Summer is one of the best times to try a new beer. The weather is warm, and there are some really fun beer flavors that compliment this warm weather. There are even some cool beer festivals to attend where you can sample an abundance of different beers before you commit to buying an entire case. The cool thing about a summer beer festival is that you will see some unusual beers that are not popular during the winter. So, in lieu of stouts and heavy porters, and other beers that feature malt-heavy flavor profiles, you will find lots of hop-heavy beers and also beers made with citrus and other light and refreshing flavors.
Belgian White Beer
A Belgian white beer is a classic summer beer. It's a lighter version than the classic Belgian Ales. In addiction to having less alcohol, which is great for when you want to drink more than one beer, it is also very flavorful and zesty. The classic "white" beer is made with orange peel and spices. These give it a refreshing flavor that is great for barbecues and other summer time events. When you are at the summer beer festival you will get a chance to try lots of different styles, and a "white" beer will definitely be on the menu. While the white beer is a Belgian beer, historically, there are also American versions that many micro-brews make, so you can certainly taste these at the festival.
Strong Hop Ale
Hops, along with malt, are the major component to beer. Whereas malt is the dominant flavor in stouts and porters, hops is the dominant flavor in ales. The hop has a floral, even sometimes a citrus flavor profile. They are crisp and refreshing. And if you're the type who relay likes strong beers and loves the smell of a fragrant beer, then you should definitely check out the strong hop beers that are made by the small micro-brews across the country. These beers are also great for a summertime barbecue.
It might sound strange, but watermelon ale is fast becoming one of the most trendy beers on the festival circuit. Much like pumpkin ale is a popular fall drink, watermelon ale is becoming to a popular summertime staple. The melon flavor is subtle, but present enough to give the ale a nice flavor. The cool thing about watermelon ale is that it is made in small batches, so you are going to be drinking a handcrafted, well made ale instead of some mass produced beer with little flavor.
Check out events like Rockin River Beer and Music Festival for more ideas.