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summer beer varieties

Beer Can Be Seasonal, Too – Try These Six Summer Beer Varieties

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Choosing a beer for any occasion used to be simple – for the most part, Americans were limited to the light lagers and pilsners that were readily available at any corner store, regardless of season. With the eventual rise of imports, diversification of large American breweries, and the influx of smaller craft breweries in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, however, beer has become much more nuanced. In fact, as American tastes became more adventurous, beer brewing – and beer drinking – has taken on a seasonal component once only seen in wines and cocktails. However, there’s no reason choosing the perfect summer beer can’t be simple. Just think of what your taste buds crave during a long, lazy day in the sun, and you’ll be on the right track. If you’re still not sure, consider this list of light, easily drinkable summer beer varieties:

Fruit beers

This category consists of everything from the traditional German radlers (a mix of lemonade or citrus soda and pilsner) to the more diverse British shandies (ale mixed with lemonade) and every watermelon ale and blueberry stout in between. The hottest days of summer are the perfect time to try these easy to drink, often lower-alcohol, beers.

IPAs and pale ales

Pale, hoppy, a little bit bitter, but somehow still refreshing, pale ales and their India pale ale cousins truly come into their own in the summer. IPAs have a stronger hop profile than pale ales, but you can find both in hazy, filtered, and even citrus-centric varieties for summer.

Wheat beers

Many a brauhaus serves its traditional hefeweizen or Belgian wit with a tiny bit of fruit juice (typically banana or orange) at the bottom. American wheat beers are similarly hazy and have a unique bit of spiciness that lend themselves perfectly to an orange or lemon garnish. No matter which you choose, wheat beers of nearly all varieties lend themselves to some refreshing summer drinking.

Saisons

While sometimes marketed as a “sour saison” or similar, not all saison beers are sour. In fact, most are considered dry and pleasantly spicy with pale malts and very subtle hop flavor – and some even contain a hint of cucumber or fruit rind flavoring. Whichever you choose, these tasty brews are perfect for summer drinking.

Blondes

Perhaps the most classic of summer beer styles, blonde ales are lighter, easier-drinking, and more approachable than their darker counterparts. In addition, most blondes are brewed without a focus on citrus, fruit, in-your-face hops, or any of the other complex flavors you’ll find in other summer beers – making them a perfect crowd pleaser for the beach or barbeque.

Lagers and pilsners

Although there are numerous types of easy-drinking summer beers crafted especially for the adventurous crowd, there’s nothing wrong with appreciating a classic American or European lager. These brews are produced at a cold temperature with

fermenting yeast to produce the signature mild flavor. If you need something even lighter, grab a pilsner – a traditional type of lager with a paler color and spicier, more refreshing taste.

At Payless Liquors, we have an extensive selection of summer beers – from craft-brewed fruity varieties to the traditional American lagers you love. Alternatively, change up your summer drinks and ask about our wine and liquor offerings. Call ahead or fill out an online order form to ensure we have your favorite summer beer ready for curbside or in-store pickup.

kegs

How Long Does Beer in a Keg Stay Fresh?

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Are you a bottled beer fan or a connoisseur of the keg? Each variety has its own set of characteristics that makes the flavor and effervescence unique and palatable. If you are of the opinion that there’s nothing like a pint of foamy beer right out of the keg, you certainly know that keeping the beer fresh throughout the lifetime of the keg can get a little tricky. Exposure to oxygen, bacteria, and temperature are all factors that affect the rate at which a beer will lose its finest qualities. The keg is at its freshest point the day the brewery fills it. After that, it slowly begins to lose this quality. Here are a few facts about a keg’s freshness that you can use to get the most out of your beer on tap.

How Long Does a Keg Stay Fresh?

