Few beverages provide the same allure as an ice-cold beer on a summer’s day. Whether you’re at the beach, poolside or at the dinner table, there’s a beer tailored to every occasion, and an occasion for every beer.
Boatrocker: Saison du Bateau ABV: 6.4%
Melbourne brewery Boatrocker's take on the traditional Belgian farmhouse ale is a dynamic beer that’s as good for a Friday night in the beer garden as it is accompanying a summertime feast. Expect yeasty esters, clove, herbal and spicy notes dominating. (Also goes well with cheeses such as Taleggio, Fromager d'Affinois and even Roquefort.)
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Pirate Life: pale ale ABV: 5.4%
Few beers strike the balance between full flavour and thirst-quenching drinkability like Pirate Life’s flagship pale ale. The addition of richly aromatic mosaic hops imparts a citrus character unique to the style, while its lean malt body lends well to serving the beer chilled. This is a beer that will introduce your mates to flavours beyond those in typical pale lagers.
James Squire: The Swindler Summer Ale ABV: 4.2%
James Squire’s newest take on the golden-ale style is different in that its light, tropical flavour can be attributed to relatively rare Calypso and El Dorado hops. The Swindler’s subtle malt body allows fruit flavours – such as peach, pear and rockmelon – to shine through, and at 4.2% it’s the perfect beer for quenching the sort of thirst that only comes from playing backyard cricket in the sun.
Little Creatures: Bright Ale ABV: 4.5%
Summer and seafood go hand in hand, and what’s a seafood feast without a great table beer? Little Creatures’ Bright Ale is agile and fruity enough to pair with everything from Morton Bay bugs to Japanese teriyaki salmon and rice. Its light body and carbonation also means you won’t feel bloated after dinner.
Mornington Peninsula Brewery: Lager ABV: 4.7%
Mornington Lager embodies everything great about this classic style, with its light body and crisp finish. Lagers also happen to be wonderful for washing down a generous helping of fish and chips while watching the sun go down.
Bridge Road: Bling IPA ABV: 5.8%
Big hop (and malt) often equates to big beers in terms of alcohol content. But on a hot summer’s afternoon, you’ll want something to keep you going rather than put you to sleep. Bridge Road’s Bling IPA is an answer that doesn’t compromise on flavour. Bold, hop-driven flavours, with mango and tropical fruit characteristics, are balanced out by a medium-bodied, caramel-malt backbone – all without an ABV that nudges the double-digits. The perfect IPA for a relaxing Sunday with friends.
This article is part of the Spring Craft Beer Quarterly presented in partnership with James Squire.