Welcome back to What We’re Drinking, wherein The Growler editorial staff look back on recent remarkable beverages. What are you drinking, Growler Nation? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Brian Kaufenberg, Managing Editor
■ Bauhaus Short Pants Lemon Shandy
Sure, shandy has a bit of a black eye due to certain mass-market varieties. But Bauhaus Brew Labs’ Short Pants Lemon Shandy proves that not all shandies are created equal. Made with lemon products, such as lemon zest, concentrate, and puree, Short Pants has—get this—real lemon flavor. While some shandies taste more like lemon-flavored candy than beer, Short Pants balances the fruit’s acid, sweetness, and the bitterness from the zest for a truer expression of the citrus fruit. At a sessionable 4.5 percent ABV, I think it’s safe to say that I’ll be drinking this all summer long.
■ Thor’s Dry Cider
■ Odell Loose Leaf
■ Far North Solveig Gin
■ Bell’s Oberon Ale
Joseph Alton, Editor-in-Chief
■ Founders Dankwood
I’m not usually excited about the prospect of aged IPAs, but Founders Dankwood has me rethinking the possibilities. This was the first beer I enjoyed on a patio this spring and it was quite effective in fending off the last of the April chill. This is a big imperial red IPA aged for a few months in oak, resulting in a dangerously drinkable balance of dank, resinous hops melding beautifully with the caramelly, sweet character of the malt. Bourbon barrels impart an earthy, oak character and just the right amount of fusel heat. Age it if you want, but my suggestion is sip it soon—on a crisp spring night when you need a little nip of something to warm you from the inside out.
■ Modist Har Mar Superstar’s Bye Bye 16 oz Personal Tall Boy Best Summer Ever Beer
■ Kermit Lynch Côtes du Rhône Cypress Cuvée 2015
■ The Balvenie PortWood Aged 21 Years
■ Lupulin Straight Hash Homie
John Garland, Senior Editor
■ Deschutes Pacific Wonderland Lager
Count me as a fan of American pale lagers. The good ones have a dry and lighter body focused on that German grainy sweetness, like a Pilsner or helles, but then followed by a scant portion of citrusy hops, leaving them brighter and more bitter than a Euro lager. Deschutes’ Pacific Wonderland is dry-hopped with Mandarina Bavaria, which I think lends a great finishing note to lagers, like in Schell’s 30th Anniversary Pilsner series and Indeed’s Dandy Lager.
■ Vikre Sugarbush Whiskey (Lot 5)
■ Kauai Beer Company Lihue Lager
■ 2016 La Boutanche Wurttemberg Trollinger Rosé
■ Isanti Spirits Rye Whiskey
Kate Murphy, Assistant Editor
■ Dampfwerk Barreled Gin
When you order gin, don’t just default to a mixer. The good ones can be drunk straight. Take Dampfwerk’s Barreled Gin. The Loeffelholz family divvies their London dry–style gin into three barrels—French port, French shiraz, and North American cabernet sauvignon—softening the sprightly juniper and botanical edges with woodsy, warm layers, almost as if baking spices teamed up with a touch of butterscotch and vanilla and wandered into a forest. Add a big ol’ ice cube, sit out on the porch, and you’re set for the sunny days ahead.
■ El Jimador Reposado Tequila
■ Inbound Fruit of the Loop Citrus IPA
■ FINNEGANS Irish Ale
■ Lakefront Eazy Teazy Green Tea Ale