Summertime – This Chicago brewery is now a nation-wide brand name because of a huge buyout over 10 years ago. You can get this one on shelves and it’s a light, refreshing, slightly-fruity German-style Kolsch. At only 5%, you can enjoy this one on all hot summer days, or all night long by the fire. It’s super approachable and would pair great with any bar-b-que, get together, or Olympic watch party.
ReDankulous – From just up north in Grand Rapids, this one is part of their limited release backstage series. This one mostly comes out in the fall and would pair great with a football or soccer game. It comes in a giant 22 oz bomber, or a small 12 oz, but you definitely would want to share or go slow, because it clocks in at 9.5%. It’s an imperial IPA, and being that “dank” is in the name, it smells and tastes SUPER hoppy. If you see it, grab it ASAP, because being that it’s so limited, it flies off the shelf.
Canoe Paddler – Go anywhere in the midwest and you’ll find this Wisconsin treasure. This is another Kolsch, just like the Goose Island one – but this one is spicy-er. It’s still light and refreshing, but it’s got a little rye kick. Almost like the bread you use for rubens. (The bread flavor is everything with those). Just like the previous one, it’s only 5% and incredibly crushable. According to their website, this one would pair great with a mushroom ravioli or white fish. So if you’re up for celebrating an occasion with fancy food, grab this one.
Blot out the Sun – Indiana has some phenomenal breweries, but I would say this one put Hammond, Indiana on the map for the world. These guys consistently put out big, edgy, fierce brews; and this imperial stout at 10.7% is no exception. A beer this big usually has been put in a bourbon barrel to age for awhile, but not this one… It has dark chocolate and coffee notes with a punch of hops to your tongue. I would pick this one up and shelf it for either a special occasion (like the Olympics) or take this one camping and enjoy it under the stars around a campfire.
Edmund Fitzgerald – Coming from our neighbors to the East, Great Lakes Brewing company is known for putting out award winning beers. Created in memory of the sunken freighter on Lake Superior, this one alone has 5 medals from GABF and 12 from the World Beer Championships. It’s rich and robust, and way more welcoming than the previous one I mentioned. It’s also only 6%, so it doesn’t have to be your last beer of the evening.