Here in Toronto we’ve been treated to some really lovely weather lately. Super sunny, not too hot, and plenty of Vitamin D to cure us all of our collective SAD.
I hope I don’t jinx us by saying this, but I think spring has officially sprung.
All this gorgeous weather brings with it a seasonal change in palate for me. Gone are my cravings for porters and stouts and in their place is a yearning for lighter, crisper brews.
Here are four warm-weather beers you should be drinking.
Wheat beer (aka white beer, weissbier or witbier) is a great warm-weather brew. It’s lighter in body and has a soft creaminess that makes them go down easy. Many have coriander or orange notes and often look cloudy in the glass. They originated in Germany, land of intense beer rules, so they’ve enjoyed many years of close attention which clearly makes them delicious.
Pro tip: Gose and Lambic are also types of wheat beers.
Recommended wheat beer: Side Launch Wheat Beer
Saisons tend to be more carbonated than other beers, and can be spicy and/or fruity as well. They are also often bottle-conditioned, which means they’re left in the bottle for a few weeks to age before being sold or drunk. Saisons are also often lower in alcohol, mostly because they used to be given to farmers to drink with their lunches during summer days – this is why saisons are also sometimes called farmhouse ales. Saisons are lighter in body and often have a slight maltiness.
Recommended saison: Royal City Hibiscus Saison
Pilsners are such an underrated beer. Like the wheat beer, pilsners originated in Germany. They have a long and storied history, pioneered by the brewery that would eventually become Pilsner Urquell. They come in German, Czech, and European styles and range in colour from straw to golden and in flavour from clean/crisp to earthy/matly.
Recommended pilsner: Polly-Want-A Pilsner from Hop City Brewing Co.
Oh lagers, what an overlooked workhorse you are! Light, crisp, quaffable, inoffensive – it’s a perfect anytime beer. You might not even know that many of the most popular beers are lagers. Stella Artois, Corona, Heineken, Carlsberg, Foster’s – all lagers!
I think it’s popularity and inoffensiveness are part of why people tend to slag lagers, but a well made lager can be excellent. Don’t believe me? Seek out a lager by your local craft brewery and see for yourself.
Recommended lager: Cameron’s Captain’s Log Lager
What’s your go-to warm-weather beer?