By Bennett Porter, Certified Cicerone®
Here we are yet again, folks. The sun-shroud month of August is gasping its final breaths before surrendering to fall. Alongside it, the France 44 Beer cooler is submitting to the steamroller of Oktoberfest and pumpkin beer releases. The offensive materializes earlier each year, it seems. Brewers have a penchant for precedence, habitually releasing seasonal brews early to stay ahead of the curve. While there’s nothing wrong with being expeditious, it’s still a bit premature, don’t you think? The Minnesota climate is still fit for days at the beach or on a boat. So here I am, making one last effort to convince you that it’s not yet fall. Take a look at these fresh, fashionable releases that keep me singing: “summer, summer, summertime.”
A sparkling brew that pays homage to the town of Köln, Germany. Pure, premium quality water from the Glenwood spring in Minneapolis gives this hybrid style a neat, friendly disposition. Top-fermented, then lagered, for a soft, bready malt note with a hint of grassy hops.
Sixpoint Lo-Res Sesher IPA – $13.99 // 8pk // 4.5% ABV
As the nameplate suggests, Lo-Res is a laid-back, session-friendly weekender companion. Low in strength, but high on flavor, this IPA seshes with Mandarina Bavaria hops for a citrusy cloud of mango, pineapple haze, and pine resin. A crisp, clean getaway provides unapologetic drinkability.
Funkwerks Saison D’Brett – $10.99 // 750ml // 7.4% ABV
The fellows over at Funkwerks have asserted themselves as a pacesetter for saison-brewing in the US craft beer scene. This beauty is created by aging their flagship saison in a large 800-gallon foudre with brettanomyces. Does it bring the funk? Yes, yes it does. Aggressive carbonation expels aromas that are fruity, grassy, peppery and musty all at once. Something eclectic for the adventurous beer drinker.
Bruery Terreux Summa Vitis – $9.99 // 750ml // 6.0% ABV
A brew that truly embodies the substance of the vine, Summa Vitis bridges the gap between wine and beer. This vibrant Berliner-Weisse style sour is co-fermented on aromatic Gewurztraminer grapes, resulting in a spumante spectacle. A fine-beaded head of bubbles lifts scents of flowers and vine-fruit. Funky minerality and a succinctly sharp finish keep you coming back for more.
Victory White Monkey – $18.99 // 750ml // 9.5% ABV
The rare, elusive sibling of Golden Monkey Tripel, White Monkey hones its abilities for 3 months in Chardonnay barrels before bottling. Sweetgrass and yellow fruit notes rest atop a vanilla-laden, buttery oak character. It’s semi-sweet, warming finish will keep you cozy on those drafty late-summer nights.