1. Fremont Brewing | Summer Ale | Pale Ale, 5.2%%
The concept of a SMaSH (“Single Malt and Single Hop”) is a brilliant way for homebrewers and professionals alike to explore the possibilities of the constituent parts of a beer, stripped down to the essentials. Fremont Summer Ale began life as one such beer, being just 2-Row pale malt and Amarillo hops, the latter of which imparts a wild orangey tinge on the nose. One can’t help but notice that Fremont has tweaked the recipe of late, adding Citra Cryo hops to the recipe, but this does not detract in the slightest. I guess that now makes this beer a SMaTH?
2. Enegren | Liberty Pilsner | German Pilsner, 4.8%
3. Little Beast | Hot Break | Dry-Hopped Sour Ale, 4.8%
Within the manifold families of sour ales, those that are dry-hopped (bestowing aroma rather than bitterness) occupy a niche unto themselves. The combination of souring bacteria and bright hoppy bouquets is an addictive one for aficionados. Portland’s Little Beast – run by a former brewer from Logsdon Farmhouse Ales in nearby Hood River – has form and follow-through with this refreshing seasonal offering, reminiscent of a tart lemonade for adults for those blazing summer days.