5 refreshing local beers to drink this summer

Summerbeers Sactownmagazine
Photo above courtesy of @techyted via Instagram; Sactown Union Brewery and Oak Park Brewing Company photos by Melissa Dittrich; all others courtesy of breweries

Baby, it's hot outside, and there are few better tonics for a Sacramento summer than a locally brewed craft beer. Here are five cool brews to get you all hopped up on summer again. Cheers!

Device Brewing Company

Summer loving happens so fast, but Device Brewing Company’s Summer Crush Pale Ale is sticking around for a while, making it the perfect accompaniment to the season’s long hot nights. Device’s owner and head brewmaster Ken Anthony says the beer's origin can be traced to his efforts to supply one of his distributors, Capitol Beer and Tap Room, with a brew that was especially “crushable,” aka light but filled with hoppy flavor. When deciding on a moniker for the golden ale, Anthony couldn’t get that descriptor out of his head, imagining a beer that reflected the nostalgia of warm nights and youthful summer romance. This bright pale ale uses American two-row malt and citrusy pine hops from the Pacific Northwest for a crisp backbone, floral aroma and foamy finish. $3.25-5.75 on draft. 8166 14th Ave. 737-2739. devicebrewing.com

New Glory Craft Brewery

Just when you've started to roll your eyes at the number of American breweries following food trends and injecting their beers with superficial flavors and colors, New Glory serves up the exception that proves the rule: a Cucumber Lemon Pilsner with natural ingredients, like cucumbers grown in Lodi. The drink tickles the tongue with the perfect melody of refreshing cucumber notes and a sweet lemon tang, merging into one light, refined beer. Head brewer Julien Lux says the idea for the drink came from the cucumber-lemon water that his wife made from their backyard lemon tree in West Sacramento. New Glory released the beer in cans to local grocers like Corti Brothers and the Davis Food Co-op, but a pint on tap at the brewery’s new outdoor patio, which opened earlier this month, sounds cool as a cucumber to us. $5 on draft. 8251 Alpine Ave. 451-9355. newglorybeer.com

Oak Park Brewing Company

Step aside, Starbucks. Oak Park Brewing Company has its own popular #pinkdrink. A glass of deep magenta Hibiscus Saison could pass as a red wine spritzer at first glance, but its taste—dry, with a hint of sweet, juicy flavor—is all Franco-Belgian-style beer. The color and taste comes from bulk-dried hibiscus flowers from the Oak Park farmers’ market, which head brewer Thomas Castillo adds to the brew just before the end of its boil, to maintain the fruity nectar flavor without losing the beer’s character and body. Castillo says the brewery brought the seasonal summer beer back this year due to its popularity and plans to keep it on the tap list for as long as possible. Talk about flower power. $6 on draft. 3514 Broadway. 660-2723. opbrewco.com

Sactown Union Brewery

Light and refreshing, Hefeweizens are tailor-made for summer. And Jeff’s Hefe at Sactown Union Brewery in East Sacramento is no exception. A wheat-driven brew with fruity undertones, it was named for Sacramentan Jeff Howes, an investor in the brewery, which opened its doors in February to a rush of local craft beer enthusiasts. Harden was seeking a local Hefeweizen (the prefix “Hefe” means “yeast,” a key ingredient that leads to an unfiltered, cloudy beer), and Sactown Union delivered, naming the beer in his honor. Made with Bavarian wheat malt that brings out slight hints of banana and clove, this light drink will cool you down and reaffirm your love of Hefeweizens. $5.50 on draft. 1210 66th St. 272-4472. sactownunion.com

Tilted Mash Brewing

Clocking in at 5.2 percent ABV, the Summer in the Grove Beer from Elk Grove’s Tilted Mash Brewing, is a tropical golden pale ale created and named for the area’s triple-digit summers. Light and gulp-able, this brew exudes a burst of orange citrus from Yakima grown hops, with just a subtle bite of bitterness to help those sweltering days melt away. But this beer won’t disappear with the summer; Tilted Mash co-owner Derrick Prasad says the seasonal pale ale has become so popular that the brewery will now make it available year-round. $5 on draft. 9110 Union Park Way. Elk Grove. 714-6274. tiltedmash.com

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