Summer-brew survey

Chico beer purveyors share their favorite warm-weather cold ones

Photo by Jared Schmidt

It’s hot and you just want a cold one—a Bud, Modelo, whatever. Nothing wrong with that. But there are other options for summer beers that won’t go sweet and lifeless as they warm up, and that boast a range of refreshing traits—crisp, clean, tart, lightly toasted maltiness—that will replenish the wilted spirit.

The CN&R reached out to bunch of local beer pros to seek out some summer-beer options. We asked them two questions: What’s your favorite style of beer to drink on a hot summer day? And, can you recommend one? Additionally, though we allowed those who worked for breweries to highlight one of their own, we asked them to include something from another brewery as well.

Here’s what people had to say:

Kevin Jaradah, owner of Brew Kettle Taproom & Bottle Shop, The Lab Bar & Grill and Spike’s Bottle Shop:

Style: Pilsner—“They’re very clean and crisp, super refreshing on a hot summer Chico day.”

Recommendation: Russian River STS Pils—“It’s super drinkable, and easily approachable, [from a] beer drinker who’s just getting into craft beer all the way up to experts. Semi-sweet, light hop character, medium body, light citrus notes, very clean and crisp finish.”

Stephen Kay, owner of The Allies Pub and British Bulldog Brewery:

Style: “A nice crisp blonde ale or well-presented pilsner—daytime drink needs to be cool, clean, crisp and not too strong.”

Recommendation: British Bulldog Queen Bea Norfolk Blonde Ale—It has “a light toasted honey flavor with a subtle old-world hop bite.” And Ol’ Republic’s Dead Canary—It has “a classic pilsner malt flavor and noble hops at just the right level.”

Charlie Barret, owner/head brewer at Secret Trail Brewing Co.:

Style: Kölsch.

Recommendation: “My favorite beer to drink on a hot summer day is our Delta Breeze Kölsch-style beer. It is a sessionable, easy drinking, and well-balanced beer. The malt flavors from the German pilsner malt is balanced nicely by the German noble hops. And the Kölsch yeast gives the beer just a touch of tartness that I find very refreshing. Honestly, I don’t drink a lot of other breweries’ beers, but one that I found super tasty recently is the Bike Dog [Brewing] Mosaic Pale Ale. It is a fairly light and easy-to-drink pale ale with fairly low bitterness, and the mosaic hops come across almost like candy. Delightful beer!”

Miyagi Pocock, beer buyer at Burgers & Brew and assistant brewer at Sacrament Brewing Co. (Sacramento):

Style: “Like many people, I enjoy a nice clean pilsner on a hot day, but I’m becoming more and more fond of Berliner Weisse and goses that both have a subtle tartness to them and are generally 5 percent ABV.”

Recommendation: “Well, as I’m sure most beer lovers are aware, Russian River [Brewing Co.] is again available in Chico, and even though most people know them for Pliny the Elder, I think their STS Pils is one of the best beers ever. The Doggy Pils from Sacrament is quickly becoming my go-to light beer when I’m downtown. If you want a delicious Berliner [Weisse] that won’t break the bank, try some of the offerings from North Coast [Brewing Co.]. They do several different fruit variations, and they are always delicious. The Zephyr Weisse from Secret Trail is amazing, and when you’re in the tap room they can add different flavors to it, too. How [can I] mention goses in Chico without shouting out [Sierra Nevada’s] Otra Vez? Beyond that, I’m a big fan of Anderson Valley’s Briney Melon and Blood Orange goses, and if you can find cans of Modern Times Berliners or goses, they are always perfect for hot days.”

Garth Archibald, co-founder of The Commons Social Empourium:

Style: Hard kombucha— “Refreshing!”

Recommendation: Boochcraft Grape + Coriander + Anise—“It tastes healthy!”