Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Summer Beer

One of the great things about beer is that it's brewed in so many different styles - so many that there's easily a style for any moment. Hot weather in Florida is more than a moment, of course - it's half the year. So while I love my Guinness and spicy ales and holiday porters, once we get to May here, it's too damn hot for too much of that.

Perhaps that's one of the reasons I'm a staunch defender of lighter beers - even the frowned-up American light lager. When it's in the upper 90s (F) and the humidity is high enough to drown a midwesterner, frankly I'm THIRSTY. I am not going to be able to sip thoughtfully on my beer. And I don't think that means I should have to forego beer. A light lager, say, a Miller Lite, tastes damn fine at the end of the hot day.

 (Somewhere, a beer fairy just died. Quick, someone open a hefeweizen!) 

BUT. There are more flavorful beers that still tread lightly across the tongue. Sam Adams Summer Ale isn't my absolute favorite, but it is carried at my beloved Publix, meaning I didn't have to make a special stop just to have a beer with dinner last night. It's kind of spicy with a teensy bit of sourness; just wheaty, I guess. I used to only drink Tucher in the summer--that is, to be specific, Tucher Helles Hefe Weizen, which I think is the standard for wheat beers. It's a great beer, if you can get it on tap somewhere that pours a lot of it. I've found it in bars that don't sell too much of it, and it tasted "off." Of course, it's good bottled.

What I've been wanting to try is a beer shandy. From what I've read on the beer blogs (most of which are British, for some reason), it's half-lemon/lime soda and half-beer. I can't decide if that sounds refreshing or nasty, but I'm intrigued never the less. It wasn't so much the bloggers suggesting it as it was commenters responding to "What are you drinking this summer?" (Post on summer beer in the Guardian's "Word of Mouth" blog by Mark Dredge, who also writes the Pencil &Spoon beer blog)

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Belgian Browns (repost)

(My apologies, this is a repost. I'm not liking PicPosterous...)

My friend Tabby took me out a few weeks ago for my birthday. My choice, she said, so it had to be Stubbies & Steins, a tiny little beer pub with a massive selection. I have a bad habit of getting the same thing (the Belgian brown ale Nostradamus or Young's Double Chocolate Stout), but we decided it was time to broaden our horizons. This was Tabby's first beer of the session, a Belgian strong dark ale, Gulden Draak. Seriously strong, alcohol-wise, at 10.5% (only one of these at a time!), we both agreed it was excellent - almost a cognac-taste to it. Fruity, but not light. Sweet, but not too syrupy. I loved it, but it's definitely not something to drink by the pool on a Saturday afternoon in Florida June.

I failed to take a photo of my favorite beer of the evening - Gouden Carolus classic, also defined as a Belgian strong dark ale - although a weeny up against the Gulden Draak, with only 8.5%. I know it won't help my street cred, but my first reaction to this beer was "awesome!" Smooth and very malty - I love me some malt. Also sweet, probably sweet than Tabby's, but I still didn't think it was too sweet (maybe that's b/c I'm the kind of girl who drink chocolate stouts).

I never thought I had a favorite style of beer, or, if I did, it was stout, but I'm finding myself searching out more Belgian browns - recommendations appreciated! 



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Friday, June 25, 2010

Thursday, June 24, 2010