Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Drunk Dog Days of Summer

Beer has always been brewed and consumed on a seasonal basis.  It's natural.  Birds fly, cats hate dogs, and a grown ass bearded man doesn't drink an imperial milk stout after mowing the lawn in 95 degree weather.

As natural as seasonal brewing schedules are, I thought I had a good handle of what constitutes a good summer beer, but after haunting a summer of BBQs and get togethers, I found that what I thought would be the usual warm weather culprits were as varied as styles of ale.

In my curiosity, I've been asking everyone I know, from cicerones to bros what there favorite hot day summer beer are.  Below, I will break down the groups they fall into:

A Hick on Vacation: This moniker belongs to the wonderful beverage of a PBR with a lime wedge.  Shitty beers with limes in them have always been a favorite of mine.  It's light, it's quaffable, and the lme cuts through whatever shitty beer you put it into and gives it a bright citrus lift.  This is my, as well as the majority of hard workin 'Mericans favorite grill out bevie.

The Pale Wheat: Of the craft beers, I overwhelmingly saw American Pale Wheat Ales dominate this summer.  Beers like Three Floyd's Gumballhead, Lagunitas Lil Sumpin, Sumpin, and Bells Oberon.  In America, it seems like this is becoming the big summer brew.  It's pushing out what used to be staples like Wit and Helles beers.  Mass produced lagers may dominate the world, but American Pale Wheat Ales are taking over firework filled, smoked meat summers.

IPA is a Year Round Brew: Even after an afternoon of sweaty yard work, or a few hours of slogging snow off of the driveway, a good IPA always sounds good, especially if it's session-able like Schalfly Can Sessions IPA, or Founders All Day IPA.

An American on Vacation: Kolsch has seen a huge revival this summer with national and local breweries churning out their attempt at a German staple.  This unique lager has captured the American tastebud, and it's technical brewing process has peaked the craft brewers' curiosity.  The New York Times even had an article about its popularity.  There is also the usual cadre of Witbeirs from Blue Moon to Omegang Wit to sate that sweet tangy palate.

Well, That's Weird: Finally, the surprises of the summer were Sours.  I realize that sours are becoming insanely popular and that they involve fruits, but I didn't really think that people would be so excited about killing these funky sweet tarts.  Berlinerweisse style beers are a solid summer choice.  Bells Oarsman is a six pack easy to pair with any grilled meat, or sun soaked sweat-fest.  The absolute weirdest beer I received in response was Monk's Flemmish Ale, a favorite of mine on a cool fall night, but after hauling fifty pounds of mulch... no thanks.

I realize this recent summer weather has been more conducive to a Porter than a refreshing Kolsch. If you have lived in Indiana long enough you know that this means once August is in full swing, we will be in the 90s til Halloween.

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