Beer, Wine & Spirits

Six brews to give your barbecue a patriotic boost

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The Fourth of July weekend is synonymous with barbecues, beer and fireworks—and when it comes to the beer part of that equation, it is the height of the drinking season.

In 2014, the week of the Independence Day holiday ranked as the highest beer-selling period of the year, according to Nielsen.

If you're looking to put a little patriotism into your beer selection this holiday weekend, consider the following suggestions:

Anchor Brewing: The San Francisco-based Anchor first brewed Liberty Ale in 1975 to celebrate the bicentennial of Paul Revere's historic ride. It's considered by many to be the first modern American India Pale Ale (IPA), though it came about before the term IPA was in wide use.

Regardless of whether you consider this an American Pale Ale or India Pale Ale, Liberty Ale still holds its own against its much younger hop-forward challengers, even 40 years after its creation.

Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing.
Source: Anchor Brewing

Samuel Adams: For more than 30 years, Samuel Adams founder Jim Koch has done a masterful job marketing the brand he named after a Revolutionary War patriot and brewer. What he didn't do was create a flagship IPA, which in recent years has become the most popular craft beer style.

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That changed last year, as Samuel Adams went all-in with the release of Rebel IPA. In its first year, the beer became the third best-selling IPA, trailing only Lagunitas IPA and Sierra Nevada Torpedo IPA, according to Chicago-based market research firm IRI.

Yuengling: Samuel Adams might get more press, but no American-owned brewery has been around longer than Pottsville, Pennsylvania-based D.G. Yuengling and Son, which was founded in 1829. Yuengling is so well loved it sold more than 2.7 million barrels last year, despite being distributed in only 17 states.

Yuengling Lager gets most of the love but the brewery's Summer Wheat, which debuted last year, is also worth a look.

Rogue Ales: No matter what beer you sip this weekend, don't forget the many men and women who have sacrificed to give us the freedoms we all enjoy today. Since 1988, Oregon's Rogue Ales has been brewing its American Amber Ale and dedicating it to the U.S. Armed Forces.

Samuel Adams Rebel IPA.
Source: Samuel Adams

Prairie Artisan Ales: Meanwhile, if you literally want to put some ''Merica' in your mouth as you toast America's birthday, look no further than Prairie Artisan Ales. The Oklahoma-based brewery has a periodic release called 'Merica. It's a single malt, single hop farmhouse ale. This weekend, the name really says all you need to know.

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White House Honey Ale: Lastly, while there are more than one million home brewers in the United States, there's one home brew that stands above all the rest this weekend. White House Honey Ale may be brewed from a kit just like your buddy's brand, but nothing is more American than a beer made in the White House. In order to get your hands on some of this brew, though, you'll need to be close friends with a guy named Barack Obama.