For many beer lovers, Oberon release day symbolically marks the arrival of summer, of long days spent outside and warm nights around campfires. And what’s better to accompany summer activities than a crisp Oberon?
This year’s edition of the warm-weather staple beer was released March 27. Because Oberon fans are deprived of the brew for months, many of us Oberon enthusiasts might have overindulged a bit over the past few weeks. Like all good things, Oberon is best enjoyed in moderation.
So where do you go when your stomach turns at the thought of one more orange peel-flavored brew? Or maybe you never liked Oberon in the first place but still want a good summer beer to take camping or fishing? We’ve put together a list of four summer beers that you’ll find Michiganders sipping this summer, and while some are from the mitten state and some aren’t, you’ll be sure to find at least one that fits your palate.
For the fruit lover: If you like a hint of sweetness in your brew, Dark Horse Brewing Co. in Marshall has created a perfect fruity beer with its Raspberry Ale. Even with a definite raspberry undertone, this beer still maintains a nice hop flavor without the bitterness. It’s an easy-to-drink, laid back brew that you can take to a picnic or enjoy with a nice fruit salad. Many raspberry beers — Founders’ Rubaeus, for example — are quite sweet with a very fruit-forward flavor that many enjoy, while others find it too sweet. Dark Horse’s Raspberry Ale is definitely more brew than fruit, and if that’s what you’re going for, look no further.
For the hop enthusiast: It’s summer, but you, the hop enthusiast, still want that bitter flavor in your summer beer. Deschutes Brewery, based in Bend, Ore., offers a perfect summer IPA that maintains that bitterness but isn’t too heavy and has a fresh kick. That’s probably why they named this beer Fresh Squeezed IPA. This amber-colored brew features hints of grapefruit and citrus and finishes with that bitter bite you want in a good IPA. This brew is perfect for beach hangouts or backyard grilling.
For the person who doesn’t like beer but wants to: You’ve always wanted to like beer. All your friends sit around talking about their favorite craft brews, but you still haven’t met the right one yet. Fortunately for you, Vermont’s Traveler Beer Co. has created a Grapefruit Shandy that will change your life and finally allow you to join the “cool” beer drinkers at this summer’s get-togethers. This brew has a strong grapefruit flavor, but the bitterness is neutralized by the smooth wheat beer. Honestly, this shandy tastes more like carbonated juice than beer, which is why it’s perfect for the wannabe beer drinker. It’s still technically more beer than not, so it totally counts.
For the light beer lover: You love beer, but only the yellow fizzy stuff. Oval Beach Blonde from Saugatuck Brewing Co. is the perfect first adventurous step away from Bud Light. Oval Beach Blonde is light in color and in taste but still maintains a touch of hoppy flavor. You won’t find any fruit or added flavor with this brew. It’s just a simple, light beer that is especially refreshing when served cold. Because it’s light, this beer is great for anything from post-hike relaxation to all-day patio parties. If you’re looking to step outside the box with your beer choices, this should be the first beer you turn to this summer.
No matter what brew you choose this summer, it’s an exciting time in the world of beer, especially here in Michigan.
So grab a seat at a nearby patio or make a trip to your favorite beer store and enjoy some beers in the open air during these precious few warm months.