Five Southern Craft Brews We’re Drinking Right Now Posted by: Aaron Stearns | 0 Comments
Labor Day is nigh, which more than likely means three days of freedom for you and yours. If you’re anything like us, you’ve already got an inner tube stuffed into your backseat and the ice chest open and ready to be filled. Before you toss in a six pack of what’s cheapest, consider these Southern-made craft brews we’ve fallen in love with. They’re good for summer sipping, and some will disappear from shelves when autumn arrives.
Abita Satsuma Harvest Wit (Abita Springs, Louisiana)
When the weather gets warm, fruit beers start cropping up on liquor store shelves. By the time August arrives, you’ve probably had enough strawberry-flavored beer to give you sweet gut until next spring. Abita’s answer to the sickly sweet fruit beers of summer is Satsuma Harvest Wit. Abita’s found a way to add a subtle citrus touch, courtesy of the Deep South satsuma fruit, to this lighter-tasting wheat beer. Spices (we think we taste a bite of crisp coriander) add to the unique, refreshing flavor. Recommended for lake trips and hot, sunny days.
Lazy Magnolia Jefferson Stout (Kiln, Mississippi)
Set aside your notion that stout beers should be reserved for cold months. This inventive darker brew isn’t rich and heavy like many stouts, and it tastes just fine iced down. While notes of chocolate are still present, this beer has an almost savory taste despite its defining ingredient, sweet potatoes. Jefferson Stout is smooth and creamy with a nutty flavor and a good finish. And it won’t weigh you down. Recommended for nighttime porch sitting and stargazing.
Jackalope Barrel-Aged Bearwalker (Nashville, Tennessee)
Jackalope Brewing Company combines Tennessee’s claim to fame, whiskey, with its Bearwalker Maple Brown Ale by aging the brew in freshly used whiskey barrels. The beer is brewed with maple syrup, which blends beautifully with the softened flavor of whiskey. Don’t expect the kick and burn of a whiskey shot. Do expect robust flavor with hints of chocolate and caramel. Unfortunately, this beer is only available at the brewery and at select locations in Nashville. Hopefully you’ve got some Music City friends willing you bring you a batch on their next visit (hint, hint). Recommended for impressing friends at potluck parties.
O’Fallon Hemp Hop Rye (O’Fallon, Missouri)
That toasty, nutty flavor in Hemp Hop Rye is brought to you by hemp seeds (Hemp is a superfood, though we can’t guarantee health benefits from this beer. But who drinks beer to be healthy, anyway?). Two kinds of rye combine with hops and hemp for a unique flavor that’s warm, crisp and slightly citrusy. Recommended for campfire gatherings, hiking and most outdoor activities that aren’t life threatening when paired with alcohol.
Diamond Bear Two Term Double IPA (Little Rock, Arkansas)
This beer is to the point. And by “to the point,” I mean it’s 8.5 percent alcohol by volume. In other words, it gets the job done. It’s also a great-tasting IPA that’s hoppy without being bitter and overly hoppy. Its slightly malty sweetness is smooth with hints of citrus. Recommended for loosening up after a stressful workday or celebrating your three days of freedom the second the clock strikes 5 p.m. on Friday.
Willa Dean considers her arrangement at Bourbon & Boots a symbiotic relationship with readers. With each new beer she reviews, she gets closer to her goal of trying all the beers in the world, and readers have an easier time finding new favorite brews. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.