Many craft brewers have acknowledged the role that seasons play in the styles of beer that they brew, and summer is no exception. With the increase of the number of brands and individual beers available, I have been remiss in keeping up with all of the options available for summer beer enjoyment – and Peak Summer Session is one that I recently tried that is worth adding to your list.

Peak, like many other breweries, has several beers that they release only seasonally, and their summer beer is named, simply, “Summer Session Ale.”


Peak Summer Session Ale. Photo courtesy of Peak Organic Brewing Company.

Session beer is described as beer that is low in alcohol (though definitions vary, typically under 4.5% ABV), and thus you can safely have more than one in a “session” of beer drinking. While this beer comes in at 5% ABV, it is still low enough in alcohol to fit the idea of a session beer.

Peak Summer Session is described as a “summer wheat beer that marries a West Coast pale ale.” It contains locally grown wheat, and is dry hopped with Amarillo hops – not a typical combination. The beer is a clear but slightly golden color, and pours out beautifully.

The aroma of this beer delivers the hop’s citrus character without apology. I found myself double-checking whether lemon was an added ingredient or not – it wasn’t.

The taste is a very interesting combination that works. There is a lot of the wheat character to the body of this beer. The sweetness carries through, and then the citrus and lemony attributes come back at the back end. The best part is that it is simply refreshing, completely hitting the spot on a hot day, in a back yard, or while watching (hopefully legal) fireworks while at camp.

Tasting this made me wonder how many other summer beers I might have missed lately. When a lot of things are being released in large-format bottles, it is easy to miss some excellent beers sitting on the shelf in a six pack. I encourage you to seek out a few of these beers – there might be some gems right under your nose.