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Where In Town: Calvert Woodley Wines & Spirits, 4339 Connecticut Ave. NW

Price: $9.49/six-pack

Sunny Delights

If you spent Memorial Day as I did—bathed in charcoal smoke and watermelon juices while working on a sandal tan of mind-boggling geometric complexity—then you’re already well aware that Summer Six-Pack Season is upon us. Suddenly the only way to attend most social engagements is with a half-dozen bottles in hand, the appropriate Pavlovian reaction to the sounds of the grill. It’s a good time to find a go-to brew that’s widely available and relatively affordable. My barbecue offering of choice is Sierra Nevada’s Torpedo India pale ale.

Pursuit of Hoppiness

Although milder, lower-alcohol craft beers such as witbiers (think Blue Moon), hefeweizens, and pilsners are among the most popular warm-weather styles, I tend to veer toward citrusy, herbal hop flavors that pair well with marinated meats and other grillables. Torpedo doesn’t disappoint. An aroma of pine and grapefruit, with a hint of tropical fruit from trendy Citra hops, is the prelude to a sturdy, malty beer that still tastes bright and refreshing. The label calls it “perfectly balanced.” I call it perfectly summery.