Read more from Chatelaine’s guide to summer — including style picks, a guide to must-see tv and movies, and a toolkit for sweaty gals, all starring the women from Baroness Von Sketch Show. (All services and products recommended by Chatelaine staff and experts).
If you haven’t cracked a cold one in a while, it may be time to reconsider this whole “I’m not a beer person” thing. Whatever your qualm about Canada’s national dockside beverage (too bloaty? too hoppy?), this list of summer suds has something for everyone.
Crisp and clean: Like jumping into a lake!
Side Launch Mountain Lager, $4, lcbo.com
It’s lighter and crisper than a lot of the German-style lagers, with notes of apple and honey. “It’s what I would call a crushable summer lager—it’s not going to make you feel bloated,” says Lauren Richard, certi ed cicerone and a recent champ on Viceland’s Beerland competition show.
Pair with: Nachos
Coors Banquet, $3, lcbo.com
The cool older cousin of Coors Light is “the ultimate ‘I just want a beer’ beer,” says Crystal Luxmore, advanced cicerone and co-founder of the Beer Sisters event company. It’s got a little more flavour but is still super crisp with zero aftertaste. Plus, the retro cans look great in a cooler.
Pair with: Salad with croutons or grilled cheese
Phillips Bottle Rocket, $15/pack of 6, thebeerstore.ca
This India session ale delivers a punchy aroma of fruits and citrus but isn’t super bitter.
Pair with: Chips and guacamole
Beau’s Lug Tread Lagered Ale, $17/pack of 4, lcbo.com
Often referred to as a gateway to craft beer, this is going to pass muster with your beer-snob friends and your Bud-loving gramps.
Pair with: BBQ chicken
Cream Ale By Frank Brewing Co., $4, lcbo.com
This golden, slightly sweet but still crisp cream ale is the kind of beer you reach for after a long day of work—or lounging on the dock.
Pair with: Spicy Asian ribs
Light and fruity: If you’re more of a cooler type
Ace Hill Radler, $4, lcbo.com
The latest from Toronto’s trendiest brew shop “doesn’t taste like a Jolly Rancher, which is
the trouble with a lot of the radlers,” says Luxmore. It’s made with real fruit juice (orange, lemon and peach) and a low alcohol content of 2.5 percent.
Pair with: A fruity dessert
Collective Arts Dry Hop Sour With Passion Fruit & Peach, $5, store.collectiveartsbrewing.com
“Fruit sours have been a big hit with people who don’t tend to love beer,” says Richard. This one is more tart
than bitter, and light in the hops department.
Pair with: Ice cream or summer salads
Duxbury Dry Hopped Cider, $4, lcbo.com
More apple-y than beer, more beery than cider, this is a “perfect mash-up of the two— crisp and fresh and not at all sweet,” says Richard.
Pair with: Pasta salad
For oenophiles: No more wine-ing! Grab a brew
Rodenbach Fruitage, $7
Beer avours mixed with dark fruits and subtle balsamic avour. “If you love red wine you will loooove this beer,” says Luxmore.
Pair with: A lamb burger, or anything gamey
Burdock Tuesday Saison, $6, burdockto.com
Notes of pineapple, spice, clove and fresh straw provide plenty of fodder for discussion if there’s a white-wine-lover in the group.
Pair with: Mussels
The dry option: Because hangovers never take a vacation
PC Lemonade Radler, presidentschoice.ca
This booze-free option is equal parts lemonade and (de-alcoholized) lager, which gives it an authentic beery-but- not-too-beery taste. And zero hangover.
Pair with: Spring rolls