Summer beers have typically become lighter, more refreshing styles,” says Arizona craft beer distributor and certified cicerone Chuck Noll. Educate your beer-loving mind with this handy overview.
Terms to Know
session - A low-alcohol beer; typically no higher than 5 percent ABV. Purportedly coined by World War I British factory workers whose beer-drinking was limited to daily four-hour “session” periods.
cask-conditioned - Beer poured while still fermenting on yeast. Typically less cold and carbonated than “on tap” beer, but fresher-tasting.
isoamyl acetate - Byproduct of certain yeast strains. Accounts for distinctive banana aromas in hefeweizen.
bubblegum - An ester (aroma) characteristic of many wheat beers.
lager - Product of a bottom-fermenting yeast. A popular summer beer style.
American Pale Ale: Light amber color, light-to-medium body, with high quantities of strong American hops relative to other warm-weather beers. Think: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale or Stone Pale Ale
Pale Lager: Light in color and body, this golden, top-fermented beer gets a dry and crisp taste from noble hops. Think: Longboard Island Lager
Blonde Ale: A straw- or gold-toned ale with fruit esters and malt sweetness. Similar to a Kölsch. Think: Somersault from New Belgium Brewing
Witbier: Belgian-style wheat beer with hazy golden-yellow color, medium body, scant hop taste but rich with spicy flavors like coriander and bitter orange. Also known as a white ale. Think: Blue