Bitter Brewer is not your typical summer seasonal. Where many summer ales ease off the hops and bring in some wheat for extra lushness, this beer from Surly Brewing Co. embraces cracker-dry malts and adds a good smack of bitterness. What results is a one-of-a-kind session ale for summer that takes you from lawnmower to porch swing without missing a beat.
Beer Details: Bitter Brewer from Surly Brewing Co., Brooklyn Center, MN (British-American Hybrid Session Ale, 4.1% ABV, 37 IBU)
Appearance: Clear orange-gold with a sturdy parchment-colored head of foam that leaves delicate lacing all the way down the glass.
Aroma: Floral and citrusy with a smattering of dry herbs.
Taste: Imagine biting into a piece of multigrain toast topped with the merest slip of orange marmalade and you'll have a pretty good idea of how this beer tastes. It starts with an earthy, whole-wheat bitterness and then transitions smoothly into citrus zest and bitter pith. It's not at all sweet, and it goes cracker-dry in the finish. The bitterness always stays just on this side of being too much, and keeps the beer refreshing and crisp sip after sip.
There need to be more session beers like this: low-alcohol and drinkable over the course of an afternoon, but also packed with interesting flavors and aromas. This beer will not let you down.
Food Pairing: Go for a BLT. Yum.
Have you had this beer? What do you think?
(Image: Emma Christensen)