Summertime in DC means a few things: humidity, flocks of tourists and the yearly ambush of summer interns. It also means outdoor barbeques and the perfect chance to enjoy some lighter, brighter beers.
Below, I’ve listed five of my favorites. I’m going to mix it up a little, though. Instead of the overplayed food pairings (hint: barbecue tastes good with almost anything), I’m pairing beers with complimentary songs.
My Top 5 Summer Beers Playlist
- M83 “Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming” paired with Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier: German beers are known for using simple ingredients (malt, yeast, hops and water) and creating something complex. This pale, wheat ale beer is easy to take in, provides bright flavors (tons of banana) and can be appreciated in bulk. M83’s entire album, “Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming,” is the perfect companion. It’s pared-down electronic, taking simple sounds and harmonies and creating a perfectly blended melody. Like the Weihenstephaner, the next thing you know it’s 3 am and you’re still in the “dream.”
- The National “Bloodbuzz Ohio” paired with Lagunitas Little Sumpin’ Wild Ale: Lagunitas’ Wild Ale is dark, complex and surprising. It’s easily the heaviest beer on this list, but its flavor isn’t too overpowering to enjoy in hot weather. Equally dark and mysterious is the baritone voice of the National’s lead singer, Matt Berninger. This song seems heavy at first, but may end up becoming the indie anthem for your summer.
- Mayer Hawthorne “The Walk” paired with Bells Oberon: Mayer Hawthorne brings his native Detroit’s past and the golden days of Motown to the 21st century. Similarly, Bells Oberon is a classic, but somehow current at the same time. It goes perfectly with an extremely hot day and is my favorite summer ale. Take this beer and this song to your next summertime soiree and hit the dance floor.
- Chuck Brown “Bustin’ Loose” paired with DC Brau The Citizen: This pairing is all about keeping it local. Why not take in DC’s most famous musician (RIP Chuck Brown) while enjoying a Belgian pale ale from local brewery, DC Brau. In fact, have a few. The godfather would want it that way.
- Justine Bieber “Boyfriend” paired with Pretty Things American Darling: You might not want to admit it, but Justin Bieber is not a fad and will be sticking around for a long time. Why not match him with another young gun that’s here to stay. This seasonal beer from the gypsy brewery, Pretty Things, is a pale lager that might surprise you. It’s a beautiful golden brown and knows how to please you… Kind of like a good summer boyfriend (or girlfriend).
All of these beers can be purchased in the Borderstan area. I recommend checking out the local P Street Whole Foods, which is where I went to complete my “research” for this post. It has a great selection of microbrews and a ton of bombers (those large individual bottles that might be confused for a 40-ouncer).
So there you have it; a beer list and a playlist for your next summer event. Leave us your own best beer and song pairings in the comment box.