Jul 24th 2017

Summer Beer Favorites - Staff Picks

If there's one thing I'm sure about this summer, it's that cold beer is an absolute necessity, and I think any of my coworkers at Formaggio Kitchen would immediately agree. We may have different taste in brands, flavors, and styles, but that doesn't stop us from trying and appreciating them all. Since I began working here, the amount of knowledge I have gained about beer, alone, is extraordinary. How can I not when people are constantly bringing back local beers from their travels to share with everyone?

From bitter but juicy IPAs to tart sours, I've tested quite a few of the beers we carry here, and our selection is nothing short of spectacular. Beer buyer Sean Nee likes to keep the shelves stocked with a diverse, tasty, and funky array of beer from both local breweries and across the pond. To help quench any beer thirst you have this summer, seven of our beer connoisseur's are here to point you to the best of the best in their own words.

Let's kick it off from our beer buyer himself:

Sean's Pick:

Banded Horn Brewing Co. Pepperell Pilsner

German Pilsner

4.6% ABV

Biddeford, Maine

The Pepperell Pils (named after the Pepperell Factory in Biddeford, Maine) is a bright and delicious unfiltered lager. This classic German Pilsner possesses a solid malt presence giving it both a rich flavor and body; and unlike many American Pilsners over the past few years, the hops provide a crisp, subtle bitterness to balance out the malt (but never overwhelm it.) The Pepperell would be the perfect partner to some grilled sausages this BBQ season.

Mary's Pick:

Distelhäuser Brauerei Landbier

Dark Lager

5.1% ABV

Tauberbischofsheim, Germany

I love Distelhäuser Landbier! Ever since travelling to Germany a couple of years back, I've been searching for a beer that transported my tastebuds back there: Distelhäuser Landbier has totally done that. While here in the U.S., our breweries are alllll about the hops; German brewers do an amazing job at balancing hops and malt. This landbier is a bit maltier and darker in color than your standard lager, but the flavor is still surprisingly light and refreshing. Its ABV of 5.1% means I won't be bowled over after drinking just one or two. A perfect session beer for a hot Summer day!

Serdar's Pick:

To Øl Gose to Hollywood


3.8% ABV


As the writing on the can suggests, Gose to Hollywood is best consumed on warm summer days. A perfect ale for porch sipping, it's brewed in Belgium by De Proef using salt, coriander, and California oranges. The saltiness is balanced with the addition of oranges with very minimal coriander flavor giving this brew a bright flavor. You can pair this with afternoon snacks such as salt and pepper peanuts or a fresh goat's milk cheese.

Peter's Pick:

Rothaus Tannenzäpfle Pils


5.1% ABV

Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Rothaus Tannenzäpfle Pils, the beer your 'taciturn but loving German Herr professor Doktor grandfather' drank. Clean, stark, and sophisticated. Serve next to an open faced sandwich made with: pain poilâne, Formaggio Kitchen house-made liverwurst, Jasper Hill's Willoughby, Schwerter Senfmühle Adrian Mustard, and razor thin red onion slices. 

Kelsey's Pick:

Upland Peach Barrel-Aged Sour

Sour Ale

6% ABV

Bloomington, IN

Let's talk sours, and one sour in particular that is sure to help you beat the heat this summer. Queue Upland Peach Barrel-Aged Sour. Brewed with ripe peaches, this subtly sweet beer packs a deliciously tart punch and an ABV you absolutely wouldn't expect from such a drinkable beverage. Pair it with a tray of freshly shucked Wellfleet Oysters overlooking the water somewhere and you've got yourself a near perfect afternoon.

Jeremy's Pick:

Night Shift Whirlpool

Pale Ale

4.5% ABV

Everett, MA

Night Shift's Whirlpool is a perfect summer beer. It's an easy drinking pale ale with soft, juicy hoppiness that screams ripe peach with a hint of citrus. Refreshing enough for the beach, but flavorful enough to stand up to grilling. Surprisingly perfect with pizza!

Jesse's Pick:

Hanssens Artisnaal's Oude Geuze and Oude Kriek


6% ABV

Dworp, Belgium

My favorite summer beers are the Oude Geuze and Oude Kriek by Hanssens Artisanaal. These amazingly complex, spontaneously fermented sour beers are perfect as a porch sipper, a refreshing way to cool down from the heat, and they're even better with food. This 'brewery' is run by a husband and wife duo who have full-time jobs; this is truly a labor of love and it shows.

Swing by the shop to pick up any of these beers or to see the rest of our diverse selection! What are you favorites this summer?