Photo | Lagniappe

As you celebrate the Glorious Fourth, remember that the Founding Fathers would have thought nothing more appropriate than to raise a glass of local brew to toast our independence. The Sons of Liberty planned the Boston Tea Party at the Green Dragon Tavern — probably sustained by some of Sam Adams’ beers — while presidents Washington, Jefferson and Madison all brewed their own suds. During his presidency, James Madison proposed the idea of a federal brewery, while George Washington’s handwritten recipe for “Small Beer” can be found on in the internet. (He also distilled his own whiskey!)

If you don’t want to brew your own, we’re lucky to have a number of great local options to choose from this Independence Day. Serda Brewing recently received a Can Can Award for its Hook, Line and Lager, which won the gold medal in the German-style Pilsner category. It’s a lighter beer, but with good flavor, and should be a favorite of those sitting in Serda’s Beer Garden on Government Street on these warm evenings.

The Can Cans are awards reserved for craft beers distributed in cans, and there were more than 350 entries in this year’s competition. Created to promote canned craft beer, which currently represents only about 9 percent of the craft beer market, the Can Can awards promote the benefits of canned beer, namely its ease of opening, environmental benefits (aluminum is much more easily recycled than glass) and preservation of the beer (protection against UV rays that can skunk beer).   

Serda just finished its third canning run of 800 cases of its Hook, Line and Lager and its Tidewater Vienna, both of which can be found not only at the brewery, but at a number of grocery stores in our area, including Rouses’ and Piggly Wiggly.

Serda will also can its special summer style, the Homeport Hefeweizen, in a couple of weeks. I sampled the Homeport on a recent visit to the taproom and really enjoyed it. A wheat beer with lemon and coriander flavorings, it is an excellent summertime brew.      

Meanwhile across the bay, Fairhope Brewing Co. also has a summer brew, created in homage to that great American patriot, Hulk Hogan. Hop Hogan is a double IPA in the tradition of the fine IPAs at FBC, but, at 9 percent alcohol by volume, it will hit you like a leg drop from the Hulkster himself. It’s an excellent IPA, similar to FBC’s Take the Causeway but lighter in color and with a good, bitter finish. Hop Hogan is available both at the taproom in Fairhope and also in bottles at grocery stores throughout the area. Make sure to check out the great bottle artwork! “Whatcha gonna drink, brother?”          

So enjoy one of our local summer beers this Fourth of July, either at the taprooms or at home in bottles or cans, and remember the wise words of Benjamin Franklin: “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”