Fort George 3-Way IPA
Portland has a few great hazy IPAs, but no great ones readily available in cans. Until now. Hazy IPAs are notoriously brittle, so Fort George brews the beer three times a week to keep it fresh, then allocates the cans in small batches to make sure it’s as fresh as possible. I’ve been drinking about one a week—this cloudy New England-style beer always has a beautiful golden haze, a soft, satisfying citrus character and a nice bite of hoppiness on the finish.
Stiegl Zitrone Lemon Radler
You know the Stiegl Radler. Everyone knows Stiegl Radler. Portland has flipped for the "La Croix of Beers," which contains a perfect mix of light lager with bitey grapefruit soda. Well, the Austrian brewery, which has been brewing since Columbus set sail, is sending something new this year—a lemon version made with the same base lager but sweetened with natural lemon juice. It's lighter and brighter than the original, and maybe just a hair too sweet—think Limoncello Sorbetto, but canned.
Pfungstädter Weizen Radler
Is Stiegl lemon a little too bracing for you? New to cans, this German radler is made with wheat malt, making it creamier than the soda-based Stiegl. Like Stiegl, it's made with real citrus juice instead of the flavoring agents in most radlers. This year's aluminum version traveled much better than the green glass bottles used to in years past. The bubbles are big and fat, and the citrus is soft and sugary. At 2.7% ABV, you can sip them on the porch all afternoon and still be soberish when it's time to fire up the grill for dinner.
Portland Cider Company Sangria
This "sangria" is our new favorite low-cost cider. It's not actually sangria, because the base is apples instead of grapes. But it's also not nearly as cloying as you'd expect for a $6.50 22-ouncer flavored with seven fruits. None of those fruits really introduce themselves in the sip. There's a nice ripe berry flavor and it's not exactly tart, but it's also not not tart. The makers suggest food pairings, but we would not. Pour this puppy over ice, or find a shady spot in the park
Reuben's Brews Gose
It feels like Oregon's shelves and taps are being inundated with new beers from out-of-state operations. Most of the appeal seems to be novelty—we don't really need Founders IPA, do we? Then there's this fantastic gose from Seattle-based Reuben's Brews. A gold medal winner at the 2015 and 2016 Great American Beer Festival, it's salty and sweet in just the right proportions, made with lactobacillus, salt and coriander. It all adds up to a refreshing cucumber-salad vibe. If there's a better canned gose anywhere, I've not had it.