Our Top 10 Summer Beers

It’s officially summer … not that you can tell! Okay, despite the rain this weekend, the sun is promising to shine in western Washington again soon and breweries are currently releasing summer seasonals, so it’s close enough! Times are still weird but local breweries are still doing their thing, providing us with delicious, crushable beers for those sunny days ahead.

We at The Spilt Pint decided to take a break from the barrel-aged darkness of our beer cellars and brainstorm 10 of our favorite beers to sip on while enjoying some sun and fighting off the pollen. Some are seasonals, some are flagship beers, some are more limited releases, all are delicious.

Sun Glitter Peach IPA, Silver City Brewing

The Sun Glimmer, while a year-round offering, is built for those warm days of summer. It’s tasty and refreshing with a nice peach accent. It comes in at 6.5% but you’d never know sipping on this delicious hazy beer that glimmers like ocean waves at sunset. – David

| Photo courtesy of Silver City.

Summer IPA, Reuben’s Brews

After visiting Seattle from Ottawa last year and brewery hopping, both of my sisters now want me to send this beer back to them by the case. This obsessive behavior also extends to a friend in San Francisco who honed his palate on NW IPA’s. I am now required to send out regular shipments of Summer IPA. – Brian

| Photo courtesy of Reuben’s.

Harbor Hefeweizen, San Juan Brewing

One of my favorite hefes. Easily crushable while chilling in Friday Harbor, riding the ferry home, or, you know, sitting on your couch. – David

| Photo courtesy of David Krueger.

Seattle Sunshine Hazy Pale, Hellbent Brewing

Brewed for the Sounders’ ECS supporters, this is the perfect beer to sip on while watching the Sounders annihilate the Portland Timbers. Or while scrolling through the Sounders Twitter account desperate to find any possible soccer content you can right now. – David

| Photo courtesy of David Krueger.

Coconut Blonde, Scrappy Punk Brewing

A festival and tap room staple, Coconut Blonde put Scrappy Punk on the map and help propel them to that *most beer fest tokens* level. A lighter grain bill with the nose and taste of pure coconut is sure to delight in the summer sun. – Brian

| Photo courtesy of Silver City.

Cucumber Gose, Fremont Brewing

Fremont tends to nail everything and the Cucumber Gose is the star of the summer show. It is the quintessential summer beer, using seasonal ingredients to make a light, refreshing and amazing beer. If the temperature cracks 70, I’m cracking one of these. – Brian

| Photo courtesy of Brian Hoorn

Pink Drink, Crucible Brewing

A year round Raspberry sour that is never too sour but always refreshing. A good blend of fruit and sour without overwhelming. – Brian

| Photo courtesy of Brian Hoorn

Italian Pilsner, Lowercase Brewing

Take a trip to the Old Country with this beautifully crisp pilsner. Double dry-hopped with Hallertau Mittlelfruh and Saphir hops, this Italian pilsner is unfiltered and full of summery flavors, including earth, flowers and freshly mowed grass. – Aaron

| Photo courtesy of Lowercase.

Winona, Fair Isle Brewing

The saison kings of Ballard hit a home run with this tart refreshing offering. I can see sipping a lightly chilled Winona as a new favorite pastime for a lazy summer day. – Brian

| Photo courtesy of Brian Hoorn.

Mexican Lager, Chuckanut Brewing

This is no time for Corona! Put down the watered-down, flavorless cerveza and pick up this beauty from Bellingham. Known for their German-style lagers and ales, Chuckanut brewed this with Skagit Valley Malting malted wheat, giving it a firm-yet-light body and refreshing finish. And sure, toss in a lime if you want. – Aaron

| Photo courtesy of Chuckanut

DRINK THIS | From gin to hand sanitizer

Originally posted in Everett Herald HOPS AND SIPS | March 31, 2020

The past two weeks have thrown all of our lives into chaos. Most of us are staying home all day and all night, working from our dining room tables and teaching our children in our living rooms.

Brewers and distillers are no different. March has brought with it a number of surprises, with most beertenders now serving customers curbside instead of barside.

For some, the changes have been dramatic. 


From gin to hand sanitizer

Slowly business began to shut down for Lynnwood’s Temple Distilling as the quarantine ramped up. Then AJ Temple, owner and distiller for Temple Distilling, began seeing other distillers changing operations to make hand sanitizers. Finally, phone calls began asking if Temple was making the alcohol-based cleaner.

Lynnwood’s Temple Distilling is now making the alcohol-based cleaner — but you can still order spirits.

“Our energy level is through the roof fright now,” Temple said. “The community response from customers and organizations have been great. We’re excited to be doing this.”

“We’re also looking forward to getting back to normal.”

Temple is following the World Health Organization and Federal Drug Administration standards in producing the hand sanitizer. After denaturing the alcohol with isopropyl alcohol, Temple adds hydrogen peroxide and glycerin. 

“I talked to a woman who worked in the ER who was splashing Everclear on her hands,” said Temple. “Whatever they need, they’re using it.”

Temple is still selling its gins, including its new Constant Reader gin and Co-Authored Vol. 2 gin, in its online store at chapteronegin.com and offering free delivery within 30 miles of the distillery. 

From brewer to delivery man

Dick Mergens is used to spending his days in the brewhouse wrestling with a recipe and mixing and matching hops, malt and yeast. He’s not used to being a door-to-door delivery guy.

Since the Governor’s stay-at-home edict, Mergens, owner and head brewer of Crucible Brewing, has been delivering his beers as part of Crucible’s curbside and delivery program.

“People has been really generous,” Mergens said. “They’re excited to see the owner delivering beer, but honestly I think they’d rather see someone else — another employee — doing it.”

Laying off most of his staff has been the hardest part for Mergens, who said he’s been mostly completing cleaning projects during the quarantine. The brewery has cut hours down to five per day for the entire staff. Meanwhile, delivery, curbside pickup and to-go options have all been extended.

“We’re doing OK,” said Mergens, who equated the current situation to a slow January week. “My main goal is that on the other side of this all of our people will have their jobs back.”

Crucible has set up an online store and is offering delivery, curbside and pickup to-go options via text message. Check out cruciblebrewing.com for more information. 

From kegs to cans

When the quarantine began, SnoTown Brewing’s Frank Sandoval could only fill growlers to go. A phone call from a friend changed everything.

Scuttlebutt head brewer Eric Nord rang Sandoval and offered up the brewery’s unused crowler. It was a friendly gesture that Sandoval saw as a lifeline for his business.

Sandoval ran over to Scuttlebutt’s brewery on March 20 and got a crash course on filling and seaming the cans. He then brought the crowler to SnoTown and started an assembly line of filling cans. He created 24 four packs of 16-ounce cans and started selling them last weekend. SnoTown sold out quickly and had repeated success this past weekend.

Next weekend — SnoTown is only open Fridays through Sundays currently — Sandoval plans to have a dark beer and IPA four-pack.

Notes

For 5 Rights, the imperial IPA that was originally slated to be the brewery’s anniversary beer, is now Essential Business IPA. 5 Rights owner R.J. Whitlow said that the anniversary party has been put off indefinitely, but the brewery remains open for to-go orders Tuesday through Saturday.

Arlington’s Bad Dog Distillery recently released its BD Quad whiskey. Made from equal parts rye, corn, wheat and barley, the unique whiskey is available at the distillery, which is open for to-go sales Friday and Saturday. Like Temple, Bad Dog Distilling is also making hand sanitizer.