The summer heat has finally hit. If you don't already know that I'm a big fan of beer in cans, you haven't been paying attention. They are eminently recyclable, chill more quickly than bottles and work in those remote locations where glass is discouraged or forbidden. The three new canned brews that follow are built for summer. Two come from Jackson Hole's Snake River Brewing; the other is a unique brew from San Francisco's 21st Amendment.
Snake River Brewing Pako's IPA
This beer pours a hazy amber, topped by a thin but very persistent egg-shell froth. Rich, resiny hops dominate the aroma profile that's laced with touches of tropical fruit. The palate echoes the nose--it's filled with floral hop flavors, that while omnipresent, aren't overblown or overly bitter. Smooth malt colors the mid-palate, along with creamy orange, grapefruit and a bit of pineapple. My new, go-to IPA--absolutely delicious.
Snake River Brewing Pale Ale
This brew is a light golden color in the glass with a substantial, creamy head that collapses slowly, leaving a bubbly lacing that sticks. Sweetgrass combines with citrus-laced hops on the nose. It's light and lithe in the mouth, where the flavors are nicely balanced by softly toasted malt playing against a fairly aggressive, resiny hop backbone. This pale ale would go great with spicy Asian cuisine.
21st Amendment Brewery Hell or High Watermelon Wheat Beer
I did not expect to like this beer--I mean, watermelon wheat? My guess was the only thing it had going for it was alliteration. I stand corrected. This is a remarkably satisfying, definitely different, "bet you can't drink just one" thirst quencher. It's a cloudy, straw-colored pour with smooth wheat and just the lightest touch of hops with a tangy kiss of watermelon that works for me. It drinks great straight from the can.