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Summer Brews

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We're still more than a month away from the official start of summer, but breweries love to jump-start their seasonals, so the first tranch of summer brews has already hit local shelves. Given the unseasonably warm weather, that's not a bad thing, but enjoy them while you can. Chances are, we will see the fall releases trickle in during the July heat wave. Here's a trio to try:

Deschutes Twilight Summer Ale, $1.79—$1.99

The fast-fading, thin head that covers this amber-colored brew leaves a nice, sticky lacing. It opens with resiny hop aromas backed by floral citrus. The flavors are a mix of lightly bitter hops, pear, orange, toasty malt and a touch of caramel. That kiss of hops really comes through, lingering on the mellow finish.

Odell St. Lupulin Extra Pale Ale, $1.79—$1.99

A light, golden ale, this brew is topped by a porous, three-finger, chalk-white head with good persistence. It's more hop-driven than you might expect from a pale ale. That said, the hop bitterness is not too aggressive. It's well balanced by floral notes on the nose, and by smooth malt and ripe grapefruit on the palate.

2019 Sierra Nevada Summerfest, $1.79—$1.99

This crystal-clear, golden pour has a generous head that collapses quickly, leaving little lacing. You get a nice mix of grain, cracker and floral hops on the nose. A touch of pepper colors the toast and citrus flavors, and the finish is dry with just a hint of spicy hops. In a world of over-hopped IPAs and fruit-flavored ales, this straightforward lager is a refreshing change.