For many of us, summer demands the boozy escape that a tropical cocktail can provide, but we also know that beer—oftentimes cheap, disgusting beer—has its place on the beach, too. Since Michael Jackson is dead (not the King of Pop, but he's dead, too) we turned to beer expert and gypsy brewer Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø for his advice on how to drink beer this summer without looking like a jackass.
All the beers that I've chosen are known for their lower alcohol percentages. You'll get fucked up drinking higher alcohol beers in the hot of summer heat. You want thirst-quenching brews when you're drinking outside. You wouldn't drink a big, red wine outside in the summer, and the same goes for beer.
These beers taste better than others, and they taste even better when they heat up in the sun. These beers can stand the heat because there's a lot of flavor going on in each of these styles. When you drink a beer cold, it numbs a lot of the flavors. It's cool to take a beer and drink it—like a stout—and drink it slowly to see how the flavors come out as the temperature rises.
Here's my summer list for when you find yourself at the beach or a summer barbecue with models, Gwyneth Paltrow, or construction workers.
Sour IPA: It's not really a new style—it's a hybrid style where you take an IPA and a sour beer of some sort and combine them. It's a great beer that is gaining popularity for many reasons. It's a session beer—a fancy term for a beer that's low in alcohol— which is super-popular right now. Since session beers have gained so much interest; people are making session beers out of almost anything. This beer is perfect for summer because it's fruity, refreshing, and hoppy. It covers so many flavor aspects that there's a lot of sour IPAs out there to fit everyone's needs. It takes what's good from different styles and sticks them all into one style. It's perfect for drinking at breakfast on the beach at 9 AM during hot summer months because it tastes like freshly squeezed juice and it's low in alcohol. Karlie Kloss would drink this because it tastes like Champagne and is low in alcohol, and she probably hates beer.
Saison: This is an old French-Belgian style that's been brewed since forever. You go back in time with this—people are making their own spins on this style nowadays. It's got both fruitiness and yeastiness, and esters from the yeast. It has hops, and you can add different flowers (dandelions, hibiscus, whatever). It used to be brewed in the winter and drunk during the summer months, but now it's being brewed all of the time. You can do a lot of things with this beer without it sticking out too much. Construction workers wouldn't drink this, but Gerard Depardieu would. He'd drink an entire tank of it.
Belgian Wit: This is the gateway into craft beer for many people. It's typically brewed with coriander and orange peel, which I'm not a big fan of, but whatever. People like it. The yeast is very pronounced, so you use very specific Belgian Wit beers. It's light, drinkable, and great for guzzling on the beach. Some people put lemon or lime in it, which is a bad idea. It changes the flavor. It pisses me off when bartenders do that. I think it's rude. I don't need some douchebag to change the flavor of my beer for me. Gwyneth Paltrow would probably drink this because she's basic, and so is this beer style.
Gueuze: The base beer for this style is a lambic, but is consumed like a sparkling white wine. The flavors are similar to a dry, white wine. It's barrel-aged for up to three years, so the tannins and woodiness from the barrel are amazing. I drink orange wine and they often taste very similar. If you take a one-year-old lambic that's been sitting in barrels and blend it with a three-year-old lambic, you want it to taste the same like you would for wine. I think James Murphy from LCD Soundsystem would drink this. Hipsters and beer nerds love this—it's really hard to get, but if you're into orange wine, you would drink this.
Altbier: This is a German-style beer from the Dusseldorf area and it's one of the few ales that has survived from Germany. They don't have a lot of ales over there. It tastes like a lager—it's clean and refreshing, but darker than a normal lager. It has a little sweetness and tartness at the same time. This is your beer style for grilling. Michael Jackson—the beer guy—would drink this because he appreciated traditional styles and ones that were very well-made. It came from this specific region in Germany.