When summer approaches, craft brewers think fruity and crisp.
No surprise, then, that this year's batches highlight citrus, watermelon and the lightness of wheat beers. It's easy to imagine them sitting alongside a sunbather on a towel or stowed away inside a picnic basket.
And while it may be early in the year to ponder three digit-temperatures, bright, summery brews are already hitting the market and selling briskly.
Here, then, are six beers made in New York seemingly crafted for coolers and taking on seaside vacations.
Southern Tier's Hop Sun
Southern Tier Brewing Co.'s popular seasonal entry, Hop Sun, is a heavily hopped wheat beer. The company, which is based out of Lakewood, N.Y., near the Canadian border, says the addition of fresh hop flowers following fermentation "adds a necessary kick on a hot summer day." (Credit: Southern Tier Brewing Co. )
Coney Island Tunnel Of Love Watermelon Wheat
Andrew Reed, sales manager of the craft beer division for Manhattan Beer Distributors, promises that Coney Island Brewing Co.'s Tunnel of Love Watermelon Wheat does not have a candy-like flavor. "It's the red closer to the rind" of a watermelon that hits the palate, he said. "You get the flavor without the cloying sweetness of the fruit," he said. (Credit: Coney Island Brewing Co. )
Reed also recommends a shandy from Utica-based brewer Saranac made with real lemonade and lager. Calling it a "summer alternative," he said the appeal of shandies have been growing in recent years especially for warm-weather drinking. (Credit: Saranac)
Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.'s Sun Block
Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.'s reputation has been growing among craft beer drinkers. For the summer season, Elmsford, N.Y.-based company has introduced Sun Block. "It's just perfect for the summer," said Reed of Manhattan Beer Distributors. "It's got a nice hop bite on the back end of it. It touches on the taste that craft beer lovers seek out." (Credit: Captain Lawrence Brewing Co. )
Bronx Brewery's Summer Pale Ale
Chris Gallant, the general manager at the Bronx Brewery, said their Summer Pale Ale stands out for two reasons: they use dry lemon peel and an experimental hop from a farm on the West Coast. "It's really light pale and citrusy," he said. "We wanted to have that crispness for the summer." (Credit: Bronx Brewery)
Shmaltz Brewing Co.'s Rejewvenator Dubbed Doppel
Why be forced to choose between wine and beer this summer? Rejewvenator Dubbed Doppel, from Clifton Park-based Shmaltz Brewing Co., is a Belgian-style Dubbel ale blended with grapes. "The only hybrid of its kind in the world," the company proclaims. Mazel tov! (Credit: Shmaltz Brewing Co. )