Nothing says summer like cold beer on a warm evening! Swapping stories from your week, dreaming up fun camping trips you probably won’t take, dogs tiring each other out on the lawn. Each summer I have hopes of camping, swimming, hiking – but so often, by workweek’s end, I’m still in Seattle, tired and ready to just relax. When you have a warm city evening, good friends, and some local brews, suddenly all those plans feel far less urgent. The Northwest has some of the best breweries around and so I’ve compiled a list of the 5 Best Northwest Summer Beers – or at least my current faves.
Bainbridge Island Brewing – Kommuter Kolsch (5% – Bainbridge Island, WA)
I don’t usually go for a Kolsh – its just not my style. There is a bitter aftertaste I just can’t get on board with. Maybe it’s the cute ferryboat-esque logo, or the crisp drinkability, but this one has me hooked. Its light, but flavorful. Unlike an IPA, you can actually drink it WITH your meal, rather than in place of 😉
Old School House Brewery – Epiphany Pale (5.5% – Winthrop, WA)
This by far my favorite Pale Ale – probably because you could mistake it for an IPA. Epiphany Pale is light on the deep malty flavor that I associate with pale ales. It smells fresh and floral without the head buzz of an IPA. I’d pick this one for a post-hike celebration.
3. Deschutes Brewery – Fresh Squeezed IPA (6.4% – Bend, OR)
Ol’ Faithful. This IPA is freaking everywhere – and I wont complain! It’s a classic tart IPA without too much flare. Its simple and smooth but smells like wearing jorts and flip-flops, waiting for the grill to heat up. If you like IPAs, you’ve already had it, and you agree with me.
5. Breakside Brewery – Wanderlust IPA (6.2% – Portland, OR)
What can I say?! This is the IPA for people who don’t like IPAs. Even my mom, “do you want to split a Corona?” type drinker, liked it. She was surprised at how floral and citrusy it smelled – as am I, every time I get it. This is my victory beer. Derek and I bought 22oz’s for post-half marathon last summer – and this is the beer I’d pack in backpacking and enjoy smugly aside my picture-perfect alpine lake campsite.
6. Coors Brewing Company – Coors Light (4.2% – Golden, CO)
And sometimes you’re just there for the party. This beer is a good time, every time. No glass required. This beer says music festival, backyard beer pong, Mariner’s game, – ok it says “day drinking”. No its not Northwest – but yes, it is the best. Coors Light is also versatile! Recipe courtesy of my brother-in-law:.
- 2 16oz Coors Light pounders
- 1 can frozen limeade concentrate
- 1 can Tequila, use limeade can