I’m a firm believer that most beer styles are always “in season,” but when the mercury starts to live above 80°F I gravitate towards refreshing, low alcohol homebrew. After all, I need something that is session-friendly so I don’t compromise my already-miserable golf swing.
Here are five recipes that you can brew today and have ready in just a few weeks for the peak of the summer heat!
1. Passionfruit-Mango Wildfire Wheat
Homebrew with fruit can get a bad rap, but there is something about a refreshing fruit beer after a long bike ride that just hits the spot. Hell, I think I’ll have another.
This wheat beer recipe includes additions of mango and passion fruit puree to the secondary, allowing for much of the fruits’ flavors and aromas to be maintained within the beer. Don’t forget a few handfuls of rice hulls or you might be dealing with a finicky stuck sparge because of the wheat!
2. Regal Pale Ale
It’s never too hot for hops! Maybe your favorite imperial hop-bomb isn’t the best beach sipper (don’t let me stop you!), but hops are a great thirst quencher that balance out malt sweetness that might otherwise be too much under the summer sun.
This National Homebrew Competition gold-medal American pale ale recipe pairs up a hefty hop schedule with 2-row, crystal and wheat malts, making for a deliciously refreshing homebrew with a nice balance of sweet and bitter. Dry hopping 2 ounces of hops in secondary add an aromatic kick to compliment the 28 IBUs.
3. Bon-Bon Kolsch
Lagers tend to be the go-to summer beer here in the United States, largely because of the prominence of commercial macro lagers.
We know it can be difficult for homebrewers to lager in the warmer months, so try out this hybrid Bon-Bon Kolsch which makes for a lager-like beer while fermenting at ale temperatures. If you have the ability to control cold fermentations, check out some true lager beer recipes in our Homebrew Recipes archive or on the Homebrewopedia.
4. White Lightning Wit
Utilizing wide arrays of ingredients and Belgian yeasts, the witbier style can add a little spice to your usual lawnmower-beer lineup.
White Lightning, aka Lampo Bianco, puts an Italian twist on the Belgian wheat style. In addition to the hops, coriander, ginger and Belgian wit yeast, the recipe uses Muscat grape juice for some of the fermentables. The grape juice adds some wine-like character, while drying out the beer.
5. Roggen Roggenbier
A German rye beer may not be the first thing that comes to mind when talking about summer sippers, but this warm copper-red ale will surely keep you cool.
Roggen pairs the spiciness of the rye with subtle noble hoppiness and hefe-like yeast character. With a moderate alcohol level and high effervescence, this is a great beer to get your grainy-malt fix in the heat of summer.
What’s your favorite style to brew and enjoy in the summer? Share in the comments below!