It’s summer. We’ve had the World Cup. Wimbledon. Music festivals are also upon us. How many more excuses are needed for a daytime tipple?
The thing is, though, most people don’t want to get sloshed in the hot weather.
Bad heads. Dehydration. The inevitable sickie the next day.
Beer-swilling in the blazing sun isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
The obvious solution is to stick to lighter beers. (Don’t drink at all you say? Are you serious?)
The problem is that lower alcohol beers have a bad rep, usually well-deserved, it has to be said, lacking in either complexity or taste.
The good news, however, is there are some exceptional lines on the market at the moment that have an abundance of both, combining real taste and refreshment with relatively low alcohol levels.
(Granted, that claim is in the eye of the beholder, but let’s agree that anything up to 4.5 per cent is pretty light these days).
‘Severinia’ is a limited release from Thornbridge and available in their pubs on cask.
Described as a ‘citrus peel pale’ it packs a zesty punch, but at 4.1 per cent, you won’t find yourself keeling over after a few.
The ever-reliable Abbeydale Brewery has a winning tribute to the eponymous music festival with their 3.8 per cent ‘Tramlines’ session IPA.
While ‘Salty Kiss’ from Huddersfield’s Magic Rock Brewing is a superb gooseberry gose, a tart, fruity 4.1 per cent thirst-quencher.
Pound for pound, though, the best all-round light beer – perfect for daytime supping – comes from Leeds brewery, North Brewing Co.
Light and well-balanced its ‘Counterpoint’ IPA comes with more flavour and complexity than you would ever expect in a beer that’s just three per cent strong.
That’s right, three per cent. We’re talking shandy territory here, but this confident and well-balanced offering is a real treat.
The trend with craft beer in recent years has been to brew stronger, more complex beers.
But could we see a reverse movement where light is right?
Seasoned suppers may just have to order it by the bucket load though.
n The third edition of CAMRA’s Peak District Pub Walks, by Bob Steel, is to be launched this weekend in Matlock.
It has been updated to reflect changes to the Peak District pub and beer scene.