Spinnakers Brew Pub brings out more refreshing choices of beer for the spring and summer months. Photo contributed

CRAFT BEER REVIEW: Summer beers lightening up

Mathieu Poirier looks at some of the lighter, fruitier warm weather offerings

Mathieu Poirier

Monday Magazine columnist

As the weather warms up (hopefully), there is always a shift in the types of beer you see on the shelf.

Lighter, fruitier, more thirst-quenching options become much more prevalent, especially as the temptation of patios and barbecues grow with the heat.

The change in seasons also helps to push an already growing trend in the craft beer industry further along: cans.

For decades, the standard format for most craft beers was the 650 ml bottle, commonly known as a “bomber.” In recent years though, there has been a move to canning the product instead, in either tall cans or standard cans, and there’s actually some very good reasons for that.

While a lot of people love their bottles, cans are almost like a miniature keg. They keep the beer fresher for longer, they keep light out, they chill faster, they have less shipping impact and are more easily recycled than glass bottles, which can sometimes be single use.

For those concerned with the flavour of canned beer, the best solution is to drink it out of a glass anyway. For those times where you don’t want glass around, there are now a number of plastic reusable beer glasses on the market, available at most home and kitchen stores.

Some great summer beer options have recently made the switch to cans, so seek some of these out to try great beer in a better package.

Hiatus Farmhouse Ale from Category 12 Brewing is a personal favourite and a fantastic example of what a summer beer can be. It’s light, with notes of cucumber and lemon, while finishing with a dryness that wants you going back for more.

Last year this was in bottles, and you can now find it in four-packs of tall cans.

Spinnakers Brewpub has also embraced cans this year, with a lineup of summer beers that will beat the heat. Returning are their Raspberry Lager, as well as Peach Paradise Hefe, and to add something new, they’ve added their Iced Tea Pale Ale with lemon juice and mango lemonade black tea from Silk Road Tea, which combines the best of two great summer refreshers.

Keep an eye out for more of your favourites making the jump to cans, as I know there are more on the way.

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