Sunday, June 10, 2018

Five Best Traditional Colorado Beers for Summer

Some say that summer is the acceptable time to break out "lawnmower" beers - lighter beers known for their drinkability rather than actual flavor. This thinking, however, is outdated and self-defeating.

These days, brewers throughout Colorado have found ways to take traditionally lighter beers and imbue them with big taste without losing the easiness to the body, giving you both craft quality and traditional quaffability in one can. And as the official start of summer approaches quickly, here are the five beers that do that best and will leave you both pleased and thirst-quenched, whether at the end of a hike or during an extended session on a porch.

1) Colorado Kolsch - Steamworks Brewing
This is refreshment defined in a craft beer. The easy-as-water body has both a satisfying fullness and crisp finish that features enough hops to register a bite without any feeling of citrus or pine. It will leave you both sated and satisfied.

2) Mama's Little Yella Pils - Oskar Blues
This is the rare pilsner that uses hops as a primary flavoring ingredient rather than as an afterthought. Yet they do not get in the way nor feel out of place. It's a smooth body with a gutsy finish, producing a lighter beer that just feels more purposeful than many other pilsners on the market.

3) Mexican Lager - Lone Tree Brewing
Too often, an overload of malts can make these traditional lagers feel awkward and heavy. But this is a beer that uses its ingredients judiciously, creating a flavor that is simple, subtly sweet and sharp enough at the finish to leave an impression. You've earned this after mowing a lawn, but you don't have to be hot and sweaty to appreciate its character.

4) 8 Second Kolsch - Elevation Beer Co.
Like Colorado Kolsch, this is refreshing first and foremost. But it has a big presence in your mouth, a combination of a smooth body with a little more hop crispness than one might expect. It's a unique melding that results in a beer that feels breezy but bites you here and there until you realize just how much you are enjoying it.

5) M.E.H. Cream Ale- Brewery Rickoli
This Wheat Ridge brewery, which caught the eye of Boston Beer early in its development, specializes more in boozy, complex ales than simple ones. But its cream ale is an undervalued secret of the local brewing scene, offering a terribly smooth and yet tasty body notable for its balance of malts that leaves it sippable but not overly sweet. And it's gluten-free, as a bonus.

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