A few years ago, craft canned beers were more of a novelty: Any time a brewery decided to can a new one or can one of its existing offerings, it was worthy of a news story. These days, canned craft beers are the norm, especially in summer, and new ones come out on a weekly basis. But that doesn't mean they're undeserving of attention. In fact, during the warmer months, canned beer is just about all I drink, whether it's by the backyard grill, at a campground in the mountains, or after sneaking some cans in to a private pool. There are plenty to choose from already, but here are six more that you'll probably be seeing a lot of soon. Cheers.
Whitewater Wheat Ale
Great Divide Brewing
When Great Divide was founded in 1994, one of its first two beers was Whitewater Wheat. Eventually, the brewery stopped making the beer, but decided to keep the name. This year, it will bring that back, but with a totally new recipe that plays into the recent popularity of hoppy wheat beers. The new Whitewater Wheat will also be the second beer to be canned at Great Divide's new packaging facility in River North. It is available on store shelves starting this week.
The Longmont brewery that is best known for its hoppy beers strangely doesn't have a regular IPA. Will this beer fill the void? It's hard to know: The brewery is keeping the details under wraps, but may have an announcement soon.
Modus Mandarina IPA
Ska Brewing loves orange-y flavors and has made several beers that use them. But this one is particularly exciting, since it is a twist on the flagship Modus Hoperandi IPA, which is one of the top IPAs made in Colorado. Dry-hopped with Mandarina Bavaira hops, which have a citrusy flavor and aroma on their own, the beer was also brewed with sweet orange peels. It should be out in late summer.
Blood Orange Saison
Like Ska's Modus Mandarina (above) Upslope’s limited-release Blood Orange Saison is jumping onto a recent trend in brewing to pair citrusy hops with actual citrus (other examples include Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin, Bull & Bush 4.0 GPA, Lagunitas CitruSinensis Pale Ale, Strange Craft Breakfast Grapefruit IPA, and Black Shirt's Blood Orange Double IRA). While this one is a saison, it does have those Mandarina hops, along with blood oranges and pink peppercorns.
Howdy Beer and Townie Ale
The Post Brewing
Okay, there are actually two beers here, rather than one. In mid-August, The Post Brewing will release cans of Howdy Beer and Townie Ale in signature six-packs. There will be a series of parties celebrating the release, which you can find in an upcoming Beer Calendar post, but here are the brewery descriptions: "Howdy Beer is a smooth, drinkable All-American Pilsener that weighs in at 4.5 percent ABV. It recently won the Silver Medal for Best American / International Style Pilsener at the Great American Beer Fest 2014. Townie Ale is brewed to a beautiful 6.2 percent ABV with American Malt and loads of American hops. It took home the Bronze for Best English-style IPA at the 2015 Denver International Beer Competition."
Raja Double IPA
A close relation of Avery's well-known Maharaja IPA, Raja will be released on September 25 at the Great Avery Boulder Fest (which also takes place on the first night of this year's Great American Beer Festival in Denver). Available in four-packs and on draft, the beer will feature Vic's Secret and Galaxy hops, and will be 8 percent ABV. The can reads: "Brazenly bitter. Dashingly dry-hopped. Raja is an audacious addition to our lengthy lineage of intrepid IPAs. Hops for All! All for hops!"