Summer has finally arrived, bringing with it not only the heat but also the obvious want/need to switch to lighter beers.

The other day, I was chatting up the employees at my local distributor when I mentioned I was stocking up for the warm weather and wanted to try some new beers I could enjoy while sitting on the porch. I shared that I hope to find an IPA that wasn’t overly hoppy, as I’m not a big fan of the total hoppy IPAs (I find them to be a bit too bitter, and they tend to make me somewhat nauseated).

“You’re looking for a good porch beer?” one guy responded. “Come right over to the cooler, because we’ve got just what you are looking for and it’s chilling right here.”

He pointed me in the direction of a fresh shipment of New Trail Brewing Co.’s Lightning Bug Hazy IPA. Having done business here for a while, I trust the dude, and so I grabbed a four-pack of pint cans.

On the drive home I kept thinking that maybe this would be the IPA I finally liked, because I need to kick off the summer the right way. Walking onto my deck, I lit a citronella torch and popped the top, pouring the brew into my favorite pint glass. The pour impressed me with its thick head that sat atop a hazy, pale, golden liquid that shimmered in the glass. The hops jumped right out at first sniff with an underlying citrus scent. The head held at about 3/4 inch and maintained its thickness throughout the rest of the pour. The legs held on to the glass all the way to the bottom.

The wicked strong first taste left a number of flavors dancing on my palate. The first layer was the hops, but they were not overly bitter and actually paired quite well with the citrus that came on next, followed by a slight aftertaste of pineapple. The blend worked so well that these words do not do it justice whatsoever.

This beverage clocks in at 6.5% ABV and went down extremely smoothly, so as always, I encourage you to enjoy it responsibly. It is the perfect pick for a night on the deck, or even at a campsite around a fire with friends. I do not usually like citrus beers, and I tend to shy away from IPAs — but this is quite possibly the best summer beer I have ever had the pleasure of pouring down my throat. This converted me, a lifelong advocate of stouts and dark porters, into an IPA fanboy.

New Trail Brewing Co. is in Williamsport and is family- and dog-friendly, so I know I’ll plan a road trip in the near future to grab a taste in person and bring home a case (or six). It offers a number of rotating brews, and you can find the most up to date information on its Facebook page.

Summer is in full swing, and I can’t wait to tour some breweries. Enjoy the season, and stay safe out there, NEPA.