Best new craft beers to drink this month
Firestone Walker’s Leo v. Ursus isn’t a double IPA series. It’s a chronology of new, boozy, hoppy ales. First came this spring’s slightly sweet inaugural entry: Fortem. Now, summer brings us Adversus—an appropriately light, dry and “crushable” double IPA. Brewed primarily with unobtrusive Pilsner malts, the unfiltered beer is a new school, West Coast hop showcase through and through. The particular blend of Pacific Northwest and German varietals blasts you with notes of citrus, tropical fruit and a hint of piney resin. With just a mild bitterness, Adversus is as refreshing as an 8.2% double IPA can be. Use these 16oz cans to convert friends who “don’t like IPAs.”
Conceptually, Avery’s Botanicals & Barrels isn’t rocket science. The popular series pairs a rich but balanced base beer with one ingredient from the garden (think tangerine, vanilla bean, raspberry) and one type of barrel (namely, bourbon or oak). Simple enough, right? Executing an idea of the sort is more complicated than it seems, though. Barrel aging and blending is truly an art, and few practice it better than Avery Brewing Co. Such mastery is on full display with the sixth series offering, Ginger Sour, a wild ale aged in oak barrels with fresh-pressed ginger juice. The liquid from the herbaceous root imbues this tart beer with a lush spiciness that’s rounded by the oak character of the barrels. If that sounds like a lot of flavor, that's because it is.
There are few bets in craft beer surer than a new Perennial saison. For over five years, founding brewmaster Phil Wymore and his team have again and again found novel ways to delight palates with the farmhouse ale yeast strain. Whether it’s Foudre-aged, fruited or traditional, when you see an unfamiliar Perennial saison, you buy it. The latest example is Owen, a table-strength saison named after one of Wymore’s children. Built on a lean backbone of Pilsner malt and wheat, the 4.7% ale is both kettle- and dry-hopped with Mosaic, a prized Yakima varietal that throws off aromas and flavors of tropical fruit like pineapple and papaya. Those characteristics are complemented by conditioning the beer with Brettanomyces Claussenii, a wild yeast strain that brings its own fruitiness to the party. Like all Perennial saisons, Owen is dry and quaffable.
Coconut is an ingredient most often reserved for one end of the style spectrum: stouts and porters. Not this time around. Dogfish Head Brewery now offers an IPA with three coconut components: toasted coconut, dehydrated coconut water and an experimental hop varietal that conjures aromas of coconut and wood. Needless to say, the pale and hazy Lupu-Luau is an unconventional beer, especially coming from a brewery whose IPAs typically lean on the meltier side. Fruity and light, Lupu-Luau is engineered for your next tiki party… or any warm summer evening. We’re not recommending you drink the 7.3% brew out of a coconut—but it wouldn’t be the worst idea.