Beer—really—on the "Wine Finds" page?
Yup. Sometimes something other than a glass of wine is needed, despite how lovely wine is on all occasions! For example, a Master Sommelier friend is also well-versed on sake. So, when enjoying sushi with him, sake is the pairing. Similarly, on a 100˚ day, as wonderful as a well-chilled glass or two of rosé might be, beer is awfully nice.
If you're around the Portland area, here's some info on the assortment Susan & I tried with friends. Can't guarantee their availability elsewhere (the first beer listed being an exception because we love "sours"). From left to right:
Crooked Stave "Brett d'Or" beer is from Denver. But it's a great example of a sour, as well as a brettanomyces' inoculated beer. Those who love "barnyard" in their Burgundies take note.
Grain Station "Haystack Gold" is made in McMinnville, OR. Pleasant, but not the standout of the evening.
Benedictine "Black Habit" is offered by the monks of Mount Angel (OR) Abbey and Monastery, near Silverton, OR. Not as heavy/malty as a porter or stout. Delightful, even on a hot day; roasted coffee notes, refreshing when well-chilled.
Laurelwood "Workhorse" IPA, Portland, OR. Well-regarded West Coast-style IPA. But maybe I'm moving beyond over-the-top hops? Not right for tonight.
Golden Valley Brewery "Chehalem Mountain" IPA. Pleasant, but not the standout of the evening.
Seven Brides "Kili's Kölsch"—the winner of the night, followed by the Benedictine "Black Habit." Seven Brides, Silverton, OR. Flavorful, good texture, great choice for a 100˚ day (but a lot of other days, as well).
By the way, if it looks like the bottles get larger from left to right, nope—just wide-angle lens camera distortion.