This morning I found myself with the opportunity to shop at Siciliano’s in Grand Rapids. I decided it was time for me to find a new summer beer option. For nearly a decade, Bell’s Oberon has been my go-to choice for a refreshing, light beer when temperatures rise. But lately, I have found myself craving something new. So I picked up six bottles of light craft beers that I had never tried before.
Left Hand Brewing Co. – Good Juju
This brewery’s milk stout ranks highly when I find it on tap. But beyond that creamy head, I knew little about Left Hand’s selection. Juju pours with sharp clarity and a potent aroma. The beer has a spicy quality that causes a light tingling sensation. In spite of a low alcohol content and light color, this beer has a complex flavor profile. I picture drinking this beer in the first inning of a baseball game – it bursts with floral tones and sets the stage for more balanced beers before the end of the game.
New Holland Brewing – White Hatter
Way too long ago, I went camping at Holland State Park and got my first exposure to New Holland Brewery. The White Hatter is a great example of a Belgian style white ale that suits my needs for a great summer sipper. The beer has a hazy glow that invites sunlight. The floral tones are likely a result of Brettanomyces yeasts and a whole variety of spices including grains of paradise and coriander. After one pint, I feel like White Hatter could be a strong candidate for my new summer beer staple.
Lakefront Brewery – Wheat Monkey Ale
Wheat ales have a way of getting my attention. I found Lakeshore’s surprising Wheat Monkey Ale a welcome variation from the standard. This hazy golden brew has a bit of an acidic bite and a potent bubbly mouthfeel. While most wheat ales can tolerate a wedge of orange, I don’t think I would go that direction with Wheat Monkey. As an introduction to the brewery, I was intrigued and curious to find more of Lakeshore’s offerings. This pleasant wheat beer would pair well with a variety of summer dishes and I can easily imagine drinking a couple of these on a lazy weeknight.