For most beers on tap, dispensed with CO2, the rule of thumb is that non-pasteurized beer will retain its freshness for 45-60 days, if proper pressure and temperature are maintained. If you are serving up pasteurized draft beer, the shelf life is around 90-120 days. If you have just gotten an air pumped party keg, you should consume the beer within 8-12 hours if you want to enjoy it at peak freshness. You will find that most breweries now print a freshness date on the keg for your convenience. Be sure to read the labeling carefully, as some breweries print this as an expiration date, while others opt for a “born on” date. These dates have the days it is in inventory at the brewery figured into the equation and generally print the date on the side of the keg or on the cap.

Are There Exceptions to the Rule?

The short answer to this question is yes; there are always exceptions. For instance, bigger beers with higher alcohol content will last a bit longer than “the norm.” The character imbued on the beer by its hops will fade a bit, but these beers can be expected to last up to six months. In other cases, beers change even more slowly.

How Do I Know How Much Beer to Get?

If you are concerned about having a keg that is too big to finish before it loses its freshness, there are options you can consider to avoid this dilemma. Kegs come in varying sizes, so it is not always necessary to buy the biggest one on the market. Standard sizes and the amount of beer you can expect to get out of them are as follows:

  • Full-size Keg (Half Barrel) = 165 12oz beers
  • Euro Keg = 140 12oz beers
  • Quarter Barrel Keg = 82 12oz beers
  • Five Gallon Keg = 55 12oz beers
  • Three Gallon Keg = 32 12oz beers

If you pay attention to these tips and facts about draft beer, you should be able to maintain freshness in your keg for the amount of time it takes for you to finish the beer. For more

information, and a selection of fine kegs for your home or business, come and see the experts at Payless Liquors today.

Saint Archer Gold Tasting

Saint Archer Gold Tasting

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January 31 | 6:45 – 8:45 pm

9520 Uptown Drive, Suite G, Indianapolis, IN 46256

Saint Archer Gold is a Helles-inspired Lager. At 95 calories and 2.5 grams of carbohydrates per 12oz serving, this is a sessionable option. Craft beer quality with lower calories and carbs! Come give it a try.

Genesse

Genesse Lemon Strawberry Cream Ale Tasting

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January 25 | 6:30 – 8:30 pm

726 Adams Street, Carmel, IN 46032

The Original Cream Ale rolled out in new packaging and now has its first innovation: Lemon Strawberry Cream Ale! Join us for a taste of Genesse Lemon Strawberry Cream Ale!

Saint Archer Gold Tasting

Saint Archer Gold Tasting

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January 25 | 6:00 – 8:00 pm

14580 River Road, Carmel, IN 46033

Saint Archer Gold is a Helles-inspired Lager. At 95 calories and 2.5 grams of carbohydrates per 12oz serving, this is a sessionable option. Craft beer quality with lower calories and carbs! Come give it a try.

Saint Archer Gold Tasting

Saint Archer Gold Tasting

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January 25 | 3:30 – 5:30 pm

954 N. STATE ROAD 135, Greenwood, IN 46142

Saint Archer Gold is a Helles-inspired Lager. At 95 calories and 2.5 grams of carbohydrates per 12oz serving, this is a sessionable option. Craft beer quality with lower calories and carbs! Come give it a try.

Saint Archer Gold Tasting

Saint Archer Gold Tasting

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January 24 | 5:30 – 7:30

1453 East Main Street, Plainfield, IN 46168

Saint Archer Gold is a Helles-inspired Lager. At 95 calories and 2.5 grams of carbohydrates per 12oz serving, this is a sessionable option. Craft beer quality with lower calories and carbs! Come give it a try.

Saint Archer Gold Tasting

Saint Archer Gold Tasting

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January 24 | 5:00 – 7:00

7157 Whitestown Parkway, Zionsville, IN 46077

Saint Archer Gold is a Helles-inspired Lager. At 95 calories and 2.5 grams of carbohydrates per 12oz serving, this is a sessionable option. Craft beer quality with lower calories and carbs! Come give it a try.

