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Monday, February 26, 2024
Feb. 26, 2024

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These Clark County brews are a good bet to beat the heat

Cool off with a cold one in your style crafted by local brewers

By , Columbian freelance food writer
Published:
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Doomsday's Pink Shandy Dropper brings citrus flavors to the forefront.
Doomsday's Pink Shandy Dropper brings citrus flavors to the forefront. (Rachel Pinsky) Photo Gallery

Summer 2023 started mild with temperatures ranging in the 70s and 80s. But last week’s scorching sun led me to seek out a good beer for sipping on the back porch — a lighter brew that lingers in the 4 percent to 6 percent alcohol by volume (ABV) range. This list includes a kölsch, pilsner, lager and radler, as well as a wine-beer hybrid crafted by Clark County brewers to help cool off when the weather turns mean.

Kascadia Kölsch 4.8 percent ABV

54-40 Beer, 3801 S. Truman Road, Unit 1, Washougal; 360-844-5932

This crisp, food-friendly beer from 54-40 Beer in Washougal was the gateway to light beer for me. The first sip proved this style didn’t have to be like the skunky, weak, mass-produced lager that splashed in big red Solo cups at college parties in the 1990s. This German-style beer made by 54-40 has a full honey flavor but is light and refreshing enough to sip outside on a hot day.

Luv Ya Lager 5 percent ABV

Barrel Mountain Brewing, 607 E. Main St., Battle Ground; 360-342-8111

Barrel Mountain’s Munich Helles-style lager won a gold medal at the Washington Beer Awards in 2017 and a bronze in 2018. This classic brew features a light, toasted malt flavor melded with Tettnang hops. These hops are mainly cultivated around Tettnanger on Lake Constance in Germany and give beer a mild aroma and slightly spicy flavor.

The People’s Pilsner 5.5 percent ABV

Brothers Cascadia, 9811 N.E. 15th Ave., Vancouver; 360-718-8927

Czech-style pilsner was first brewed in 1842 by Bavarian brewer Josef Groll at a brewery now known as Pilsner Urquell. Brothers Cascadia’s pale gold, clear, Czech-inspired lager follows the classic malt-forward style that gives the beer baked bread notes.

Pink Shandy Dropper 6.2 percent ABV

Doomsday and The Heavy Metal Pizza & Brewing Co, 809 MacArthur Blvd., Vancouver; 360- 258-1691

The above beers may be characterized as Yacht rock (like The Doobie Brothers) or smooth jazz (like Kenny G), but this brew is pure Metallica. This rattling radler-style beer combines the punchy citrus and stone fruit of the Sabro hops with pink grapefruit to create a buzz that feels like Dave Mustaine playing a guitar solo on your tongue. Also, an ABV of 6.2 percent is on the high side for a style that originally was made in Germany with two parts beer and one part lemonade or lemon-lime soda.

Rosé Gone Wild 5 percent ABV

Fortside Brewing, 2200 N.E. Andresen Road, Vancouver; 360-524-4692

This gluten-reduced wine-beer hybrid gives drinkers the citrus and light berry of a rosé with the effervescence and slight bitter flavor of a beer. I like to serve it chilled in a wine glass. Fortside’s taproom often has this summer sipper sloshing around its slushy machine. It’s a good backyard party drink because it satisfies beer and wine drinkers as well as those seeking something with reduced gluten.

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Columbian freelance food writer