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SIOUX CITY -- We understand sour beers tend to be all the rage nowadays, but what's with this One Cool Cuke that has been turning heads at Jackson Street Brewing? 

"This is a beer that's brewed with a cucumber puree and we add extra pickle juice at the kegging," brewmaster Dave Winslow explained, adding a pickle garnish as the finishing touch to the already tart drink. "It is very refreshing on a very hot day."

Well, we'll just have to take Winslow's word on pickle beer. However, he does have a knack for introducing unique ingredients to some summertime suds.

"When things heat up, people want lighter beers that  are very refreshing," he said inside Jackson Street Brewing's 607 Fifth St. tasting room. "In the winter, we like porters and stouts but, in the summer, we prefer easier-drinking beers."

Often times, such beers are flavored with fruit.

For instance, Jackson Street Brewing currently incorporates apricots, blood oranges and grapefruits into its sour beers.

"These are quite popular in the summer months," Winslow said. "As kids, we loved drinking lemonade in hot weather. Tart beers have a similar appeal. It combines both sweetness and sourness in the same glass."

Among the more popular styles of beers are Gose -- a top-fermented beer originating in Goslar, Germany that uses salt, coriander and lactic acid to attain a characteristic sourness -- as well as Kolsch -- a clear beer with a straw-yellow hue to it.

"A Kolsch is something that goes down very easy," Winslow said. "That makes it a refreshing choice for summer."

Other easy-drinking brews include Pablo's Pale Ale, which is an American Pale Ale that contains some orange notes; Bob's Bohemian Pilsner, which combines both mild and spicy German hops; as well as the Fruity Pebbles IPA, which is both hoppy and fruity at the same time.

"If I had my choice, I'd be drinking the Fruity Pebble IPA all summer long," Winslow said. "It is that good."

One of Jackson Street Brewing's more unusual beers is the Slice of Spring Milkshake Double India Pale Ale (DIPA). 

This a very hazy drink that contains vanilla, peach and strawberry puree as well as lactose, which gives it a thick, creamy feel that is similar to a milkshake.

What can be weirder than a beer milkshake? Well, how about a beer that tastes like peanut butter?

Winslow's Symphony Milk Stout is a symphony of divergent flavors. Containing peanut butter, vanilla and lactose, it is dark, thick and has the aroma of a freshly opened jar of Jif.

"This may not be the perfect beer for summer," he said, "but it is a good beer for people wanting something that off the beaten track."

Which is why Winslow started making craft beers in the first place.

"There are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to beer making or beer drinking," he said. "There's nothing that says you need to drink a fruity beer in summer or a heavier beer in the winter." 

However, summer wouldn't be summer without a thirst-quenching beer.

"A nice, refreshing beer is the perfect way to beat the heat," Winslow said. "After the winter we've had, I'm ready for a warm-up."

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Food and Lifestyles reporter

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