What to Drink During Beer’s Gawky Season
For some reason, it starts the first week of August—summer ales begin disappearing from the shelves of supermarkets and distributors. Tap handles at bars are quickly being replaced with pumpkin ales and the Märzens now called Oktoberfests. But maybe, we’re not quite ready for autumn beers. The production of freshly hopped beer for Wet Hop Season has just started with hop cones harvested from farms and backyard vines all across the country, leaving two or three more weeks until those wet-hopped brews hit the shelves. Late summer can be a bummer according to the seasonal beer calendar.
I asked some Long Island craft industry friends what they enjoyed during this in-between period and how to smoothly transition into the cooler months.
Wendy Loudermilk — Manager of Bellport Cold Beer and Soda
- Moustache Brewery Mojito Pale Ale (5.5% ABV): A light and refreshing pale ale with mint and lime flavors. Heavenly for those 80- and 90-degree days that pop up during September.
- Barrier Brewing Earth (6.5% ABV): An American-style brown ale that is “still light enough for late summer/early fall nights.”
- Greenport Harbor Brewing Otherside IPA (7.5% ABV): A hoppy, but well-balanced, IPA that will be on the shelves long after the leaves are off the trees.
- Great South Bay Brewery Blood Orange Pale Ale (5% ABV): “Still a great selection entering the those hot days still lingering into the fall season.”
Jeanne Forster — Long Island Beer Representative for Adirondack Brewery
- Adirondack Brewery Beaver Tail Brown Ale (5.6% ABV): A “summer” American-style brown ale with strong hop flavor.
- Barrage Brewing Lil Tease (8.2% ABV): A black cherry saison.
- Destination Unknown Beer Co. Tripel Rainbow (9% ABV) and Port Jeff Brewing Co. H3 (10.1% ABV): This is the perfect time to really “lean towards Tripels.” These hefty beers are refreshing without feeling heavy.
Kimberly Stoehr — Bartender at Bobbique’s and Sales Representative for Moustache Brewery
- Moustache Brewery Milk and Honey Brown Ale (6% ABV): An American-style brown ale. This brown balances the line of “not super heavy, but heavier than a summer ale.”
- Port Jefferson Orange Dream (10.3% ABV): A Belgian Tripel with hints of orange zest. “Stronger than what you’d want to drink over the summer but light in taste…. Remnants of summer. Alcohol for cooler weather.”
- Firestone Walker Brewing Co. Wookey Jack Black Rye IPA (8.3% ABV): “It’s a really nice in-between beer…, a perfect balance of malts and hops.”
We may be in the in-between season—not quite summer, not quite fall—but there are beer styles to keep us comfortable no matter the weather. What are you drinking? Leave a comment and let me know!