We all know that the true Seattle summer doesn’t start until the 4th of July comes around, and that alone is reason enough to celebrate this upcoming weekend. On the 4th of July, people will be getting together to grill, visit with family & friends and celebrate our independence from those evil Brits (they really aren’t so bad). For most people reading this website, that likely means enjoying a few beers at whatever party or event you end up attending.
Here are a few simple rules that you should probably stick to when choosing your beers for the 4th:
- Serve beer made by a brewery that is actually American-owned. That immediately excludes anything from MillerCoors and Anheuser-Busch, both of which are owned by huge international conglomerates based outside of the U.S. That also excludes any of those “cool” retro brands owned by Pabst Brewing Company, which in addition to PBR include the once-local Rainier and Olympia; all of their brands are contract brewed at MillerCoors facilities. Also, local NW brewery Pyramid is 100% owned by a food & beverage company located in Costa Rica.
- To take it a step further, choose something local. There is great beer being made in every corner of the country these days, but supporting local businesses is a very American thing to. There are plenty of local options when looking for beers for this weekend.
- Choose beers that are not too high in alcohol. Assuming that you’ll be hanging out for a while, you will likely want to have a few beers without getting trashed. If you do just want to get trashed and celebrate America, bourbon is a solid choice.
Again, there are many great local options available for the 4th of July. Stop by your favorite beer retailer this week and I’m sure they can help you find something worthy. Following are 5 beers available in cans that you could stock up on. Why cans? Because they are convenient for picnics/BBQs and with the increasing availability of more brands in cans you have a lot to choose from.
- Fremont Summer Ale – This 5.2% ABV pale ale is one of my favorite things about summer. It’s a simple combo of fruity Amarillo hops and base 2-Row malt. The result is full of hop flavor without being very bitter. Refreshing and full of flavor. I want one right now. Available in six-packs of 12oz cans, 22oz bottles and on draft.
- Silver City Ziggy Zoggy Lager - This balanced, easy drinking, unfiltered 5% ABV German-style lager (officially called a Zwickelbier) is perfect for summer. Available in six-packs of 12oz cans, 22oz bottles and on draft.
- Orlison Lizzy’s Red – Orlison Brewing, located in Airway Heights, WA outside of Spokane, is a small brewery that concentrates on brewing a wide variety of lagers. Lizzy’s Red offers a mix of bready and caramel malts with light hops to balance. Very crisp and clean. 5.5% ABV. Available in 4-packs of 16oz cans in the Seattle area.
- Bale Breaker Field 41 Pale Ale - This pale ale is brewed in the middle of a hop field. Seriously. At 4.5% ABV it might be the lightest beer on this list, but it probably packs in the most hop flavor. Lots of citrus and fruit. Available in six-packs of 12oz cans and on draft.
- 7 Seas Rude Parrot IPA – I’ve already included two hop-forward pale ales on the list, but I know how many of you are biased towards IPAs. Rude Parrot is just 5.85% ABV and packs in a lot of tropical fruit and citrus hop flavors backed with a solid malty base. Available in 4-packs of 16oz cans and on draft.