The Hollywood Bowl's season is in full-swing, and the pre-show picnic is a tradition we never get tired of. Whether you're bringing charcuterie and cheese, fruits and salads, or some picnic sandwiches, there are plenty of craft brews to add to your picnic basket. In addition to all the new beer that's available in cans, here are four suggestions that are sure to please your blanket-mates - even if they're usually wine drinkers.
Logsdon - Seizon / Seizon Bretta
This organic farmhouse-style ale from Oregon is available in two versions: the standard Seizon and the more complex and earthy Seizon Bretta which adds a funky wild yeast. They are both light, lively, and refreshing, and the Bretta version is a wonderful match for the cheese and cured meats in your picnic basket.
Lindemans - Cuvee Rene
Brewery Lindemans is best known for their cloyingly sweet fruited lambic beers that can be found in supermarkets and corner stores, but the Cuvee Rene does not deserve the same derision that's heaped on many of those other beers. This geuze -- a blend of young and old lambic beers -- is funky and bracingly tart, and it is a versatile match for many picnic foods. It is a great, affordable introduction to the geuze style - and a great crossover beer for wine drinkers.
Eagle Rock Brewery - Unionist
The newest of Eagle Rock Brewery's bottled offerings, Unionist is a Belgian-style pale ale that is both approachable and refreshing. The beer strikes a balance between hoppy and malty, and the spice and fruit flavors produced by the Belgian yeast and dry finish make it a great match for summer salads.
The Bruery - Trade Winds Tripel
This Belgian golden ale from Orange County forgoes the Belgian candi sugar that is usually found in tripels and instead uses rice to lighten the beer and bump up the alcohol content. The 8% alcohol ale has a distinct herbaceous quality from the addition of Thai basil that complements the spicy Belgian yeast flavors. It's the brew to toss in your basket if you're packing tuna (or chicken) salad sandwiches, and it's perfect for a cold noodle salad.
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