Beer is a longstanding Fourth of July tradition, and an ice-cold brew sounds especially good in this hot and sticky weather. You have lots of options when it comes to stocking your cooler, so we tracked down Joe Tracy, cellar manager of Brooklyn’s craft beer mecca Bierkraft, who gave us his top five picks for Independence Day-worthy New York-made brews.
So pack your picnic, bake your pies, purchase your sparklers, throw on those patriotic red, white, and blue outfits, and ice up these beers. And for those of you staying in town, check out Nos. 4 and 5, seasonal tap offerings ideal for a relaxed Big Apple Independence Day.
1. Brewery Ommegang’s Fleur de Houblon, Cooperstown, 6.8 percent ABV
What could be more summery than flowers? Ommegang’s seasonal Fleur de Houblon (which translates to “Hop Flower”) integrates the season’s blossoms with traditional Belgian ale flavors; the result is clean and dry with a bit of spice. Brewed in Cooperstown, this beer is only available for a limited time.
2. Captain Lawrence Brewing Company’s Sun Block, Elmsford, 5 percent ABV
This seasonal wheat IPA is made with both pale and wheat malts. Unfiltered and dry-hopped, this beer packs a punch with a bright, hoppy finish that makes it ideal for summer beach days.
3. Ithaca Beer Company’s Flower Power, Ithaca, 7.5 percent ABV
The honey and tropical fruit notes (think pineapple and grapefruit) in this seasonal beer will transport you to a Caribbean island. Flower Power is hopped and dry-hopped five different times throughout the brewing and fermentation process.
4. Brooklyn Brewery Brewmaster’s Reserve Scorcher #366, Brooklyn, 4.5 percent ABV
Brooklyn Scorcher #366 is Brooklyn Brewery’s experimental summer release, featuring the yet unnamed hop HBC 366. This first-time brew is a dry, minerally, fruity pale ale “bursting with the citrusy, piney notes,” per Brooklyn’s tasting notes. The flavors match ideally to summertime eats like seafood and nachos. The limited release is available through July, and you can find it on tap at Gramercy Tavern, Stout, Amsterdam Ale House, and Eastside Ale House, among others.
5. Greenport Harbor Brewing Company’s Harbor Ale, Greenport, 5.3 percent ABV
This year-round American pale ale is made with a slightly sweet wheat malt, and it derives additional flavor from Amarillo hops and orange citrus. Find it on tap at The Shanty, Frying Pan, Joe’s Pub, Marlow & Sons, and more.