Bikini Blonde beer

Bikini Blonde Lager from the Maui Brewing Co. (Richard Derk )

This is the ideal backyard beer for summer (made on Maui, where they know all about sunny weather). It's a Munich helles-type lager, made with Pilsner and Munich malts and German Hersbrucker and some American German-style hops. The result is light and drinkable but not mindless: bright and crisp with a good deal of quiet, malty heft.

Although it's a little less hoppy than a Pilsner, you detect lively hops as well as malt in the nose. It pours very light yellow with a moderate head. On the palate, it enters crisp and even a little tart, and then round malty body appears. The finish is clean and dry, with a little residual malt sweetness.

Altogether, it's a classy quaffing beer, easygoing and comfortable with many foods, particularly backyard favorites like grilled chicken or sausages.

Style: A sophisticated, well-balanced brew for summer drinking

Price: $2 to $2.50 for a 12-ounce can or $11 to $12 for a six-pack

Where to find it: Beverage Warehouse in Los Angeles, (310) 306-2822, Wally's Wine & Spirits in Los Angeles, (310) 475-0606, Hi-Time Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa, (949) 650-8463; Wade's Wines in Westlake Village, (818) 597-9463; as well as Beverages and More and Total Wine stores.

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