For my money, there aren’t a lot of things that taste better than a cold beer on a hot summer night. The problem, for me at least, has usually been that the seasonal summer beers I try – even from breweries whose products I usually really enjoy – seem to sacrifice taste to make the beer feel lighter. And a high percentage of them seem to be wheat-based beers, which for whatever reason don’t taste good to me. So I was very pleasantly surprised by the summer brews from Two Brothers Artisan Brewing that I tried.
I was a little concerned at first that the beer might have suffered from being shipped to me in weather considerably hotter than your average refrigerator, but if it did, I couldn’t taste it. I tried three of their summer beers:
- “A Bretter Day” Bière de Mars Ale (5.5% ABV): I haven’t had many Brett-style beers, so I can’t easily compare it to others of its specific kind, but I liked it a lot on its own merits. It has the rich, somewhat-sour taste of a good ale, but enough crispness that it’s very refreshing. It hits the spot, and it doesn’t make you feel like you need to drink another bottle in order to find the flavor.
- “Dog Days” Dortmunder Style Lager (5.1% ABV): This was a very good beer, though a bit sweeter than I usually like and thus my least favorite of the three I tried. It has the crispness you expect from a lager, and enough hoppiness that the sweetness isn’t overwhelming, so for those who enjoy a slightly sweeter quaff this might be just right.
- “In the Flesh” American Sour Ale (4.1% ABV): I didn’t expect to like this, because I tend to enjoy my beer on the stronger side, and this one is only 75-80% the strength of the other two. And I do have to say that it took me more than a few sips for it to grow on me, but grow it did. It’s an American sour ale that’s been fermented with pineapple puree, and while you can definitely taste the fruit it doesn’t distract from the good sour ale tang. This is definitely a good brew for anyone who likes their summer beers on the lighter side, and worth a try even for those who usually don’t.
Unfortunately (for me) Two Brothers isn’t currently being distributed in my home state of Virginia – their website says they’re available in Illinois (their home state), Indiana, Arizona, Iowa, Ohio, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Connecticut, Florida, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. But if you’re lucky enough to be able to find it near you, I highly recommend picking up a six-pack or two for your parties, cookouts, and just for relaxing at the end of a hot day.
Disclosure: I received free samples of the beers reviewed above. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own.