Warm weather is finally here, and that means beers on the deck (or by the pool, on the porch, on the beach, in the front yard...you get the picture). To pair with quicker drinking, summer heat, and grilled food, brewers across the country are rolling out the latest seasonal beers -- and Huffington Post has rounded up some of their favorites. What's your favorite brew to sip on a summer day?
Since most summer beers are only available for a limited time, get out there and find your favorite right now. We conducted a blind taste test, ranking them and publishing our notes for your convenience, in the slideshow below. Give them all a swig and let us know what you think.
Photo by Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
When imagining a wine and cheese pairing, many visualize a glass of bold Cabernet and a hunk of cheddar. In reality, red wines can often overwhelm the sublte flavors of cheese, even bold, stinky ones. So when in doubt, choose white for your cheeseplate.
You might rightly point out that Port is a red wine and has long been considered the ideal wine with Stilton, an English blue veined cheese. The reason that Port pairs so well with blue cheese is because it is sweet and fortified. It is not because it is red. The sweetness provides a perfect foil for the tangy saltines of blue cheese.
See the pairings
Photo by Faith Durand
Sean Collier, the MIT police officer killed in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings, will be honored with a special craft beer. "Collier Stout," co-brewed by Cambridge Brewing Company and Rocky Mountain Brewery in Colorado Springs, will be a dry Irish stout, ready by mid-June.
Phil Bannatyne, the owner of Cambridge Brewing, told radio station WBUR, "This seemed something that was personal, specific to Kendall Square in many ways ... You want to help when this stuff happens and we just needed an avenue for that, and this was right up our alley."
Cambridge Brewing plans to sell the brew for $5.50, with $1 going to the Jimmy Fund, a nonprofit that supports cancer care and research, to which Collier regularly contributed.
Photo by Alamy
Nate Pollak, co-founder of San Francisco's The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen, didn't always work in the restaurant business. In fact, it took a slumped economy, being laid off, and meeting his wife to get him there, but his hard work has certainly paid off.
As a hobby, Heidi used to compete in this thing called The Grilled Cheese Invitational in Los Angeles. She'd won that competition more than anyone else as an amateur chef. I went down to help her in 2009 and people kept telling us we should open a restaurant. At the time, there were no loans anywhere; it was literally the worst time to open a business. We spent every penny we'd ever made, and on the day it opened I had a negative balance in my bank account.
Photo by Nate Pollak
If you're brand new to the cheese world and aching to know more, we've got a secret for you. Besides lurking our site and browsing our cheese library to brush up on your knowledge, there's really only one thing you need to do to learn all you can about cheese: eat it. More specifically, taste it (something we do on the regular here), which is a lot more involved than it sounds.
When you're hosting a party (especially one outdoors), the last thing you want is to be stuck in the kitchen (or tethered to the grill). This appetizer is simple, quick, and doesn't skimp on flavor. I mean, who doesn't like cheese-stuffed peppers?
Peppadews are ideal for impromptu entertaining. With a shelf life of 24 months (yes, two years!), they can hang in your refrigerator, always ready at a moment's notice. They pair with any cheese under the sun, so you can always have an easy appetizer ready to go. I like to mix the ingredients up, sometimes using a soft cheese like goat, Boursin, or queso fresco. This time around I tucked in little cubes of smoked mozzarella, which added just the right amount of char-grilled heat.
Get the recipe
Photo by Nealey Dozier
Each year, the Small Business Administration doles out awards to small business across the U.S. who stand out. This year, Oregon's Rogue Creamery recieved the SBA award for innovation and leadership. The sustainable company, makers of acclaimed Rogue River Blue will add this award to their existing collection, which includes Governor’s Sustainable Tourism Award in 2007 for a commitment to community and sustainability. Congrats, Rogue Creamery!
Co-Owner Cary Bryant says “The mission of sustainability drives everything we do at Rogue Creamery from the Nellie Green Pedal Power bike commute program to the solar panels installed atop our cheesemaking building”. The solar project, which currently generates 45% of Rogue Creamery’s power production, is one of the largest in Southern Oregon.
Don't worry about melting cheese dripping through grill racks—firm halloumi is designed to brown on the outside while its center turns soft.
Soak skewers in water for at least 15 minutes to help prevent burning on the grill.
Recipes that revamp your leftovers are the best kind of recipes. Even better when they involve ice cream and breakfast muffins. Breakfast ice cream? Hey, it's almost summer, why not?
The bad news is that you will make a full batch of muffins and have some extras left over, but on second thought – that is obviously good news. You just eat them for breakfast in the morning – after your spoonfuls of ice cream. Or you could reheat those muffins then drop a dollop of butter on top and then… maybe add a scoop of ice cream on top of that.
You know. To taste test.
Get the recipe
Photo by How Sweet Eats
A salty, firm goat cheese from the rocky coast of Maine, Chevrotin makes a fine Parm or Pecorino substitute in cooking. Its subtle, barnyard-y funk is balanced by the crisp taste of brine it's washed in. Pair it with white wine, champagne, or chocolate.
Like many aged goat cheeses, Chevrotin possesses a light, salty bite and crumbly texture, but there are delicate, floral undertones to balance the salt.
Photo by Cheese and Champagne