Throw your own craft beer party with the new batch of summer ales on the beer block. Introducing our summer craft ales: sour, pale and red.
Brace yourself for a brew-change. It’s time to embrace the “summer ale” in all its guises. Here’s the lowdown on what makes each style unique and so gratifyingly refreshing this summer.
Fan of the easy-drinking pale ale, but keen to challenge your palate?
Try the brain-squeezing flavours of the sour pale ale. Hoppy flavours play second fiddle to wildly tart, sharp and brilliantly acidic sensations not typically seen in beer. Similar to their “saison” roots, sour pale ales are ultra-refreshing, featuring a balanced sweet fruit forwardness, often from lemons and limes, red berries and passionfruit.
Not to be confused with its Irish counterpart, the Irish Red Ale, known in beer circles for its caramel malty taste, the increasingly popular American Imperial Red Ale lands somewhere between a normal American-style IPA and a golden ale; more malts, less hops, lighter than the Irish version and arguably more refreshing, too. This summer ale is distinctly reddish in appearance, red ales tend to have a hop aroma, ranging from bright citrus and florals to tropical stone fruits, melon and pine, leading to a malty, dark-fruited, caramel flavour profile, medium-bodied and balanced between the nose and the mouth. Often finishing dry, slightly bitter, but definitely moreish.
Try Philter Red Session Ale*, which is loaded with passionfruit, melon, citrus and even berry notes, a light crystal-malt character and medium bitterness to finish.
Born in the USA, XPA may be an unofficial beer style but it’s gaining traction among brewers
and beer lovers alike in Australia. XPA, or extra pale ale, is exactly what it sounds like: extra everything.
Sitting somewhere between an American Pale Ale (APA) and an Indian Pale Ale (IPA), an XPA is definitely bigger than an APA, but nowhere near as potent as an IPA. Pale, yes, but darker in colour. Hoppy, yes, but gentler and “sessionable” (high on flavour; generally lower in alcohol). This summer ale is medium bodied, but crisper, smoother and more rounded. Expect an XPA to be malty (think, bread, biscuits, toast), citrusy, grassy and hoppy, especially on the finish.
*Philter Red – Only available in NSW, ACT, VIC and QLD.