Drink these summer beers. Now (or soon).

Beer and summer go together. The foamy, fermented beverage brewed from malted grain has been around for thousands of years. Hops were introduced in the 15th century, in England, and we’ve been happy about it ever since.

IPA beer at Belle Isle. (Mark Hancock)

IPA beer at Belle Isle. (Mark Hancock)

Belle Isle’s Raspberry Wheat

For a homegrown local, Belle Isle’s Raspberry Wheat has just a hint of raspberry in a malted golden wheat ale. Fruity ales can be a bit cloying at times, but not this one. The raspberry tartness is very subtle. There are also Belle Isle IPAs (India Pale Ales) to choose from. IPA is currently a big fad.

“We sell a ton of it during the summer,” said bartender Crystin Andeel at Belle Isle Restaurant and Brewing Company, 1900 Northwest Expressway. Stop in at Belle Isle for the brewpub scavenger hunt on Thursdays, live music on Fridays and Saturdays, and a tour of the brewery on Sundays.

 

Prairie Bomb (Mark Hancock)

Prairie Bomb (Mark Hancock)

Prairie Bomb!

A summer beer doesn’t necessarily need to be light, and Oklahoma-brewed Prairie Bomb! by Prairie Artisan Ales perfectly balances a robust flavor with the season.

“We sell a lot of this. It’s very popular, even throughout the summer,” said Nathan Porter, bartender at the delightfully eclectic Picasso Cafe, 3009 Paseo St.

Prairie Bomb is a stout with hints of coffee, chocolate and ancho chili peppers. Pair this with a light summer salad and you’re ready for whatever the season brings.

 

Mustang Washita Wheat. (Mark Hancock)

Mustang Washita Wheat. (Mark Hancock)

Mustang Washita Wheat

While you’re on a mission for the supreme summertime uber pizza, check out the beer selection at Upper Crust Wood Fired Pizza, 5860 N. Classen Blvd.

“The Mustang Washita Wheat is one of the most talked-about beers here,” said bartender Matt Ramage. This local craft beer is brewed with Oklahoma red wheat, producing a sweet, smooth summer brew. A signature Margherita pizza would be a sublime pairing.

 

Kolsch Old King Ale (Mark Hancock)

Kolsch Old King Ale (Mark Hancock)

Old King Kölsch

Old King Kölsch is a merry beer brewed at Bricktown Brewery, 1 N. Oklahoma Ave. It’s brewed in the Kölsch style, with a yeast having qualities of both a lager and an ale. It’s an easy-to-drink craft beer; get it to-go in a growler for your next picnic.

 

Regional beers

“We have White Rascal on tap, a Belgian-style wheat beer, ideal for summer,” said Shavonne McRee, manager at Drunken Fry, 5100 Classen Circle.

Brewed in Boulder, Colorado, by Avery Brewing Company, this unfiltered beer (you might see yeast at the bottom of the glass) offers hints of coriander and orange. And there’s no food pairing more perfect than french fries with one of Drunken Fry’s 17 varieties of dipping sauce. Try the No. 15 Sunday Morning Coming Down, a dip-worthy bloody mary ketchup sauce.

Next, stop in at a classic local haunt, the Skirvin Hilton Hotel, 1 Park Ave., for perfect summertime refreshment. The elegant Red Piano Lounge offers a brisk Boulevard Unfiltered Wheat Beer that is excellent for summer sipping. This Kansas City, Missouri, craft beer has citrusy overtones that are wonderful with a tomato-basil bruschetta appetizer.

 

Gluten-free

Looking for a gluten-free beer? Omission Pale Ale, brewed in Oregon, is just what the doctor ordered. Broadway Wine Merchants, 824 N. Broadway Ave., offers an impressive selection of gluten-free beers, including the popular, hoppy Omission Pale Ale.

“This tastes like what beer would taste like if it were not gluten-free,” said customer and gluten-free beer aficionado Erik Kvale.

Print headline: Summertime sipping, Here are seven beers you must imbibe before summer’s end.

Angela Botzer

This article was written by an Oklahoma Gazette contributor. To reach an editor, please email jchancellor@okgazette.com with this story's headline in your subject line.

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