The cure for the summertime brews is more of them.
From Magic Hat Brewing Co. comes HiCu, a hoppy, citrusy refresher with a poetic-sounding name that has a note of cucumber and traces of hibiscus. The ale is a lively, very smooth addition to the Vermont brewer's summer "variety pak."
That collection also includes the crisp and hoppy mainstay, Blind Faith Summer I.P.A. on Tour and Elder Betty, a malty seasonal, with a touch of carbonation and undercurrent of tart elderberry. A six-pack is about $12; a 12-pack, about $18.
Samuel Adams lightens up summer sipping with Samuel Adams Blueberry Hill, a brew aged on blueberries. The fruit imparts a pleasing berry taste and aroma, plus some citrus to cut the sweetness of the berries and the unfiltered lager's honey malts. Blueberry Hill is part of the Samuel Adams summer pack.
This summer pack includes Little White Rye, which delivers a diverting, bitter and citrusy bottle. White sage and rye contribute to the modestly spicy, earthy character of the hazy brew. And the limited-release Samuel Adams Porch Rocker is part of the package, too, a sweet-tart, fizzy mouthful with plenty of lemon. It's a radler beer, that title stemming from the German word for cyclist. The Bavarian beer debuted in the 1920s. An innkeeper stretched his beer with lemon soda to serve visiting cyclists. Join in.
The Samuel Adams Beers of Summer Variety 12-Pack is $15 to $18.
Three colorful brews won Samuel Adams' LongShot American Homebrew Contest. They're James Schirmer's Beerflower Wheat, Zack Adams' Magnificent Seven imperial pale ale, and Dave Anderson's Strawberry Lager wheat beer. A six-pack is $9 to $11. All well worth tasting.