Tips on warm weather beers for spring break or any warm day
Spring break is on its way—if you’re a UTC student it’s already here—and whether you’re staying in Chattanooga or traveling to Destin, Florida there should be a refreshment that sets the mood for those crisp shorelines and striking sunrays. Prop up a beach chair and take a sip of these refreshing and light spring beers.
In my exploration of warm weather beers, I was guided by none other than the Purveyor of Hoppiness, Beer Manager Wolfgang Schmitz from The Flying Squirrel. First and foremost, according to Schmitz, in order for a beer to match elements of spring it must be nice, light, crisp and maybe it will give you an extra spritz of energy for another swim. You don’t want to be weighed down by brewing styles such as Stouts and Marzens. These will hug your stomach and send you for a nap. Sure they’re great with a late snack and a football game, but not so great when you’re planning for a beach trip. This spring break, try a Pale Ale, Witbier, or Shandy beer for a light warm weather experience.
Pale Ale beers are made from warm fermentation with pale malts. The lighter the beer, the paler the malts included. They have a low ABW (Alcohol by Weight) but they are hoppy (also known as the International Bitterness Units scale and arrangement of others flavors) enough to “stimulate the senses and help cool you down on those blazing hot days” as Schmitz notes. A prime example of an American Pale Ale comes out of Chattanooga Brewing Company. 3 Star Pale Ale is low in bitterness and has a piney and earthy aroma with an ABW of 4.9 percent.
Witbier is a Belgian style warm weather beer. They are pale and hazy in color but contain a crisp summery taste that is perfect for spring break. “They’re unfiltered which gives them the hazy color with the use of wheat and are high in carbonation to give them a bit of a pop,” says Schmitz. “You’ll often times, if not always, find notes of coriander and orange present in these.”
Brewed right out of Japan, Kiuchi Hitachino Nest White Ale is a perfect example of a Witbier and it can be found at many local stores. Its flavors consist of coriander, orange peel, and nutmeg.
Lastly, Shandy beers are mixed with carbonated lemonade, ginger beer, ginger ale, apple juice or orange juice. “The proportions of the two ingredients are adjusted to taste, usually half-and-half,” Schmitz explains. “There are non-alcoholic versions of these but, what’s the point, am I right?”
Schmitz couldn’t be more right considering apple juice isn’t the first drink spring breakers go for. Schmitz suggests the Stiegl-Radler Grapefruit, which is a mix of 40 percent Stiegl-Goldbräu, a full beer, and 60 percent fruit soda. The grapefruit juice gives it a naturally cloudy appearance and a tangy flavor to enhance your spring break.
These are just a few warm weather beers for a perfect warm weather spring break spent at The Flying Squirrel, your favorite local watering hole, or at the beach. Come explore and find the right one for you.