Summer lends itself to some great styles of beer.
By Dylan Yelenich, production manager, Lost 40 Brewing
Photography by Sara Edwards Neal
TOP PHOTO: (Beers, clockwise from top left) Rockhound Imperial IPA; Lost Forty Day Drinker Belgian Blonde; Bare Bones Pilsner (center); American Blackberry Wheat; Summer Saison; Lost Forty Pale Ale
[dropcap]When[/dropcap] I think of summer my mind naturally gravitates toward the lighter end of the beer spectrum. Low alcohol by volume (ABV) and light body go hand-in-hand, and that combination can make for an awesome day out and about in Arkansas whether it’s on a lake, after a long bike ride or a hot afternoon in the yard.
Of particular note are styles like Hefeweizen, which have a fantastic range of flavors of clove and banana, or Belgian Witbier with flavors of coriander and orange peel that beat a mimosa any day during brunch. Farmhouse ales like Saison or Belgian Blonde with fruit-forward and spicy flavors and a light body can be very refreshing during hot summer days.
Tart and refreshing are two words that come to mind when I think of Berliner Weisse, which has an extremely light body and low ABV; it’s one of my favorite “lawn mower” beers. Wild ale or sour beers can have a wonderful range of tart, sour, fruity, earthy and spicy flavors. Around the country, American IPA and pale ale have definitely started to change, moving away from the associated bitterness with hops and toward hops that express citrus, floral and spicy aromas. Don’t forget about the traditional, German lagers like Pilsner or Vienna lager with a refreshing spiciness from the noble hops, bready and biscuit-like flavors from the Vienna and Munich malts and a refreshing spritz of carbonation that can’t be beat.
There are tons of amazing beers being made these days, and I always recommend people venture out of their comfort zones and try something new. They might be surprised.
At Lost 40, we try to cater to a wide range of beer drinkers. We have beers available year round at the brewery and around the state, beers that fit many of the aforementioned styles as well as specialty one-off beers during our weekly Fresh Cut Mondays in the taproom. Our small-batch, seasonal beers are well received and creep out into the market every now and then.
Here’s what’s going on in our brewery this summer.
Our Bare Bones Pilsner is our nod to German-style pilsner and has been one of my favorites since day one. Our lightest year-round offering is the Day Drinker Belgian Blonde. We started canning our Rockhound IPA earlier this year, and it’s one of my favorite creations. It really plays on notes of grapefruit and citrus instead of bitter flavors like IPAs of the past.
We have our Lost 40 Pale Ale that has been around since day one and is a nod to the classic American Pale Ale, with notes of citrus, pine and fruit. For our specialty seasonal beers, we have put a lot of emphasis on wheat this year. We brought back the Summer Saison, which is a homebrew recipe that we created with in the early days of Lost 40. The Wandering White Hop, which is a Belgian IPA, is back; it has notes of Belgian spiciness coupled with a healthy load of American hops to lend fruity and floral notes to our already expressive Belgian yeast strain.
We tried our hand at a fruit beer with our Blackberry Wheat, this summer and ended up liking it so much that we canned about 100 cases. Our biggest hit this summer was our Hefeweizen. It’s refreshing and bready and has just a hint of clove and banana. I’m very excited to say that we are hoping to can the beer as our spring and summer seasonal beer next year. We have a few more tricks up our sleeves for the summer, and most of them can be found in the taproom for our Fresh Cut Monday release every week. And as I wrote this, our Hunter Oktoberfest was being canned. It tastes amazing. We can’t wait until this brew hits shelves in the coming months.
We are fortunate to have a growing brewery population in Arkansas. I suggest you go out and sample the fruits of labor of our great Arkansas breweries in the state.