Woh there skippy, don’t let that picture of Coronas on the rocks deter you from reading on. I know, I know – Aleheads and Mexican piss-water generally don’t mix. To be honest though, what better typifies the dog days of Summer better than a bucket of suds? Maybe we’d all prefer a pail of pale ales, but when the sun’s beating down on your back and sweat’s dripping down your neck, sometimes even the stoutest of Aleheads will reach for something less than craft. Be it Corona, maybe something with a lemon in it, maybe even something – gasp – straight from the bottle. Whatever the case may be, it’s Summer time and the livin’s easy.
Now that we got that bullshit out of the way, I think we can all agree that there are better options for the Summer than the schwill that gets pushed in our face by mass-marketers and even some well respected craft brewers. Summer seems to be the time when good senses get thrown out the window and the mind (And the dollar) flocks toward the refreshing. I’ve mentioned before that I’ll reach for something cold and bottled on the hottest days because it’s simple and fills the need at the time. Red Stripe, Corona, High Life – These are not good beers. I don’t think I need to repeat that, but just for good measure, these are not good beers. Do I drink them when it’s hot? Do I ice them down to near freezing temps and pop them in a Koozy? Will you see one of these piss-poor excuses for beer dangling from my beer holster while I’m mowing the lawn (Again, yes, I have a beer holster)? The answer to all of these is questions is “Yes” and I’m not ashamed of that. I think I more than make up for my sinful Summer deeds with 10 months of hard-core craft drinking throughout the rest of the year. If it makes you feel better, I promise to drink one Imperial Stout and/or Double IPA for every Macro-Lager I consume this summer. Deal? Deal.
With the official start of Summer approaching in just a few days, I thought it would be a good idea to offer our readers a few choices to steer them away from the typical fare. I won’t scorn you if you reach for a Corona (Brother Barley will, so watch yourself), just keep in mind that there are better options out there. And yes, that Corona bottle does need a lime shoved down the neck. Prevents scurvy, keeps away flies, and slightly kills the delicious “Mexican” flavor. All good things.
SAM ADAMS – Summer Ale – Mass-marketed, mass-produced, but at the end of the day it’s still Sam Adams and offers a refreshing alternative. Hints of lemon (Please don’t add a lemon), pepper, with a great bitter finish. It seems that every craft brewer puts out some form of Summer seasonal. I try them all, but Sam’s is usually the best of the best.
LEINENKUGEL – Summer Shandy – I’m not a huge supporter of this brewery since they’re owned by Miller. Be that as it may, Leine does put out some refreshing beers for the Summer. Their Sunset Wheat would also pass the test for a Summer dandy. Unfortunately that orange wedge you see shoved in the Sunset Wheat glass is probably necessary to mask the taste, which is why I would recommend the Summer Shandy first.
SIERRA NEVADA – Kellerweis Hefeweizen – No surprise that I’m putting out a recommendation for SN, nor should it be a surprise that I’m pushing a Hefe. Love SN, Love Hefe, only natural that the Kellerweis is one of my favorites. Great cloudy pour, slightly grassy with a full body and smooth finish. Perfect for the summer, just make sure you use a damn glass you lazy bastard.
BRASSERIE DUPONT – Saison Dupont – Really, any good Saison is perfect for the Spring/Summer. Brewery Ommegang’s Hennepin is one of my favorites, but I think Dupont puts out a more refreshing example. Crisp, clean, slight barn-like finish. The bubbles, oh the bubbles, that’s what brings this one home for me.
I’ve got a ton of other suggestions, but rather than ramble on and tell you guys what I like why don’t you post a comment and let us all know what you like. Feel free to bash Corona, bash my suggestions, or just rant about having to live in Alabama in 100% humidity for the next 4 months. Come one, come all, it’s Summer Time!!!!!!