We love the smell of fresh OJ in the morning, pungent pine during an afternoon thunderstorm, and fresh-mowed grass just before dusk. That’s probably why we love hops in all of their carnations: Citrusy, spicy, earthy, fresh and grassy, dank and resiny. Pair the right beers with the right moment, and you’ll have a full-on summer sensory explosion.
When you’re picnicking in the park: Spread out your blanket, open up your fruit salad and break out Eel River Cali Pale Ale; one sip of its grapefruit tangerine and honeysuckle notes, and all will be right in your sunny world.
When you’re making peach cobbler: You just got back from the farmers market with a bushel of peaches; ready granny’s cobbler recipe, roll up your sleeves, and crack open a bottle of Starr Hill Grateful Pale Ale, which boasts peachy, grassy and floral flavors.
When you’re exploring the forest: Next time you venture deep into the trees, toss a bottle of Hermitage Single Hop Magnum into your rucksack. Woody pine notes (and just a hint of orange) neatly complement the recesses of the wilderness.
When you’re on the beach (or just dreaming of it): Forget the mai tai and head straight for hops: Speakeasy Tallulah Extra Pale Ale’s candied orange, tropical fruit and subtle floral flavors taste like a vacation.
When you’re eating breakfast on the porch: Take your buttered toast onto the porch swing and lazily sip on Fort Collins Hoptitude, which accessorizes your breakfast with fresh grains and bright grapefruit and orange.
When you’re kicking back by a bonfire: You’ve fixed the squeaky door hinge, watered the flowers, organized the garage and mowed the lawn; now kick back by the fire pit, enjoy the woodsy smoke and sip on the oaky, piney, wood-aged Great Divide Rumble.
When you’re making poolside margaritas: The best margs have a secret splash of beer (try it; the beer takes away tequila’s acidic edge). Terrapin Hopzilla’s pink grapefruit and blood orange hop notes make the double IPA a killer margarita ingredient—of course, we love it straight, too.