Summer is upon us! To me, there is nothing better than gulping down a refreshing beer outside in the sun with friends and maybe a little BBQ. When it is hot out, I find it nice to drink something light and refreshing. One of my favorite styles of summer beer are Belgian White Ales.
Great White at Zeitgeist:
Belgian White ales fall under that category of Wheat Beers, which mix some wheat with the barley malt and produce a beer with a lighter color than most beers, hence the name "White Beer". They also tend to have a cloudy appearance because they are unfiltered and contain suspended yeast. Belgian Whites are similar to the German wheat styles (Weizen, Weißbier, Hefeweizen) except they often have coriander and orange peel added to produce a slightly fruity flavor.
They are perfect for the summer time! They are so easy to drink that they can easily "get you into trouble" as my Uncle Steve used to say. They tend to taste great with all the spicy and grilled foods we eat during the hot months.
There are a lot of Belgian whites out there and they are increasing in popularity. The most well known, and honestly one of my least favorite, is Hoegaarden. Maybe it has to do with the importing process, but every time I have one, it just is not quite right. Even the big guys are getting in on the action. Coors has Blue Moon White Ale, while Budweiser has recently launched one called Shock Top. They are okay, but also not the best in my opinion. One of my favorites are Great White Ale by Lost Coast Brewery available to all of you on the west coast. Its a delicious American Style Belgian White and I have spent many days at Zeitgeist drinking pitcher after pitcher of it. So good!
For you east coasters, try Saranac's Belgian White (I think they changed the name to summer ale). It is very good and has a hint of orange flavor. For a more traditional Belgian Style White, try Allagash White. It has that fuller flavor and is very yeasty and spicy!
Lost Coast - Great White Ale:
Fruit your beer? This style of ale is often served with a slice of lemon or orange. I feel like there is a big debate on the subject of whether fruiting your beer is okay. I say, if you like the way it tastes then go for it! Why not?