A look at some favorites

By Samantha Denette

After spending a semester in Italy, I fancy myself to be a bit of a wine snob. But as much as I love a nice crisp Vernaccia di San Gimignano, there are a few drawbacks to my vino preferences. First of all, many bars don’t carry good wine. Secondly, if they do it’s sold by the bottle. And thirdly, it’s expensive!

So rather than try to organize my friends at the bar to split a bottle of wine, I’ve done my research and found some girl-approved beers. These five are from Massachusetts breweries, so odds are if you’re in the area, you can find these beverages, have a drink and support some of the Bay State’s brew houses..

UFO Raspberry Hefeweizen: For beer enthusiasts it’s a bit of a cop-out, but one of my favorites is a fruit beer. This wheat beer is soft and light – the raspberry flavor remaining faintly sweet. Most of the time foam is a bad thing, but this unfiltered Hefeweizen is true to tradition and has a nice layer. Its cloudy appearance lends itself to the taste: full and round.

Unlike some beers that feel weighty and leave you sluggish, UFO Raspberry is clean and a bit tart. The biggest drawback of UFO Raspberry is that it’s seasonal and can only be enjoyed during the summer months. But in a frosted glass with some frozen raspberries tossed in, it’s the perfect beer for a warm summer evening.

Cape Ann Brewing Fisherman’s Ale: Brewed in Gloucester, Mass., this brisk ale has sharp notes of hops and malt. With a slight hint of citrus, the flavor fills your mouth and lingers. A tad sweet and always refreshing, it’s tempting to chug Fisherman’s Ale. It would go well with some freshly caught and grilled fish or would add some fun to an afternoon sail.

Cape Cod Beer Beach Blonde Ale: Though much less available than other beers, it’s worth picking up once you pass over the bridge onto the Cape. Like the quintessential beach girl, this blonde is light, golden and refreshing. This smooth ale makes for easy drinking. With a hint of malt, this amber ale would make a splendid addition to your cooler for a picnic at Nauset Light or a day of surfing out at Cahoon Hollow.

Amherst Brewing Company Honey Pilsner: As the semester draws to a close, it’s the perfect time to head to ABC for drinks after class with friends. My go-to pick is always the Honey Pilsner. It’s crisp but warm with hints of honey and malt. Unlike fruity summer ales, this pilsner is full bodied and can stand up to the restaurants’ hearty burger or crispy mozzarella sticks.

Samuel Adams Cranberry Lambic: Don’t be fooled by another beer with fruit in the name. Unlike the light flavor of the UFO Raspberry, the fermentation process of a lambic beer yields a much richer taste. That, combined with the sharp cranberries, offers a side of sour bitterness and malt. Primarily featuring strong cranberry flavors, there are also undercurrents of clove and nutmeg. This Sam Adam’s seasonal is practically begging to be sipped in the corner of a cozy pub with good friends.

Samantha Denette can be reached at [email protected]