With Labor Day fast approaching (although not fast enough), we’ve got our minds on something that quite honestly does not pair well with labor: beer. And in a city where there’s about as many brews as there are foggy days, there’s no excuse to be caught drinking a Bud. This year, use the holiday as an excuse to celebrate your taste buds and kick back with a cool one.
1. Hop Dog by Midnight Sun Brewing Co. is a beer with a great personality—from its fun-pun name to its 8% alcohol content, this hoppy wheat beer pairs fantastically with anything barbecued. Make sure you get it while it’s around, this brew is seasonal and will only be stocked till the end of September.
2. Saison by Odonata was created as homage to traditional Belgium brews, made by the harvest workers who wanted a cool, refreshing drink to wind down with at the end of a long day. Like the old-school Belgian ones, Saison is brewed in the summer season, hence the name.
3. Blind Pig IPA by Russian River Brewing Co. is more than an odd name. According to the folks over at City Beer, this Santa Rosa brew whose hops lend to a grapefruit-like flavor, is both delicious and way under-rep’d.
4. Sweetgrass APA by Grand Teton Brewing Co. is a truly patriotic creation. Winner of the Great American Beer Festival’s American Pale Ale category last year, this beer is crisp, citrus-y, grassy, and light-bodied.
5. Don’t think that pale ales are the only route you can take for labor day, Katy McNatt from Monk’s Kettle recommends Obsidian Stout by Deschutes, a full-bodied brew with notes of coffee and dark-chocolate.
And for those of you feeling extremely adventurous, amble on over to San Francisco Brewcraft and ask them to set you up with a beginning home-brewing kit so that you can customize a summer beer exactly to your liking.
City Beer Store, 1168 Folsom St., 415-503-1033, citybeerstore.com
Monk’s Kettle, 3141 16th St., 415-805-9523, monkskettle.com
San Francisco Brewcraft, 1555 Clement St., 415-751-9338, sanfranciscobrewcraft.com