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Editor's Note: This story is unlocked for everyone to read courtesy of the CRVA, our partner in nourishing culinary exploration for residents and visitors of the Queen City.

June 13, 2023

Craft beer releases for June

From low-alcohol sippers to a monster IPA there’s something for everyone

by Brian Beauchemin

This month’s releases read as if you’re shopping for fruit; citrus, tropical and berry flavors abound. A wide array of fruits are showcased throughout a multitude of American and German beer varieties. For the traditionalists, there are a couple beer-flavored beers thrown in for good measure as well. A list of new and/or limited releases follows. Unless otherwise stated, all products are already available in taprooms and/or in the local market.

Birdsong Brewing

$1 from each sale of Bridsong’s “Better in Color” will be donated to Time Out Youth. Photo courtesy

A special craft beer offering for June, Better In Color, is a refreshing blonde ale infused with citrus. The limited-edition brew will be available exclusively in Birdsong’s taproom. For every pint of Better In Color sold during June, the brewery will donate $1 to Time Out Youth, a local non-profit organization dedicated to helping and empowering LGBTQ+ youth while promoting a safe and nurturing environment for their growth.

A German-style Schwarzbier, Electric Twist, is a dark, dry, semi-roasty lager. The mild roast shines through without any associated bitterness. The 5% ABV lager is malt-forward with low levels of sweetness.

Lemon Glow Saison is a 5.5% ABV saison with lemon and lemongrass.

Blue Blaze Brewing 
Available June 23, Walk This Way adds a slight touch of lime to a traditional German gose. At 4.8% ABV, this beer will help beat the summer heat.

Legion Brewing 
Experimental Juicy Jay is a limited release version of their year-round Juicy Jay IPA. Brewers switched out one of their foundation hops, Mosaic, and brewed this batch with an experimental hop, currently named “YQH1320,” which was found by Yakima Quality Hops growing wild in northern Idaho. This 6.3% ABV brew provides a more citrusy, dank profile, with less of the tropical notes found in the original Juicy Jay. Available only in the taproom while supplies last, grab 4 oz. tasters of Juicy Jay and Experimental Juicy Jay and explore the differences in aroma and flavor.

NoDa Brewing
This month the brewery introduces two fruity and creamy beers. The first is based on a fruited milkshake concept. Peach Life Milkshake IPA is a creamy 7% ABV IPA hopped with Centennial, Amarillo, and Mosaic hops. Fermented on peach purée and accented with vanilla, the beer delivers a unique fruitiness with vanilla flavors that fully embrace the taste of a summer-time milkshake.

Their second offering, Pickin’ and Sippin’ Strawberry Blonde, releases on draft June 12. This 5% ABV blonde ale utilizes wheat and malted oats, and is brewed with lactose for an added sweetness. The beer is fermented on strawberry purée and uses a yeast called Sundew from Omega Yeast that emits bountiful fruity esters to push the berry notes even further. The beer is rested on vanilla for a smooth, semi-sweet ale with flavors of strawberry cream/

NoDajito Witbier returns to the taproom and Carolina retailers on June 26. The sessionable 4.8% ABV mojito-inspired witbier tastes as if mint leaves picked straight out of the garden were muddled in the can and the rim was rubbed with fresh lime zest. Exquisitely light but still boasting a tenacious head, this brew has been called a vacation in a glass and a “salud” to summer.

Heading back in the direction of more traditional beers, Polo Weather Czech Amber Lager is a Polomatvy Czech-style lager. Polomatvy, meaning “half dark” (which is the inspiration for the name), is essentially the Czech version of a Vienna Lager. The beer is crisp and malt-forward with slightly toasty notes and an enjoyable Saaz hop earthy tone. This beer is a median between a Czech Pilsner and a maltier German lager like the Vienna or Marzen styles. This 4.9% ABV lager releases on draft at the North End Taproom June 19.

Pilot Brewing
Best Sole Forward is their June Charity of the Month beer release, benefiting Good Soles. The easy-drinking, somewhat hoppy 5% ABV beer is amber colored with a caramel malty flavor. $2 from each four pack sold will be donated to Good Soles, which provides steel toe boots and non-slip shoes to organizations helping neighbors transition out of homelessness so they can get the jobs needed to get back on their feet. This charity encourages putting your “Best Sole Forward.”

We’ve all lost power before and Power Outage is an ode to those times. The 5.8% ABV southeastern IPA came about during a brew day in which the brewery lost power, but was fortunate enough to save its beer. The draught-only IPA utilizes flaked maize to boost body and yield clarity. Copious amounts of West Coast and New Zealand hops were blended together to create unique tropical fruit flavors and aromas while producing a smooth, low bitterness.

On June 16, the brewery releases Raspberry Rose Gose. The beer is a German-style tart wheat ale with a 4.2% ABV. The flavor brings forth slight coriander, restrained sea salt character, fresh raspberries, and finishes with a hint of hibiscus.

Cafe Latte Doughnut Stout will be available June 23. This 5.5% ABV sweet stout was brewed with lactose sugar, Ecuadorian cocoa nibs, locally roasted coffee beans, and glazed doughnuts from Pepperbox.

Last but not least, June 30 sees the return of Dunkles Bock. The amber colored, strong, malty German lager showcases malt richness along with toasty qualities and a balanced finish. This 6.6% ABV beer won the 2019 Great American Beer Festival Bronze Medal for the Bock category.

Town Brewing 
Cruise To Nowhere is a 4.8% ABV seasonal sour ale brewed with mango, guava, passion fruit, blood orange, and hibiscus. The sour is a two-time Great American Beer Festival gold medal-winning beer.

Town Brewing releases a hard tea this month. Photo courtesy

Made with real botanicals, Loose Leaf Hard Tea is gluten-free, has zero added sugar and only 100 calories per serving. Three flavors are available and all of them have 4.9% ABV: Peach Green Tea – smooth, subtle mellow peach flavor; Lemon Black Tea – Arnold Palmer flavor; and Hibiscus Mango Passionfruit – light tropical and floral.

Triple C Brewing
POG Slammer is a 6% ABV, tropical-fruited, hazy IPA made with passion fruit, orange, and guava. Dry hopped with Citra, Mosaic and Nectaron hops for a mildly tart and hoppy milkshake aroma and flavor.

Available on draft only June 16, All A Dream is a 5% ABV American Cream Ale brewed with a touch of rice and corn making a light and crisp sessionable beer.

A dry hopped American wheat beer, Toes In The Sand is a fruited wheat ale with sweet strawberry and tropical guava. At 5.3% ABV this beer makes for a solid summer treat. Available June 23 on draft only.

River Tube is a crisp and clear West Coast-style session IPA brewed with American and New Zealand hops for a citrus and tropical aroma. Releasing on June 30 on draft and in cans, this beer sports a mild bitterness and a low 5.1% ABV.

Wooden Robot
What They’re Having is a West Coast IPA with orange peel brewed with our LGBTQ+ friends in mind. This bright, drinkable ABV 5.8% IPA utilizes Amarillo and Eclipse hops to present bold, beautiful, tropical characteristics while the addition of orange peel gives it a little extra pizazz. $1 from every beer sold will benefit Charlotte Pride.

Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em is a West Coast triple IPA brewed in collaboration with Town Brewing. This beer bursts with mango, papaya and peach ring characteristics, followed by a sturdy backbone of dank resin and grapefruit that harmoniously creates a smooth, and dangerously drinkable 9.5% ABV beer.

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