Untapped Festival returned to Fort Worth's Panther Island Pavilion Saturday and once again proved that indie bands and craft beers make a winning combination. (Like we needed convincing.)
With more than 300 available brews for swilling, even a pro drinker like myself could easily be overwhelmed. So I went on a mission to combat the sticky, 80-something degree weather with refreshments. Here are eight beers guaranteed to satisfy no matter your taste or summer activity. Most are sessionable, meaning around 5 percent alcohol content, and widely available at craft beer stores, Central Market, Goody Goody and grocery stores with a great selection.
If you like something light
Grab an Alamo Pilsner from Alamo Beer Co. This newly available brewery in North Texas has a full lineup of easy-drinking styles, but the pilsner cuts through the summer heat with its light body and crisp finish. It's a smooth, traditional lager that can satisfy "big beer" fans as well as craft drinkers.
Or reach for a Summer's Wit from Buffalo Bayou Brewing Co. if you're in the mood for more robust flavor. This brew out of Houston has notes of grape in the aroma, a full body and a crisp finish that's followed by another burst of juicy flavor.
If you like something fruity
Sip on an Éphémère Apple from Unibroue. Don't be scared -- this brew doesn't taste like a candy apple. It's more like a cider, but drier with tart notes of Granny Smith apples and a mild sweetness.
Or grab a Passion Fruit Kicker by Green Flash Brewing Co. You'll notice the passion fruit immediately on the nose, but it doesn't swoop back in until the aftertaste. In between, expect a light and refreshing ale that isn't overtly sweet.
Another good choice is the Blood Orange Wheat Ale from Full Sail Brewing Co. This brew has a super fizzy mouthfeel, almost akin to a soda. It's bright and bubbly with great blood orange flavor that's more tart than sugary.
If you like something hoppy
Grab a Mosaic Promise by Founders Brewing Co. This IPA is light in body and light on the malts. It's greatest attribute is the use of hops -- and lots of them. But this isn't a palate-shocker. Instead, the brewery brings out floral and citrusy notes in the recipe making the hops more effervescent than bitter.
Or try a Maiden the Shade by Ninkasi Brewing Co., which employs the hops primarily for bittering, but also retains their juicy attributes. It's citrusy up front and mellows out for the finish.
If you like something adventurous
Don't miss out on Tart N' Juicy by Epic Brewing Co. It's a sour IPA, which may sound odd, but I found it refreshing to the bone. Because it's kettle-soured and utilizes a lot of hops, both the "sour" and "IPA" attributes are mellowed, forming a well-balanced if unusual flavor. The rep at Untapped said the brewery can hardly keep up with demand for this product, so grab it when you find it.