Saint Archer Gold Tasting

Saint Archer Gold Tasting

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January 24 | 4:00 – 6:00 pm

60 BRENDON WAY, Zionsville, IN 46077

Saint Archer Gold is a Helles-inspired Lager. At 95 calories and 2.5 grams of carbohydrates per 12oz serving, this is a sessionable option. Craft beer quality with lower calories and carbs! Come give it a try.

anti hero

Revolution Anti Hero Tasting

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January 17 | 6:30 – 8:00 pm

7157 Whitestown Parkway, Zionsville, IN 46077

Stop by for a taste of Revolution Anti Hero India Pale Ale! Anti Hero is Revolution Brewing’s flagship IPA, it’s supremely aromatic, crisp, and drinkable.

lift off

Daredevil Lift Off Tasting

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January 17 | 4:30 – 6:00 pm

60 Brendon Way, Zionsville, IN 46077

Come get a free taste of Lift Off, Daredevil Brewing Co.’s Signature West Coast style IPA!

imported beers

Have You Tried These Five Imported Beers?

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Beer drinkers are creatures of habit; find a brew you like, and chances are, you’ll go back to it regularly. While there’s nothing wrong with knowing what you like, the beer world is a large and diverse one; you could be missing out on a new favorite.

In the same vein, much has been made in recent years of the current boom in domestic or local craft breweries. As beer drinkers ourselves, we love what the craft industry has done for the American beer drinker. The rise and local accessibility of different varieties beyond the standard has led more and more people to step outside their beer comfort zone. As a result, however, many beer drinkers are forgetting about the very import staples that inspired all these new domestic brews.

Make This Your Month to Try An Imported Beer

Imported beers often hail from countries and breweries that invented the concept of beer brewing to begin with. As a result, you’ll likely recognize most of the beer types on this list – some are even precursors to the new brews you can get at the local brewery. Widen your beer influences this month with one (or more) of these imports:

  1. Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier (Germany). Germany has been brewing beer since at least 800 BC. Nowadays, you’ll find a Hofbrauhaus in nearly every town. Weihenstephaner hails from Weihenstephan, Bavaria and is a classic example of a German wheat beer. Fruity, malty, and creamy, this is America’s top hefe import and a great introduction to German beer.
  2. Pilsner Urquell (Czech Republic). Named after the Czech region of Plzen, a pilsner is simply a type of pale lager. Pilsner Urquell is the original pilsner, brewed since the mid-19th century in Plzensky Prazdroj, Plzen, Czech Republic and is the single best-known example of the style. Pilsners are clear and golden, and Pilsner Urquell brings hints of corn and biscuit to this supremely drinkable beer.
  3. Guinness Draught (Ireland). One of the most well-known imports in the country, Guinness was first brewed in Dublin, Ireland in 1759, along with a selection of popular ales. Since then, Guinness has crossed continents and oceans to become the world’s most sought-after stout. Stouts are typically richer and creamier than other styles of beer, and Guinness provides an exceptionally smooth drink with a slightly bitter finish.
  4. Red Stripe (Jamaica). If you’re looking for an alternative to the tried and true island beer for your next get together, Red Stripe Jamaican lager could be just the ticket. With more hoppy flavor than Corona and its counterparts, and just the right hint of caramel and bitterness to finish, this lager has more to offer than your average American lager.
  5. Sapporo (Japan). If you’re used to drinking one of the megabrand American domestics, consider giving Sapporo a try. This Japanese lager is a bit more bitter and full-bodied than Budweiser, Miller, Coors, and company, but American beer drinkers describe it as a crisp alternative to the usual.

While we’d never suggest giving up your favorite beer or forgoing a trip to the local brewery, trying a new-to-you imported beer is a great way to extend your palate. Better yet, you could find the beer that will become your next favorite. Try one of the above or ask an associate for an import recommendation unique to your preferences.

Heineken 0.0 Tasting

Heineken 0.0 Tasting

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January 18 | 7:30 – 8:30 pm

9520 Uptown Drive, Suite G, Indianapolis, IN 46256

Brewing a great tasting 0.0% alcohol
lager beer, is it even possible? Come try it for yourself!