Cans cool down quickly, leave a small carbon footprint, are easily recycled and keep beer fresh--think of them as mini-kegs. When it comes to summertime activities, cans win hands-down over their bottled brethren. Cans are easy to pack in, easy to pack out and they won't break when rolling around in a river raft. Here are three exceptional entries:
Anderson Valley The Kimmie, the Yink & the Holy Gose Ale, $1.79-$2.39
This beer, part of Anderson Valley's Highway 128 Session Series, is a tribute to the sour style that originated in Goslar, Germany. In the glass, it's a luminous straw color with a thick egg-white head that collapses quickly. The aromas open with fresh-baked sourdough bread, lemon zest, coriander, mineral and a touch of ginger. The flavors are lightly tart with a lactic tang that's nicely matched by juicy citrus and cracked wheat.
Snake River Monarch Pilsner, $1.69-$2.29
This lovely lager hails from Jackson Hole, Wyo., and pours a crystal clear lemon with a two-finger, chalk-white head that leaves a nice lacing. The floral hop aromas are subtle with a hint of sweet alfalfa. This is an eminently quaffable brew with earthy malt and grain flavors, a combo that reminds me of a certain Tumwater, Wash., brew back in the 1970s (a good thing). This is a perfect hot weather quencher.
Worthy Brewing IPA, $1.39-$1.89
A bright golden pour with orange highlights, this beer is topped by a thin, milk-white froth. There's a nice aggressiveness to the hop profile on the nose, with woody resinous aromas backed by honeyed grapefruit, orange, lemon and a light hit of banana. The hops are less assertive on the palate, but they still pack an ample kick, especially on the finish. Tropical fruit flavors liven things up in this well-balanced brew from Bend, Ore.