Welcome back to What We’re Drinking, wherein The Growler editorial staff look back on a recent remarkable beverage. What are you drinking, Growler Nation? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Steel Toe Brewing Sommer Vice Hefe-Weizen Ale – Brian Kaufenberg, Managing Editor
A tall glass of hazy hefeweizen on a shady terrace overlooking the water is the perfect symbol of summer. Whereas some versions of the style burst with intense esters (which turn off some drinkers), Steel Toe’s Sommer Vice Hefe-Weizen is a more moderate take on the German wheat ale. Light clove and banana, and pleasant bready aromas hover just above the white, billowy head. The golden, perfectly hazed body is soft and dry, with a faint tartness that cuts through a subtle bubblegum sweetness. Pair with a salted soft pretzel and stone-ground mustard.
Muros Antigos Vinho Verde – John Garland, Senior Editor
You probably know vinho verde as the $7 bottle of fizzy Portuguese white wine that you throw down when it’s 100 degrees outside. But for just a few dollars more, there are vinho verdes out there that deliver tons of flavor and complexity, but remain just as refreshing. Muros Antigos is one of those (they’re a member of the consortium of “serious” vinho verde producers). I found their 2015 for $13 at Solo Vino and it’s loaded with lemon zest and mineral notes, with balanced acidity and a mouthwatering finish. I may never go back to Gazela or Pavao again.
Indeed Brewing Company Peach Bum IPA – Kate Murphy, Editorial Assistant
Whether I’m slinging meat over the glowing embers of the grill or sitting at the end of a dock with my trusty fishing pole, as the mercury slowly rises, I want to cool down with a juicy beer fit for these delightful days. Bright, golden, and kissed with a blush of pink, this seasonal release from Indeed fits the summertime bill as an easy-drinking, light IPA. At its core—or should I say, pit—delicate flavors of ripe peach and apricot are woven into the aroma and palate, soon to be boosted by a tropical, citrusy backbone of four hop varieties. Simply succulent.
Founders Brewing Doom Imperial IPA Aged in Bourbon Barrels – Keith Grauman, Web Editor
On the surface, this seems like one of those combinations that shouldn’t work. The words “aged” and “IPA” appearing in the same sentence goes against conventional wisdom for hop-forward beers, but Founders makes it work with Doom. The nose is all barrel—vanilla and sweet cherry—but when you take a sip you’re reminded you’re drinking an imperial IPA with notes of resinous pine and light citrus. As your palate adjusts to the booziness of this 12.4% ABV limited release, more nuanced floral flavors open up. Since there’s little hop aroma to worry about losing with more time in the cellar, this one would be interesting to try again with a little age on it if you scored a four-pack.
Brewery Ommegang Bend the Knee – Joseph Alton, Editor-in-Chief
Who will ascend to the Iron Throne? Which family will rule the Seven Kingdoms? And who with Bend the Knee? The answers to these questions will reveal themselves in the coming season of Game of Thrones. And in true GoT dork fashion, I’ll be sipping their namesake beer as I watch the seventh season get underway.
Made by Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown, New York, Bend the Knee is a golden ale worthy of gods old and new. Brewed with Pils malt, noble hops, and honey, the beer is a rich example of the style, and of the classic Belgian interpretations for which Ommegang has become known. A fruity, yeast-forward beer with hints of orange and spice, Bend the Knee is big but balanced, and deserves high honor from your court.