Life's a beach - Part 1

In true Alabama fashion, we only got a few days of mid-70s weather before chilly spring temperatures shot up and we got a week straight of temperatures in the high 90s.

Thankfully, though, I got to spend this scorcher of a week on the beach with good beers in hand.

In preparation for the beach, I stopped by Hop City Beer in Birmingham and grabbed a six or four pack of anything that sounded like it would pair well with sun, sand and sweat. Here's a peak into my cooler.

1. Framboise Rose Gose - Anderson Valley Brewing Company (4.2% ABV)

This beer takes the tartness and saltiness you'd expect to find in an Anderson Valley gose and amplifies it with a hint of raspberry. Drinking it out of the can, I didn't get much flavor from the rose hips that are added to the boil of this beer, but overall it was a nice choice to enjoy on a hot day. Like all the Anderson Valley goses I've tried, it's got a tartness that will make you pucker a bit, but it's not overwhelming. Since it's a beer that's on the dry side, I will warn that it's not necessarily a refreshing beer to have in the heat — you'll enjoy that it's a crisp, clean choice, but will probably want to wet your whistle with some water after.

2. Imperial Paradise Now - Trim Tab Brewing Company (8% ABV)

This beer is a special fourth anniversary release for Trim Tab here in Birmingham. One of Trim Tab's best selling beers is Paradise Now, a crisp and slightly tart raspberry berliner weisse. For its birthday, Trim Tab took that same beer and amped it up to 8% ABV. The beer still had the fruit-forward, refreshing taste of the OG Paradise Now, just with a slightly creamier texture. The higher ABV slips under the radar and doesn't turn the flavor into alcohol + raspberry, as you can sometimes find in other high ABV beers.

3. Panama Krunkles (Pineapple-Papaya IPA) - Terrapin Beer Co (6.5% ABV)

I'm a big fan of the newest additions to Terrapin's Krunkles series — I've had the Luau (passionfruit orange guava) and the Krunkles Down Under (South Pacific IPA). Terrapin has always had some of my favorite West Coast IPAs, but since a wider variety of IPA flavors started coming out, they're expanding out of the piney region and into some sweeter alternatives. Krunkles is a very fruit-forward, tropical beer that has the added plus of a hoppiness. In my opinion, it takes a typical IPA, which could be overwhelmingly bitter or heavy and just not ideal for the beach, and turns it into a tropical drink with a light enough feel to make it good for the beach.

4. Tropicalia - Creature Comforts Brewing Co. (6.5% ABV)

This is my first ever fruity IPA. I remember when I first had it at Creature Comforts during the brewery's first year, and it honestly took me aback. I wasn't used to the hops and bitterness mingling with a heavy citrus, tropical taste. I had to adjust, but now it's easily one of my favorite beers. Plus, year after year it has gained more acclaim and was named "one of the hottest IPAs" earlier this year. Something I love about this beer is that it gives you the sweetness of orange and melon without changing the beer's mouthfeel to be creamy. It's also not as sweet as the Panama Krunkles but still makes you feel like it could be a tropical drink you're sipping on. I think the flavors give it a balance that transitions well from season to season, but you really just can't beat this beer by the pool.

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