A while back, we asked five local brewers which of their beers they recommend for a nice summer session. Remember that?
Well, now we've turned the tables and put them on the spot. We asked those same brewers to recommend their favorite summer session beers from another local brewery. After a few uncomfortable pauses, they broke down and shared their go-to summertime picks from the competition.
Wim Bens, president and brewer, Lakewood Brewing Co.: Real Ale Hans' Pils Bens hedged a bit when posed with this question so we conceded and altered our original question from local to regional breweries. With that, he recommended Real Ale Hans' Pils straight out of Texas Hill Country in Blanco. Hans' Pils won the silver medal at the 2012 Great American Beer Festival. It's hoppier than your average pilsner with notes of spice and floral creating a nice balance.
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Meredith Havens, beer expert and marketing, Community Beer Co.: Real Ale 4-Squared Also hesitant to name anything too close to home, Havens proved Real Ale a go-to provider of refreshing summer beers. What do you get when you take the ever popular Firemans #4 and throw in some additional hops and two-row malted barley? You guessed it: 4-Squared. While Hans' Pils is available year-round, 4-Squared is their summer seasonal, so get it while you can.
Michael Peticolas, founder and brewer, Peticolas Brewing Co.: Franconia Koelsch and Four Corners Local Buzz Keeping it local, Peticolas chose two beers brewed right here in the area. With a citrus-y, floral aroma, the Franconia Koelsch starts off light and refreshing with a nice, hoppy finish. Light and sweet with a low ABV, it's a perfect summer beer. His other choice? Four Corners Local Buzz -- a light, refreshing, crisp beer with hints of honey.
Tait Lifto, sales and brand ninja, Deep Ellum Brewing Co.: Do I have to pick just one? It took some prodding on our part, but once the floodgates of Lifto's beer love opened, it became clear that Texas knows how to do craft beer. Even though we were talking more specifically about lighter summer session beers with lower ABVs, Lifto still drinks the heavier stuff in the heat. "I don't care -- I'll always drink [Peticolas] Velvet Hammer. Always," he said. "And of course, [Revolver] Blood & Honey." Other favorites include: Live Oak HefeWeizen, Real Ale Hans' Pils and Franconia Wheat.
Rhett Keisler, founder and owner, Revolver Brewing Co.: Peticolas Golden Opportunity One of only two sessionable beers Michael Peticolas has ever brewed (the other being their rarely seen Alfred Brown Ale), Golden Opportunity was created with Texas summers in mind: "You can drink 10 of them when it's 110 degrees outside," said Peticolas. "It's the definition of a summer session beer -- refreshing to drink while not getting you so jacked up if you keep drinking." Keisler appreciates that.