[Featured image attribution: Photo taken by Matthew Straubmuller, Flickr, http://www.flickr.com/photos/imatty35/ ]
Independence Day is one of my favorite holidays; patriotism, beer, cookouts, and fireworks make for an explosively fun party. I’ve compiled a list of my top 10 picks for great cookout beers. Although the names had a lot to do with what made the cut, all of these selections will pair well with summer foods on and off the grill.
10. Ayinger Brewery, Celebrator Doppelbock – This one was chosen on the name because we celebrate the 4th of July most heartily. A doppelbock is a great beer for a celebration, as it will have you feeling merry mighty quick.
9. Founders Brewing Company, Centennial IPA – The founders of our great country were almost all homebrewers, so a Founders beer is a great way to pay homage to them.
8. Anchor Brewing Co., Liberty Ale – Anchor’s Liberty Ale is a great summer beer, with a light body and great flavor, and nothing says the 4th like Liberty!
7. Independence Brewery, Independence Pale Ale – This list wouldn’t be complete without a selection or two from Independence Brewery – it’s in the name! Their pale ale is a perfect match for sweet and spicy barbecue sauces.
6. Independence Brewery, , Extra Special Bitter – The next Independence brew says it right. As an Extra Special Bitter, this beer is great with all that sugary and smoky Independence Day grilled food. Chase your barbecue with a swig of this and you’ll experience harmony of several different flavors.
5. Sierra Nevada, Celebration Ale – Sierra Nevada gives us something to celebrate as one of the first new age craft breweries to make it big. Their Celebration Ale offers up a brightly bitter flavor that also goes great with typical grilling fare.
4. Yuengling, Traditional Lager – Yuengling is America’s oldest brewery, so why shouldn’t you enjoy their traditional (pre-prohibition style) lager on the 4th of July?
3. Samuel Adams, The Vixen – Samuel Adams brews take the top 3 spots because the brewery’s namesake was one of our great revolutionaries – and a homebrewer, to boot. The Vixen is a great chocolate chili bock, and while it may not seem to fit the part as a summer beer its spicy, smoky kick is great year-round. It is only available in limited quantities, so if you can find it, you have to pick some up.
2. Samuel Adams, Blackberry Witbier – The blackberry Witbier from Sam Adams is a great selection for an afternoon of quaffing before the fireworks. The fruitiness makes it a great selection for a summer afternoon all around.
1. Samuel Adams, Revolutionary Rye Ale – Our founding fathers were making rye ales back in the day, and this selection is reminiscent of how the traditional batches would have tasted. American hops weren’t used for brewing back then, so Sam Adams uses European varieties for this brew much like our founding fathers would have. If that hasn’t convinced you, the name itself will show off your 4th of July patriotism loud and clear.
Party hard my friends, and drink responsibly! Jess still won’t let me live down last year’s merrymaking when I decided to launch fireworks from my hand. Drunken fireworks only sound like a good idea in the heat of the moment, believe me.
What’s your favorite beer to kick back with on Independence Day?