Summer Beers With Character!

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  • By Nick Larson
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Summer Beers With Character!

As we get into the heart of summer, there’s nothing better than a refreshing beer to keep you going.


In that spirit, our monthly Beerventure on Wednesday night, August 23rd ( price just $25) is going to focus on special beers that will quench the thirst created by the heat.


We’re going to focus on lighter, crisp offerings like pilsners and kolsches, and dabble with a couple pale ales for those of us who need that hop profile in our beers.


Pilsners originate from Bohemia, a region in the Czech Republic. Traditionally, they are medium- to medium-full bodied and can be recognized with high carbonation and tangy Czech hops. These hops also tend to be floral and very crisp, with a hint of bitterness on the finish -- perfect for the summer heat.


German Pilsners are also very common, having a bit of a lighter color and lighter body. All pilsners are traditionally around 5 percent ABV and are very delicate, meaning they fall stale quickly and lose that crisp brightness we love them for, so freshness is key. For what’s thought is an “easy, light beer”, pilsners are relatively tough and expensive to make, largely in part to the longer fermentation time due to the lager yeast that ferments at a lower temperature.


Kolsch was a once-obscure style originating in Cologne, Germany, but thanks to many American craft breweries it’s grown drastically in popularity. Light in color and body, a Kolsch has a slightly vinous character with a crisp, dry finish similar to a pilsner. It is fermented at a warm temperature, then lagered at a cooler temperature, which gives it similar characteristics to other northern European styles.


Finally, we’ll dip into the Pale ale scene, satiating our thirst for hops in the heat. The Pale ale originated in Britain, generally being very malty with mainly bittering hops, nearly unrecognizable to the American craft beer fan. The American take on the beer is very different, focusing on a lighter body and malt content while increasing the amount of crisp, aromatic hops used. The American version we know is much cleaner and well suited to the summer heat, without being as intense as a full IPA.


The focus will be mainly on American versions of these styles, but we are going to include some fantastic traditional representations of the styles from Europe as well.


Come join us and beat the heat with these awesome summer beers!


Fort Point KSA Kolsch

Ever since San Francisco’s Fort Point Beer Company began distributing in Southern California, KSA Kolsch has been a staple at The Wine Country. It’s clean, light-yet-flavorful balance with Munich and Vienna malt combined with American hops Saphir and Warrior add a layer of complexity to the traditional German style. Definitely worth checking out during these hot summer months.   One of my new favorite beers.

$1.89 per 12 oz. can


Belching Beaver Hop Highway

The Vista, Calif. brewery’s name has become synonymous with its Peanut Butter Milk Stout. But thanks to a recent recipe change, its IPAs have become awesome. Hop Highway has been adapted to become a more modern IPA, with an unfiltered, dare I say hazy, appearance. Easily the most underrated, crisp, refreshing IPA I currently have in the store.

$1.89 per 12 oz. can


Weins Brewing Apricot Wheat

A new brewery for us, Weins is based in Temecula, a little over an hour or so from Signal Hill. I’m admittedly not at all a fan of wheat beers, especially fruited wheat beers, but this Great American Beer Fest gold medal winner changed my mind for a few minutes. The refreshing apricot taste doesn’t taste artificial at all, one of my biggest issues with these sort of beers, and has a full body and a pleasant finish. The best part is Weins’ owner and brewmaster hand-deli-vers all of their beer, a testament to the dedication and quality that shines through in his brews. It’s a steal.

$1.69 per 12 oz. can


Siren/Hill-Farmstead/Mikkeller Barrel-Aged Lemon Cello IPA

Now bear with me here.. There’s a lot going on with this beer, but the final product is unsurprisingly good. When you throw together the three fantastic breweries involved in this beer, what else would you expect? Anything with the name Hill-Farmstead on it is gold. This beer doesn’t taste overly barrel-aged, overly lemon-y, or overly hoppy. It’s just a good and delicious blend of all three.

$8.49 per bottle


BarrelHouse Sunny Daze

This beer screams California summer. A blonde ale with clementine oranges and fresh local orange blossom honey that’s perfect for summer day. Made on the central coast of California, BarrelHouse’s San Luis Obispo, Paso Robles, and brand new Visalia location are all worth checking out. Fun places to enjoy Sunny Daze or some of their IPA’s and Stouts.

$3.99 per bottle


Mikkeller American Dream

This pilsner-style beer from Mikkeller, the originally Danish brewers who now have a location in seemingly every city, is one of the best around. Brewed at famed Belgian brewery De Proef, quality shines through every ounce of this beer. This is a modern take on a classic style by an eclectic brewery that is a must-try.

$5.69 per 16 oz. can



Tequilacerbus by Avery Brewing Co.

Other than beer, tequila has always been a favorite of mine. The first time I had a tequila barrel-aged beer I was blown away. My mind couldn’t quite grasp the concept, but I knew I loved the taste. The unfortunate reality though is the market for these beers is small, and I’m in the minority as a lover of tequila barrel-aged beer, so they’re difficult to find.


So you can imagine my delight a few months ago when I was at a beer festival and stumbled upon the Avery Brewing Co. tent and saw the word “Tequilacerbus”. I went up, grabbed a pour, and was confused once again. “This is a tequila barrel-aged sour?!”, I remember thinking. I was once again blown away.


Last week I saw Tequilacerbus was available for order, so I quickly hopped on that and got a case for the store so I can share the delicious beer I found with all of you.


Now, don’t let the words “tequila” “sour” and “beer” all in the same sentence scare you. This is a light-bodied sour through and through, but with an accent of tequila. The flavor garnered by the couple months of aging in Suerte Reposado and Anejo barrels is not overpowering, and allows the sour flavor to keep control over your palate while neither flavor overwhelms.


Tequilacerbus is only 7.35 percent ABV and was bottled on March 17, 2017. Only 1,276 cases were produced, so it’s not something you’re going to find everyday.  It has a 97 percent rating on, and a 4.16 on UnTappd.  Worth the price.  Cheers!

$13.49 per bottle


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