Pike Mike’s Uncle

by The Pike Brewing Company

This rich ale, from Seattle’s family owned Pike Brewing, follows the Belgian tripel style:

Pour a Pike Monk’s Uncle and you’ll be greeted by a big, full-bodied nose of fruity and exotic esters. This golden colored Tripel will win you over with its hints of honey and spice that come from organic malts, sugar and local hops.

The brew is creamy, with notes of clove and banana. It gives way to a sudsy, bitter and spicy ending. It isn’t very layered or complex, but it remains pleasurable and drinkable throughout.

Rating:

3 out of 5

Hopsmack IPA

by Cascade Lakes Brewing Co.

This IPA, one of Cascade Lake’s latest year-round brews, boasts some serious lupulin:

This striking citra hop IPA brings complex tropical and citrus aromas to the palate. With great head retention and clarity this well balanced yet aggressive India Pale Ale makes this a great choice for the “hop lover” in all of us!

Orange-y and lemony flavors ooze. It’s heavy: big malt flavor balances out extreme hops. Hopsmack tastes mostly of a big hop blast, but it remains enjoyable and refreshing throughout.

Rating:

3 out of 5

Pamplemousse Citrus IPA

by Lompoc Brewing

This IPA from Portland’s own Lompoc carries a special zing:

The first brew in our new IPA Series is a shining example of a traditional Northwest IPA with the head and aroma of grapefruit and fresh citrus.

As it turns out, this beer packs some special ingredients:

Four hop varieties along with real grapefruit juice build a solid hop bitterness highlighted by citrus notes, both on the tongue and in the nose.

It is a brilliant amber color with primarily honey-sweet odors. It tastes, predictably, of grapefruit. Occasional malt sweetness gives way to extremely bitter hops at the end. It’s a big beer with lots of flavor, and good enough to win some local support:

Oregonian beer writer John Foyston named Pamplemousse Citrus IPA his Beer of the Year, Part I…

Not a small testimonial. If you’re up for a “fresh-squeezed” brew, or you’re looking for something crisp and new, give Pamplemousse a shot.

Rating:

4 out of 5

Dog Days Wheat IPA

by Klamath Basin Brewing

This amber-colored, clean, clear ale comes from one of Oregon’s southern-most breweries:

Limited release Wheat IPA, whose character reflects the summer sun. Hops mingle with malted wheat to produce a crisp flavor along with a cloudy golden appearance. Citrus notes fortify this brew and make it a refreshing companion for the dog days of summer.

It smells nearly entirely of flowery hops. Flavors follow the odor, as expected: there’s some pine, grass, and a hint of stonefruit fruit. It’s smooth and packed full of flavor, yet it remains a light and refreshing drink.

Rating:

3 out of 5

WIT

by pFriem Family Brewers

This “Belgian-style white ale,” from Hood River’s pFriem, sports a summer-like flair:

…[R]aise a glass to sweet aromas of orange and cardamom, light-creamy flavor, and a refreshing finish.

This beer almost looks like lemonade: it’s opaque and quite yellow. Flavors closely follow the description: sweet citrus blends with that distinct cardamom spice to produce a brew that’s light and refreshing.

Rating:

4 out of 5

Back to the Future IPA

by Breakside Brewery & Fremont Brewing

Portland’s variant of this cooperative ale features distinct hops:

This IPA is a cross-border collaboration with Seattle’s Fremont Brewing, planned collaboratively and brewed by each brewery for our cities’ respective beer weeks. It’s named for the futuristic hops used…Azacca and Ella in ours [Breakside’s].

The brew looks very similar to Fremont’s version of the IPA, but its flavor diverges. Grassy, earthy hop notes give way to a mildly fruity sweetness. A citrus-y and spicy zing steals away the end. Overall, it’s balanced and unique.

Rating:

3 out of 5

Sagittarious B2N

by Ecliptic Brewing & Dogfish Head Brewery

This curious brew, a “saison ale brewed with grapefruit, lemon and hibiscus,” has a story behind it:

The genesis of this collaboration was sparked when friend, and Dogfish Head founder, Sam Calagione sold our John Harris the brewhouse that Ecliptic uses today. We offer this special beer in celebration.

Deep in the center of our Milky Way galaxy, some 26,000 light years away, lies a massive ethanol cloud designated Sagittarious B2N. While it is often imagined that alcohol is a creation of our earthy fermentation pursuits, Sagittarious B2N and other interstellar clouds like it prove that alcohol has existed long before we humans.

The beer tastes of tartness and fruit; clove-like spices linger. The hop profile is pungent and herbal with some lemon-y citrus. It’s difficult to categorize, but the beer remains interesting throughout.

Rating:

3 out of 5

Simcoe IPX

by Hopworks Urban Brewery

HUB’s experimental single hop series continues with this ale featuring Simcoe hops (image), playfully named “Sim-Pati-Coe.” The beer comes with a little history lesson:

Developed by the Yakima Chief Ranch in Washington, the Simcoe is a well-known and popular hop for both bittering and aroma additions since its release in 2000.

The label notes “Pine and Citrus” notes, and mentions the use of dry-hopping. The beer’s all about the hop, apparent in its flavor: a sturdy but unglamorous malt body allows the beer to reflect crisp pine with earthiness and the mentioned citrus. The beer remains interesting throughout.

Rating:

4 out of 5

Lawnmower Lager

by Caldera Brewing Company

Caldera keeps this beer simple:

For all you people who are afraid of beer you can’t see through, this one’s for you. Light and easy.

The beer emerges from the can as a clear yellow-golden liquid. A mix of sweet malt and earthy, bitter hops compose its flavor. The brew tastes fairly basic and straightforward, as it set out to be. It’s still an enjoyable easy-drinker.

Rating:

3 out of 5

Wünderbier

by Ninkasi Brewing Company

This seasonal brew from Ninkasi presents the perfect companion to these extreme temperatures:

Fermented at ale temperatures and conditioned at colder lager temperatures, this golden-colored beer has a subtle, crisp sweetness with a light flavor. With a light body and a dry yet crisp finish, this beer is a balanced and sessionable, perfect for summertime enjoyment!

Wünderbier pours as a clean and yellow. Lemon and grassy hops balance with mild malt sweetness to make a crisp, refreshing beverage. It’s smooth, tasty, invigorating, and reasonably priced – perfect for a summer afternoon.

Rating:

3 out of 5