If you're trying to escape the Treasure Valley heat by heading for the hills or the water, bottled beer won't do. Since it's going to be on the warm side wherever you go, you probably want to take a pass on heavy stouts or porter. Here are three recent arrivals that pack a lot of flavor and a refreshing quaff into a can:
Belching Beaver Deftones Phantom Bride India Pale Ale, $2.50-$3.20
This California IPA named for the classic Deftones song "Phantom Bride" sports a thin but persistent head over a cloudy straw pour. Soft, resiny hops and tropical fruit aromas dominate the nose. Compared to most Northwest IPAs, the hops are subdued with a light but lovely bitterness playing against biscuit, pineapple and grapefruit flavors. This is just my style.
Firestone Walker and Beavertown West Side Beavo, $1.80-$2.10
A pillowy, three-finger head tops this collaborative effort from a California and English brewery. Billed as an India Pale Lager, you definitely get the IP side on the nose with its spicy hops and fresh grass aromas. Lively fruit flavors dominate the palate with mango, orange, papaya and bright citrus. Light hops come through on the finish.
Occidental Pilsner, $2.80-$3.20
A transparent light gold in color, this pilsner from Portland, Oregon, is topped by a surprisingly thick head that fades quickly. It has the characteristic earthy grass nose of a lager with a nice hit of bread dough and hops. The clean, crisp flavors are a balanced mix of soft malt and lightly bitter hops. It's a nice homage to the European pilsner style, with just a bit more hop bite on the finish.