With summer here, beer drinkers are hopping for some of the new seasonal offerings. And this week on Seattle Kitchen, Kendall Jones from Washington Beer Blog gave Tom and Thierry a sampling of a few of his new favorites.
Among the new summer brews turning Kendall's crank is the Pale Session Ale (PSA) from Airways Brewing in Kent.
The beer features a healthy dose of oats, which Kendall says is "designed to kind of dry the beer out and help it have a little bit more of a refreshing sort of quality to it."
Like many "session beers," it features a lower alcohol content as opposed to IPA's and other beefier brews coming in at 7 percent or higher.
"People realize that they don't just want a beer that's refreshing and enjoyable and tasty but they also want something they can stay up late into the evening with," Kendall says.
Another of Kendall's highlights for the upcoming summer beer season is the American Rye Ale from Reuben's Brews in Ballard.
"It's made with 30 percent rye, which gives it a dry quality," Kendall says. "It has a little bit of a hop character to it but for the most part, it's kind of dry, light."
While Rye can overpower other flavors, Kendall gives props to Reuben's brewmaster Adam Robbings for taming the grain and making a wonderful summer beer.
Also on Kendall's summer drinking list is Elysian Brewing's Superfuzz, what Kendal calls a "summer beer gone wild."
It's pretty hoppy like most of the other offerings from the long-time Seattle beermaker's Georgetown brewery infused with blood orange fruit, peels and puree.
"So it's got a lot of that orange character which helps really bring out the citrus notes in the hops because he used a lot of hops in this beer," Kendall says.
It might seem counter-intuitive to offer new ales in the warmer summer months. But Kendall says it's because the beer remains far more popular with local beer drinkers than lagers and other lighter brews, and ales are easier to make.
"Lager takes more finesse. To make a good lager it has to spend more time sitting in a conditioning tank and that's real estate and that's money. An ale you can turn around, make it today and you can be selling it in a couple of weeks. A good lager is going to have to sit around for a month or more before you can package it," he says.