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May 03, 2016

Spring & Summer Beer Guide: Local brewers pick region's best 'post-mow' beers

Beer Breweries
01-050216_SummerBeer_Carroll.jpg Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

Three summertime beer favorites, selected by local brewers. From left to right: Troegs Cultivator, Soudts Pils and Sly Fox Pils.

As delicious as those milk stouts have been all winter, it's time to re-stock the fridge with a new batch of warm-weather seasonal ales and pilsners.

To help you sort through the good, the bad and the hoppy, we asked 12 local brewers to tell us which Philly craft beers quench their thirst when temperatures start to rise. The only rule? No picking your own brews, of course.

Crooked Eye Brewery Head Brewer Jeff Mulherin

The Brew: Sour Pale Ale

The Brewer: Free Will Brewery

The Taste: A dry sour that is tart with notes of apple. Very balanced and crisp. With the low ABV and clean, crisp taste, you can have many on a hot summer day.

Why I Picked It: I find this one perfect my post-mowing beer. It's also refreshing after a long day brewing in a hot brewery.

Iron Hill Brewery President and CEO Kevin Finn

The Brew: Braumeister Pils

The Brewer: Victory

The Taste: It's a Keller Pils, so it's dry and thirst-quenching with a nice hop character that changes with each batch.

Why I Picked It: I’m a big fan of German lagers and this one is great after a hot summer soccer game.

Vault Brewing Co. (Team)

The Brew: Fritzie’s Lager

The Brewer: 2nd Story Brewing

The Taste: Malty with a touch of hops; seriously drinkable with delicate stone fruit and cracker notes. Very balanced and clean.

Why We Picked It: We’re seasonal drinkers and Fritzie’s Lager is a go-to for a not-quite-warm-weather beer. Give us a pint outside in 60-degree weather and we’re set.

Yards Brewing Co. Founder and CEO Tom Kehoe

The Brew: Sunshine Pils

The Brewer: Troegs

The Taste: Crisp and clean, great pilsner malt sweetness with a sharp spicy hop finish

Why I Picked It: It's refreshing in the beginning of the day or as your last beer of the night

Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

Stoudts Pils, by Stoudts Brewing Company.

Saint Benjamin Brewing Assistant Head Brewer Josh Caputo

The Brew: Stoudts Pils

The Brewer: Stoudts

The Taste: Crisp and refreshing, yet flavorful — just like a German pilsner should be.  

Why I Picked It: After a long day of moving into my new place in Philly, I went to the beer store looking for some local refreshment. I picked up this beer and it did not disappoint. I look forward to trying a lot more local beer, but this will always be on the short-list of beers to pick up when not drinking Saint Benjamin.  

Forest & Main Brewing Co. Co-Owner Gerard Olson

The Brew: Shambolic

The Brewer: Tired Hands

The Taste: Beautiful delicate classic Saison notes, fruity grape-like hop character, and evolving funkiness.

Why picked: The beer evolves so beautifully, bright and hoppy when young, lightly tart and funky over time, but somehow always balanced.

Victory Brewing Company President and Co-Founder Bill Covaleski

The Brew: Stoudts Pils

The Brewer: Stoudts Brewing Company

The Taste: Clean and refreshing with a mild but appropriate hop profile; this is a well-made and admirable brew.

Why I Picked It: Summer sun and pilsners are a natural combination as the heat requires a beer that still delivers comfortable flavor at chilled temperatures. Stoudts Pils is a comfortable throwback for us, having enjoyed it for years.

Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

Cultivator Helles Bock, by Tröegs Brewing Company.

Conshohocken Brewing Co. Head Brewer Andrew Horne

The Brew: Cultivator

The Brewer: Troegs

The Taste: Nice, malty sweetness with a bready pilsner character.

Why picked: Helles Bocks don't get enough respect.

2nd Story Brewing Company Brewer John Wible

The Brew: Braumeister Pils

The Brewer: Victory Brewing

The Taste: Classic German Pils. Dry, floral and quenching with a crisp/assertive bitterness. 

Why I Picked It: This style, and this beer specifically, is just so damned perfect for what I'm looking for in a pils.

Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

Pikeland Pils, by Sly Fox Brewing Company.

Crime & Punishment Brewing Co. Owner Mike Wambolt

The Brew: Pikeland Pils

The Brewer: Sly Fox Brewing Co.

The Taste: Perfect balance of lightly toasted malts and crisp and clean hop bitterness.

Why I Picked It: This is my go-to hot day and hangout beer. 

Evil Genius Beer Co. Co-Founder Luke Bowen

The Brew: Saison

The Brewer: Yards Brewing Company

The Taste: Lovely notes of lemongrass and citrus blend so nicely with the spicy undertones from their house yeast.

Why I Picked It: This beer just drips of spring and summer. It pairs well with almost anything you can throw on a grill, and it's so light and refreshing while simultaneously being incredibly flavorful.

Triumph Brewing Co. Head Brewer Brendan Anderson

The Brew: ASAP IPA   

The Brewer: 2SP Brewing Company        

The Taste: It's not over-the-top, which is what makes this IPA so good. Nicely balanced between malt and American hops, fresh, clean — really nice.  

Why I Picked It: Ol' Beard knows the deal. Them fellers know how to make a good beer.