July may be Oregon Craft Beer Month, but given the painfully hot weather around the region lately, Bendites can be forgiven for wishing this month passes as quickly as possible. But, like it does for many of life's other annoyances, beer provides a solution. Summer seasonals are all over the bars and shelves right now, offering light, breezy beers that—to borrow a certain hackneyed ad slogan—won't fill you up and never let you down. Some of the Oregon-made highlights:
Prowell Springs Pre-Prohibition Lager (Crux)
First brewed in 2013, Prowell Springs gets its name from Roger Prowell, Bend's former water-quality supervisor and the man Crux brewer Larry Sidor credits for the City's world-beating tap supply. Now it's become a summer regular at the bar, and nothing can beat it when the temp nears 100. Corn takes up 15 percent of the malt bill, but don't expect Old German-style adjunct tepidness—this is a crisp lager that offers a sweet aftertaste and just enough hoppiness to remind you where you are. Grab a glass before they run out.
Depending on who you ask at Oblivion's Galveston Avenue taproom, ISA stands for either "India session ale" or "Indian summer ale." Both terms work for this four-percenter, mixing approachability with a distinctively bitter kick. Try it out side-by-side with Reciprocal, the double IPA they brewed with Bend Brewing Co., and you'll taste for yourself how versatile northwest hops can be. (And while you're on Galveston, walk over to 10 Barrel and try their Negro Cerveza for a dark, but very sessionable summer beer.)
Steady as She Gose (Worthy)
It's been a while since a local brewery's tried their hand at a gose, a traditional German style noted for its tartness and saltiness. Worthy's take on the genre is scarily addictive, thanks in part to the tamarind puree they added to the mix, contributing an oddly tropical tinge to its flavor profile.
Nonstop Hef Hop (Hopworks)
The Portland-based Hopworks Urban Brewery just debuted this new year-round beer in 16-ounce cans, perfect for stashing in your bicycle's cup holder. They call it a "session wheat beer," and that summarizes it pretty well, actually—there are some light citrus flavors, but the highlight is the red spring wheat, grown on Hopworks' farm on San Juan Island. All this and only 3.9% ABV, too!