Expert Picks for July 2017

Summer is all-too fleeting, but fortunately most of our favorite summer brews are not. Although Mike’s Hard Watermelon Lemonade sadly departs at summer’s end, Dirty Blonde, Shiner Bock, and Lagunitas IPA are brewed year-round, a delightful happenstance for craft beer lovers, because once you find the perfect summer sipper, you can enjoy summer any time […]

Summer is all-too fleeting, but fortunately most of our favorite summer brews are not. Although Mike’s Hard Watermelon Lemonade sadly departs at summer’s end, Dirty Blonde, Shiner Bock, and Lagunitas IPA are brewed year-round, a delightful happenstance for craft beer lovers, because once you find the perfect summer sipper, you can enjoy summer any time of year.

Dirty Blonde

From mild to wild, this one’s the perfect companion for whatever you’re up for. Crisp wheat smoothness gives way to a touch of coriander snap and a kiss of linger sweet orange peel. With a beautiful cloudy golden hue and ample head, this one makes you love her more with every pour.


Dirty Blonde pairs well with your favorite light fish and marinated chicken. If you’re looking for an excuse to really enjoy yourself, try it in and with Atwater’s take on beer can chicken:

Dirty Bird Beer Can Chicken

Prep Time: 30 mins + chilling
Grill Time: 1¼ hrs + standing
Serves: 6


  • 1 Tbsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp Onion powder
  • 1 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Ground mustard
  • 1 Broiler or fryer chicken (3½ to 4 lbs)
  • 1 (12oz) can Dirty Blonde



  1. In a small bowl, mix the first seven ingredients. With fingers, carefully loosen skin from chicken; rub seasoning mixture under and over skin. Tuck wings under chicken. Refrigerate, covered, 1 hour.
  2. Completely cover all sides of an 8- or 9-in. baking pan with foil. Place a beer-can chicken rack securely in pan. Drink half the beer from can. Using a can opener, make additional large holes in top of can; place can in rack.
  3. Stand chicken vertically on rack; place on grill rack. Grill, covered, over indirect medium heat 1¼ to 1½ hours or until a thermometer inserted in thickest part of thigh reads 170°-175°.
  4. Carefully remove pan from grill; tent chicken with foil. Let stand 15 minutes before carving.


Shiner Bock

Shiner Bock is an American-style dark lager that combines Old World Bavarian heritage with American handcraft brewing. Originally brewed as a seasonal, Shiner Bock was so popular that fans demanded it be available year round, and so it has been since 1973. Every drop of Shiner Bock is still brewed at the original brewery in operation since 1909.

Shiner Bock’s smooth, rich, satisfying taste comes from North Dakota barley malt, German special malts, pure artesian water and American-grown brewer’s gold hops. It won Gold at the Great American Beer Festival in 2012 and the 2012 European Beer Star. In fact, Shiner Bock has been awarded 12 times since 2001.


Bock is balanced throughout, with a roasted caramel flavor and a quick and clean, ever-so-slightly-sweet finish. It makes an outstanding companion to burgers, steak, brisket, grilled meats, slightly spicy and rich food (tacos, fajitas), pizza, and bready, rich foods. Enjoy it in and with two of our favorite recipes:

Shiner Bock Beer Bread

Servings: 6
Yield: 3 loaves


  • 1½ cups Shiner Bock beer, flat and at room temperature
  • 2½ cups Whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp Active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup Warm water
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ¼ cup Honey
  • ¼ cup Canola oil
  • 1½ cups White wheat flour


  1. The night before: Pour beer into mug, cover with paper towel, and let sit out on counter overnight. (You want it to be room temperature and flat.)
  2. Next day: Dissolve yeast in warm water in mixing bowl. Mix in honey.
  3. Add both flours and salt, and stir to mix. Stir in oil and slowly add beer. Mix well. Place dough on floured work surface and knead 15 minutes. (Dust with flour if dough is too sticky).
  4. Place lightly oiled bowl and cover. Let rise to double in size.
  5. Punch down and let rest 5 minutes.
  6. Shape dough into four oval shaped loaves. Place loaves on lightly oiled cookie sheet. Score with a knife (2 diagonal scores a couple inches apart).
  7. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  8. Cover loosely with food cling wrap and allow to double in size again.
  9. Bake 30 minutes.


Shiner Bock & Cheese Soup with Jalapenos & Tortilla Strips

Serves: 12


  • ¼ cup Canola oil
  • 2 Medium onions, chopped
  • 3 Carrots, peeled and sliced thin
  • 3 stalks Celery, chopped
  • 4 Baking potatoes, about 2½ pounds total, peeled and cut into ¼-inch dice
  • 4 Jalapeños, remove seeds and mince
  • 1/3 cup Whole-grain mustard
  • 1 (12oz) bottle Shiner Bock
  • 2½ qts Chicken stock
  • 3½ cups Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup Whipping cream
  • 1 bag Tortilla strips or chips


  1. Heat oil in 6-quart soup pot over medium to high heat.
  2. When oil is hot, add in onions, celery and diced potatoes.
  3. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions become transparent – about 8 minutes.
  4. Add jalapeños, mustard, Shiner Bock, and chicken stock – stir to blend well.
  5. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, or until potatoes become soft and easily break apart.
  6. Place soup into blender and use Puree setting to blend until completely smooth.
  7. Place soup in clean pot, stir in cheese and return to heat.
  8. Cook, stirring continuously until cheese has melted, do not allow to boil.
  9. Add salt to taste.
  10. Stir in whipping cream and cook heating cream thoroughly.
  11. Serve with tortilla strips or chips.


Lagunitas IPA

Considered to be one of the first West Coast style IPA’s, Lagunitas is a well-rounded, highly drinkable IPA. A bit of caramel malt barley provides the richness that mellows out the twang of the Cascade and Centennial hops.


Lagunitas IPA makes an excellent partner with mild blue cheese, steak tacos and burritos, spicy steak or pork pad thai, oysters and mussels, and anything off the grill (caramelization pairs well with the caramel malt), including burgers, ribs, and chicken. Top it all off with a caramel laced desserts.


Mike’s Hard Watermelon Lemonade

This “one in a melon” lemonade is a refreshing blend of ripe juicy watermelon and tart lemonade. Watermelon malt beverages have traditionally been very sweet and candy-like. But Mike’s Hard Watermelon lemonade instead plays up the ripe melon notes to deliver a refreshing new lemonade blend. It’s crafted to remove gluten and actually tastes like a true watermelon … with less seeds.

Mike’s Hard Watermelon’s refreshing flavor with ripe melon notes and tart lemonade make it an ideal complement to light summer dishes, such as fruits, salads, fresh seafood, and grilled meat and vegetables, but we think it really shines in this Watermelon Margarita:


Frozen Watermelon Margarita with Mike’s Hard Lemonade

Yield: 6 drinks


  • ½ Small watermelon, peeled
  • 1 (12oz) bottle Mike’s Hard Watermelon Lemonade
  • 4 oz Tequila
  • 2 oz Cointreau
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 cups Ice
  • Lime juice
  • Watermelon or pink sugar
  • Watermelon and lime wedges for garnish


  1. Place the watermelon, Mike’s Hard Watermelon Lemonade, tequila, Cointreau, lime juice and ice into a blender and blend until a smooth frozen drink is achieved.  Set aside.
  2. Pour the lime juice and watermelon sugar onto 2 separate plates and dip the rim of a margarita glass into the juice and then the sugar making sure to coat the rim in the pink watermelon sugar.
  3. Pour the frozen mixture into the sugar rimmed margarita glass and garnish with watermelon and lime wedges.