After what seems like a never-ending winter, Britons are tentatively emerging from hibernation and dusting off the patio furniture. The forgotten wasteland that was the British beer garden has been reclaimed, for now, as drinkers flock to grab a cold one in the sun. But after such a long sabbatical from the warm weather, it would be wrong to waste it supping the same old swill. Save the usual Strongbows and Coronas and add a bit more flavour to the season with these perfect summer beers.
Magic Rock: Rapture Red Ale:
Pour one of these for a beer to match your sunburn. The beautiful deep ruby colour belies the relative lightness and drinkability of the beer. Bags of hops give it the incredible citrus bouquet which makes for a perfect pairing with the sunshine. What's more, Magic Rock's eye-grabbing bottle graphics will make your choice the talk of the BBQ.
Brewdog: Dead Pony Club:
If you haven't tried this yet, imagine it as the younger cousin of Punk IPA- all the outrageous fruitiness but more sessionable. I like to think of it as sexy Um-Bongo- grapefruit, tropical and citrus fruits dominate the palate while grassy undertones will take your mind to a summer's meadow (even if it's tipping it down). At just 3.8% and now available in can form, you can pack your cooler with these, go fishing and make it back alive.
Sweet Tooth? Sick of those ubiquitous fruit ciders? This Lambic badboy is the beery alternative for those who want some fruit in their lives. The huge raspberry scent can be misleading as the tartness on the palate stops it from being to sweet or sickly and at just 2.5% you can fill your boots. The carbonation in this beer gives it a sparkling wine-like quality; perfect for picnics. Shove your Pimms.
Siberia- Ilkley Brewery:
The 'Saison' style of beer was originally designed to slake the thirst of farmers in the summer months. 'Siberia' by Ilkley Brewery (along with beer writer Melissa Cole) will do just that for parched Britons whatever their occupation. Its golden hazy appearance and rhubarb and lemon notes make it as intriguing as it is refreshing, making it the perfect summer quoff.
A British summer just wouldn't be right without the Germans. Whilst they usually ruin it with a well placed penalty (or towel on a sun-lounger), this 'Hefeweizen' could make up for all that. The aromas of cloves and palate of banana and vanilla is the reason this brew so incredibly drinkable. If you're feeling extra fruity, this beer makes the perfect shandy or 'radler' as it's known in Deutschland.
Young's Double Chocolate Stout:
Okay, so this is definitely NOT a summer drink, but are British summers really ever summer? We've all been there: T-shirt, shades and shorts, then like clockwork the sun goes in and you're left looking like a shivering berk. As the night draws in warm yourself up (and save face) with the roasted malt and velvet tones of this exceptional stout. The richness of the chocolate and fullness of body might also save you a trip to the takeaway in those ridiculous flip-flops.