The Brew Site

The Session #31: Summer Beers

The first Friday of September is upon us already, and it’s time for another round of The Session! Beer bloggers are writing today on a common topic, which was provided to us by BetterBeerBlog: Summer Beers.

With the summer coming to a close, what was your favorite beer of the summer? It doesn’t even have to be from this summer. Is it a lager or maybe a light bodied wheat ale? Maybe you’re drinking anti-seasonally and are having a barleywine or Russian Imperial Stout. Why is this beer your favorite? Is there a particular memory associated with this beer? How about a city? Maybe there was a particular dish that made this beer memorable? Spare no detail.

It’s very apropos as a theme as summer seems to be winding down here in Central Oregon—cool weather is moving in, the days are noticeably shorter, and there’s a tiny nip of autumn in the air. A good time to reflect back on those summertime beers.

On the other hand, whenever it comes to one of these “favorite” questions, I’m always a bit torn because honestly, I can’t just point to one beer and say it’s a favorite. I like too many beers, and I’m always on the lookout for new beers to try, which sounds like a copout, I know, but it’s true.

That having been said, one of the summer beers I consistently reach for when it comes out is Deschutes Brewery’s Twilight Ale—probably as close to a favorite summer beer as I get.

Twilight is a flavorful and lively session Pale Ale at 5% alcohol by volume; toasted biscuit and caramel malts fill the body (in this year’s review I wrote, “Think crusty fresh-baked bread”), and the Brewery says it uses four different hops, though the press release reveals only three: Cascade, Amarillo, and Tetnang.

What’s the fourth? My guess would be their new (possibly proprietary?) hop they’ve been experimenting with, which has shown up in this year’s Hop Henge (and I think Red Chair IPA).

It’s juicy and crisp, extremely well-balanced and easy-drinking, as a summer beer should be, and I look forward to its release every year. When it comes to summertime drinking, what more could you ask for?

I did enjoy other beers this summer, as well—some of them of the “anti-seasonal” variety even. Off the top of my head: Double Mountain‘s beers, both the tasters I had at their public house and (later) their Kolsch; Deschutes’ Black Butte XXI; Oggi Pizza’s Nit Wit (in San Diego); heck, many of the beers I drank in San Diego this year(!); and my own homebrew (my Ginger Wheat Ale was brewed as a summer beer).

Of course, that’s certainly not all I’ve drank this summer, but some of the standouts.

And summer’s not over yet. I’ll be hunting more Twilight Ale this weekend…