How to Brew a Seasonal Beer

Spice up your homemade beer recipe when the weather turns warm.

Feb 15, 2012
Outside Magazine

"I prefer PBR, coach."    Photo: Courtesy of Everett Collection

Ah, the dog days! High beer-swilling season! Which means trips to the store, which mean getting out of the hammock, which is unfortunate and just another great excuse to brew your own, which is why we asked's Ray Daniels, author of Designing Great Beers, to provide a delicious, foolproof summertime recipe. Inspired by Belgian witbier but with a tropical twist from West Africa, it'll be ready to enjoy in 20 to 30 days. PARADISE SUMMER ALE: 5 lbs wheat-malt extract; 1 oz pelletized centennial hops; 1 packet dry ale yeast; 1 oz grains of paradise, crushed. Boil three gallons of water; remove from heat, add extract, stir until dissolved; add all but a quarter-ounce of the pellets, return to heat, boil while stirring constantly with a long wooden spoon for 40 minutes; add grains of paradise, remaining hops, and two more gallons of water; kill the fire. Makes FIVE FREAKIN' GALLONS (about 53 trips to the head). Kit and ingredients, with fermentation and bottling instructions, from $69;

BONUS SKILL: Choose Your Suds Wisely
Ever since Seoul, South Korea, native and chef Sang Yoon—a self-described beer sommelier—ditched five-star cuisine to reinvent the Santa Monica pub Father's Office, he's been ballyhooed for his awesome beer menu. Here are histop summer sippers: GRILLING? Alaskan Smoked Porter: nice and rich; you'll look like a genius. BEACH-BUMMING? Allagash White: cool, tart, fresh; goes well with that ubiquitous smell of coconut. CLIMBING? Pabst Blue Ribbon: Use the can as a signal mirror if you can't climb home. (Locate the first two with's "beer finder.")