Celebrate Memorial Day weekend with these 6 local craft beers

Rainier Tall Boys are great, but much better are these refreshing summer sippers (and guzzlers).

A can of Sound to Summit Brewing’s Day Sailer Pils from the brewery’s Crowler machine. (Aaron Swaney)

A can of Sound to Summit Brewing’s Day Sailer Pils from the brewery’s Crowler machine. (Aaron Swaney)

Break out the flip-flops, tank tops and sunscreen. Dust off the grill. Set up the cornhole boards.

It’s Memorial Day weekend — and the beginning of summer.

That means it’s also prime beer-drinking weather. Not just any beer, though. Summer thirsts beg for light, refreshing beers that are to be gulped, not sipped.

A few weeks ago, the Los Angeles Times ranked the best domestic light beers — and had the temerity to rank Miller High Life No. 1! Mind you, there’s a time and a place for a few Rainier Tall Boys. But I thought it would be better to give out my six pack of the best local beers on tap right now. Buy a “crowler” of one of these, or fill a growler and enjoy it while grilling up this weekend’s dinner.

Wit’s End, Whitewall Brewing: This popular summer seasonal from the Marysville brewery is based on a 400-year-old Belgian witbier recipe. Made with coriander and zested oranges, it has a sweet, bready character and soft, rounded mouthfeel.

Day Sailer Pils, Sound to Summit Brewing: Sound to Summit head brewer Adam Frantz brewed this beer for summer weather. The light, crisp, easy-drinking German pilsner is made for grilling. Get a four-pack of 16-ounce cans fresh off the brewery’s crowler machine.

Si Señor, At Large Brewing: Mexican lagers like Pacifico or Dos Equis are tempting on hot summer days. But instead of trolling the beer aisle at QFC, stop by this Everett brewery and pick up some cans of Si Señor, a Mexican lager. It’s clean, light, refreshing and pairs perfectly with grilled skirt steak.

Cream Ale, Foggy Noggin Brewing: Released each May, this cream ale is brewed annually to celebrate the wedding anniversary of Foggy Noggin head brewer Jim Jamison’s daughter and fellow brewer Stephanie and husband Jim. It’s delicate, full-flavored and perfect for backyard shenanigans. The beer will also be on tap on nitro.

Flanders Brown Ale, Double Bluff Brewing: It may not look like a summer beer, but this tart, malty Oud Bruin wonder from a Whidbey Island brewery is a great curveball for your tastebuds. It has flavors of dark fruit, caramel and molasses. Enjoy one during Saturday’s Back Alley Summer Jam Concert at Double Bluff Brewing.

Brumation, Skookum Brewery: Skookum may be known for their IPAs and barrel-aged beers, but don’t sleep on head brewer Hollis Wood’s classics. This Czech-style pilsner is brewed with German malts and a combination of Saaz and Mittelfruh hops. Grab a crowler fill of Brumation and impress your friends by regaling them about how all those floral and spicy notes are from the German noble hop called Mittelfruh.

Booze notebook

McMenamins hosts homebrewers contest: McMenamins Kalama Harbor Lodge is hosting its inaugural Kalama Harbor Brewfest on Aug. 10 and is asking homebrewers from Oregon and Washington to submit their beers for the festival. Homebrewers are asked to bring their ales to the Cosmic Chance Homebrew Competition on June 7 at Kalama Harbor Lodge. If your beer is chosen, McMenamins will commercially produce it for the festival. Winners will be announced June 21.

Skip Rock honored by World Liqueur Awards: Two of Skip Rock Distillery’s liqueurs were honored by the World Liqueur Awards, a global award selecting the best international styles. Skip Rock’s Raspberry Liqueur was named Best American Fruit liqueur and its Nocino Liqueur was given a gold medal in the Best American Nut category.

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