92 � squaremeal.co.uk
Look busy, because summer's coming
- and it's going to be the hottest
one this century. At least that's the
forecast from the Daily Express,
that most reliable of meteorological organs.
Sandwiched in between other
eyebrow-raising 'exclusives' involving
bears, woods, popes and pointy hats, the
front page predicted this: '�ere is a high
chance that we could have a two to
three-week spell of warm to hot weather
with temperatures ranging in the mid to
high 20s for many parts of the country.'
Remarkable. And all for 10 pence.
But as the mercury rises, what beer
styles should we be drinking? Well, you
don't have to look far, as some of the finest
summer beers are brewed right here in
Britain - surprising for a nation that
generally regards wellies as August attire.
British brewers are the best in the
world at creating fantastic flavours at
low gravity: quaffable pale ales, India pale
ales, best bitters and summer ales that
won't buckle your knees but may well
make your elbows ache.
Sitting on a hay bale watching the sun
go down, a gentle summer breeze in your
hair and the whiff of salmonella-ridden
undercooked sausages in your nostrils,
nothing will bring a bigger smile to your
sun-blushed cheeks than a chilled glass of
Summer Wine Brewery's Pacer Session
IPA, Moor Beer's Radiance, Northern
Monk's Eternal or Long White Cloud
from Tempest Brewing in Scotland, to
name but a few. Here's a handful of beer
styles to try this summer…
IN THE SUN
Hot? Thirsty? Need a cool, refreshing beer?
These are the styles to satisfy this summer
WORDS BEN MCFARLAND PHOTOS STEPHEN LENTHALL
�e style on the lips of the craft beer
drinking cognoscenti this summer is
sour beer - which is very 'this season'.
Sour is less a style, more a term for beers
brewed, and sometimes blended, with a
certain level of acidity.
In ciders, and wines such as Grüner
Veltliner, acidity is hailed as a key
quenching component. But that same
tart acidity is less desirable in beer
- primarily because it suggests that
the beer has been unintentionally
infected by unwelcome bacteria.
Prior to the advent of refrigeration,
brewing beer in the summer was incredibly
difficult, as bacteria and wild yeast became
more prevalent during warmer months and
made the beer go funny - in an 'oh-no'
rather than 'ha-ha' way.
Yet while the vast majority of
conventional brewers consider such
havoc-causing bacteria and wild yeast
as an irksome contaminant, others
embraced these maverick and mysterious
microorganisms with open arms and
intentionally brewed sour beers.
�e most traditional expressions of this
come from Belgium, in the shape of
spontaneously fermented beer such as
Lambic and Gueuze, which to the
uninitiated taste a bit like a goat
smells, and cause your cheeks to pucker
inwards in the manner of Kenneth
Williams after he's seen something saucy
happening in the pantry.
�e method of their production is
closer to winemaking than brewing,
and with their dryness, sourness and
acute acidity, they're closer in character