The Fourth ranks first as a beer-pouring holiday. Labor Day and Memorial Day are up there. But July 4 calls for a good, cold one.
A good choice is the playful Coney Island Brewing Co.'s summer seasonal, Tunnel of Love Watermelon Wheat, a fruity refresher; $10 for a six-pack. Crisp, a little floral, with slight bitterness, is Brooklyn Brewery's dependable Summer Ale. A six-pack is about $9.
Samuel Adams re-releases its hoppy Latitude 48 IPA Deconstructed group. The 12-pack includes two bottles of the brewer's reliable Latitude 48 IPA, plus two bottles each of the its single-hop IPAs. The newest member is Latitude 48 Mosaic IPA, with Yakima Valley hops and hints of citrus and tropical fruit. The 12-pack is $16 to $19.
Victory Brewing Co.'s Summer Love has a baseball-image label, citrus notes and lively style. Six-pack, about $9. And Lagunitas Brewing Co. welcomes the heat with Little Sumpin' Sumpin' Ale, a hoppy, smooth, versatile brew. A six-pack is about $13.
Of course, you don't have to stick with beer. Celebrate vinously with the 2009 Philip, an elegant, concentrated Tuscan cabernet sauvignon made by Marchesi Mazzei to honor ancestor Philip Mazzei, a friend and ally of Thomas Jefferson. Mazzei brought European grapevines with him. It's about $50.
Or have a sparkler instead. Mionetto IL Prosecco is crown-capped, easy to open and fun, for about $12. And if you want to get a head start on Bastille Day: Nicolas Feuillatte D'Luscious, a semi-sec rose champagne, fruity, charming and $59.