for a summer ale trademark, a light and crisp taste is it. Not to be confused with water-down light beer, good seasonal summer ale is made with good wheat. Breweries combine wheat and barley together to create a delicious mash that is just as compelling as it is delightful.
What About Flavor?
The addition of specials flavors to the brewing process has become popular in the craft beer movement. Varied ingredients are often added as a way to add a unique spin to a brew, and is very common around certain times of the year (we’re looking at you, Halloween and Christmas). Interesting seasonal summer ales pop up time and time again, however one trend stays consistent from year-to-year; simplicity. Your go-to summer ale isn’t complex, it is simply a thirst-quenching beer that doesn’t necessarily dazzle the palate but is exactly what you need in the summer heat, pairing perfecting with whatever you’re cooking up on the grill.
For more information about awesome ales (seasonal and otherwise) be sure to check out Julio’s Liquors in Westborough, MA. Our 20,000 square foot store is home to more than just beer, wine, and spirits, we also carry an extensive selection of cigars and tobacco in our smoke shop, worldly hot sauces and spices in our Burn Center, and local, unique cheeses and jams in our Gourmet Shop. Stop in today, and one of our experts will help you find exactly what you need for your summer party!