Ciders and toddies and heavier wines may own the wintertime, but summer and suds are a pairing nearly as old as fermentation itself.
And in California, a summertime play place if there ever was one, warm-weather suds very often take on a local bent, both in name and style.
Recent spring and summer seasons have seen the debuts of the June Gloom brew from the Venice Beach Beer Company, Point the Way IPA from Golden Road, and 805 from the Central Coast's Firestone Walker Brewing Company.
June Gloom salutes a certain local weather pattern, 805 summons one of the state's coolest area codes, and Point the Way is an ode "to the hop-crazed patrons of Los Angeles."
Bur regionally themed brews have a new player, and the highway named in the moniker'll is a California classic: FMB 101. It's a kolsch-style beer from Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company, a suds outfit that boasts a trio of Santa Barbara County locations, with an HQ in Buellton.
Company co-founder Jaime Dietenhofer explains "we wanted to can a light, lower-alcohol beer that goes great with camping, a day at the beach, or just kicking back at home." It's described as a "flavorful, food-friendly beer" with a "delicate, fruity aroma."
FMB 101 debuts in June at select retail locations around the state. There'll be a release party on the first day of summer, appropriately enough -- that's June 21 -- at the Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company's Santa Barbara and Buellton taprooms.
If foam related to home isn't yet a trend, with California brews on the annual march, it surely is about to be. What's the next beer to homage the Golden State and what will be the twist? An orange scent, an avocado hue, a beach-salty brew?
We're a pretty big place, brewmasters, with lots of inspiration to draw upon.