There’s an expression that gets tossed around a lot in beer drinking circles this time of year: Lawnmower Beers.
Brews with the honorary title of “lawnmower beer” are beverages designed for enjoyment in the warm summer months. They make for a refreshing reward following periods of physical exertion. After all, nothing helps bolster pride in a job well done than a cold, clean lager or simple cream ale served straight from the can.
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When choosing an ideal lawnmower beer, important considerations include the alcohol content, flavor profile, mouth feel and complexity. The following styles make for out-of-the-ordinary thirst-quenchers for the dog days of summer yet to come.
The pride of Northern Germany, the Berliner Weisse style meets our lawnmower beer criteria partly due to its low percentage of alcohol by volume, which frequently falls below the four percent ABV mark. Beyond that easy qualifier, the style allows the brewer to express a wide range of creativity in creating flavors that evoke lemon and similar light citrus fruits with a distinct tart and sour combination.
Recommendation: Creature Comforts Brewing Co. Athena
Another traditional German style, Kölsches are known for a striking pale golden color and a crystal clear body. The epitome of a clean beer, the flavors are expectedly mild with subtle grain and hop notes. Similar to the term champagne, Kölsch is a geographically limited classification applied to beers brewed in this style around Cologne. That hasn’t stopped American craft breweries from trying their hand at the Kölsch style.
Recommendation: Ninkasi Brewing Co. Wünderbier
An American creation, cream ales are top-fermented and often finished with lager yeast. Some large commercial examples also contribute adjuncts to further lighten the body and flavor. The hops are muted but some of the aroma can persist as an enticement to whole-heartedly quaff. While Genesee is the biggest player in the cream ale game, there are many options currently available on store shelves.
Recommendation: Bold City Brewery Killer Whale
This summer, whether you’re kayaking, lounging by the pool, or actually mowing grass, be sure to stay hydrated. Berliner Weisses, Kolsches and Cream Ales are perfect starting points for finding brews that are not only replenishing, but also delicious.