New Beers and Ciders in Cans that will Turn Your Summer Up to Eleven
Oh glorious summer, full of refreshing tart, crisp and hoppy beers that you can drink all day. Now it’s made all the better with the popularity of excellent craft beer in cans. With more summer seasonals and year-round beers now available in cans, it’s time to revisit classics and discover new favorites. These are the eleven new canned beers (and a cider) that we can’t get enough of this summer.
Boulevard Brewing: Lemon Ginger Radler
Just when you thought radlers and shandys were so 2014, Boulevard changes the game with maybe the best radler I have ever had, and certainly the most tantalizing. Boulevard Brewing’s Ginger Lemon radler has a classic fresh lemon soda that’s bright, juicy, and sharp, cut with lager, but this time with a peppery zesty bite of ginger. At 4.1% ABV, this might just be the beer of the summer.
Epic Brewing: Tart ‘N Juicy Sour IPA
Are sour IPAs the next big thing? Ever since they began catching on in Colorado and sour beer has become cheaper and easier to make, brewers are combining them with the bright fruity flavors of American hops. Epic Brewing’s is one of the best so far in a mass produced package of 12oz cans and 6-packs. Epic is from Salt Lake City, but fittingly created the Tart ‘N Juicy IPA at its Denver production facility. This is a supremely citrusy and bittersweet beer with a strong aroma of lemongrass and pink grapefruit. More tart than hoppy, but with a strong combo of green grassy hops and astringent, fresh-squeezed fruit that combines for a delightful mouth watering flavor profile akin to fresh squeezed grapefruit. 4.5% ABV and available everywhere now in 12oz cans and 6-packs.
Hopworks: Gear Up IPA
Hopworks Urban Brewery enters the updated millenial IPA category with Gear Up IPA, now available in 12oz cans and 6-packs everywhere. While the breweries standard flagship IPA is a solid offering, the Gear Up IPA is a modern light-bodied, golden and tropical IPA full of fruit, clean and with a balanced bitterness. It’s amazingly drinkable and my favorite beer from the brewery. While it may not be a summer seasonal, it tastes best and is more convenient to take camping or on the water this summer though it’s actually now available year-round! Gear Up IPA is 6.2% ABV and 65 IBUs.
Firestone Walker: Luponic Distortion 002
The second and most recent release in Firestone Walker’s revolving hop series, ‘Luponic Distortion 002’ is a balanced IPA built around a peachy new hop variety. Subtle stone fruit notes combine with melon, herbs, and leaves for a highly flavorful new beer. Peach, papaya, and berries are discernible if you look for them, but you could just as easily tip back this smooth, mellow experimental IPA on a hot day, or any day. Available now in 12oz cans and 6-packs.
Buoy Beer: Czech-style Pilsner
Exploding onto the scene in 2014, Astoria, Oregon’s Buoy Beer Co. has won hearts and palates everywhere, primarily for its lagers. Just recently the brewery began canning beers like the flagship Czech-style Pilsner that is somehow even more drinkable out of cans. Buoy Czech Pils features the German Saaz hops while supporting layers of rounded malt flavors. This malt forward, lightly hopped pilsner will have you toasting “Na zdravi” all night long. 6.2% ABV, 35 IBUs
Victory: Prima Pils
Perhaps my all-time favorite pilsner and certainly my first love under the style heading is Victory Brewing’s Prima Pils. Light and nuanced with just the right amount of spicy hops that those who hate IPAs won’t be offended, but those who enjoy them will find something to like. The standout is the fresh, bready, grainy, nutty malt body and super drinkability. It’s a very stylistically traditional recipe with straight imported German 2-row malt and all whole flower German and Czech hops at 5.3% ABV. So I was overjoyed to see Victory has now put Prima Pils in 12oz cans and 6-packs year-round, but there is no time like the summer to pick one up and discover a classic.
Breakside: Post Time Kolsch
For the third year, Breakside’s Post Time Kolsch is available as an alternative summer seasonal and is Breakside’s only beer to be canned. Originally created for the Portland Meadows racetrack, this Kolsch-style ale is back in limited edition tall boy cans only at the brewery this year. It’s also the best version yet of this super crisp, lightly hopped, slightly German malt sweet and Northwest hopped but otherwise traditional Kolsch-style ale. 5% ABV and 18 IBUs and available this summer on draft, but in 16oz cans to-go from the brewery taprooms only. (Editor Disclaimer: I do some work for Breakside, so take my pick for what you will, but I don’t think you will be disappointed.)
Arrogant Brewing (Read: Stone Brewing): Wussie Pils
Though technically not released under the Stone Brewing brand, the new Wussie Pils is a 16oz tall boy that takes the extreme beer aesthetic that Arrogant Bastard helped make mainstream to the subtle world of lagers. This is a light Pilsner for the person who hates them and would rather try to session a Stone Ruination Double IPA. Pouring clear yellow and fizzy with the pleasantly soapy nose of bread and subtle noble hops you might be expecting a classic take on this old school style, and for the most part it is, but with the requisite bitterness amped up to 47 IBUs with a strong woody and spicy spine. Wussie Pils is 5.8% ABV and available in tall boy 16oz cans now year-round.
Lagunitas: 12th of Never Ale
For Lagunitas Brewing’s first beer in cans, the brewery has stuck to what it knows and, in its own words, 12th of Never Ale is “everything we’ve learned about making hop forward beer expressed in a moderate voice.” It’s a very fruity, full-flavored IPA that won’t knock you over, but is packed with fruity flavors from mandarin orange and nectarine to a bready/grainy malt profile and a pleasantly fresh grassy finish of medium bitterness. Light-bodied and pale, easy-drinking but working on many levels, this is a nearly session IPA, perhaps more pale ale with the modern tropical bite, and it’s crushable at 5.5% ABV. Read all about 12th of Never Ale here.
10 Barrel: Cucumber Crush (or Oakshire Sun-Made Berliner-Weisse)
Who knew the cucumber was not a vegetable but a fruit? 10 Barrel innovation brewer Tonya Cornett made a huge splash with the debut of her Cucumber Crush Sour at the Portland Fruit Beer Festival three years ago. Now it’s a crushable, tangy, cool and refreshingly mainstream beer in 12oz cans and 6-packs. As good as it gets, Oakshire Brewing’s Sun Made cucumber Berliner-weisse might even be better with real extra zesty cucumber flavor. For the purposes of this article, we are highlighting 10 Barrel’s simply for availability. We tragically could find no more cans of Oakshire’s similar beer on store shelves in the week before this article. You cannot go wrong with either, though.
2 Towns Ciderhouse: Made Marion
From the luxurious velvet purple can to the tart juicy and oh so sexy real blackberry flavor, this 2 Towns Made Marionberry hard cider would surely be Prince-approved. You can really taste those Oregon-grown Marion blackberries all the way down to the dry seed flavor. Sweet and lightly tart up front, it nonetheless finishes dry enough to leave you wanting more. Made Marion is 6% ABV and available now in 12oz cans and 6-packs.