|The Beach Shirt|
My back is killing me. My legs are burning like a So Cal wild fire. Every joint in my body is moving like a rusty old Erector set, yet I couldn't be happier. I am now the proud owner of a DIY brick patio. The perfect summer evening getaway of relaxing, grilling, and drinking tasty brew. Here's my guide to great beers you can enjoy on your patio, deck, or lawn.
Often beer snobs get attacked, rightfully, for focusing solely on bold tasting beers(coffee stouts, black IPAs, smoked porters). These brews are fantastic works of art, but when the heat is up the general desire for them is down. Sadly, most take the cowards way out and choose to suck back on one of those beers so lite they put the calorie count in the name. You may as well just drink water at that point. For the rest of us I would recommend keeping cool with a Blonde...Ale. Golden or Blonde Ales are true to their name with a beautiful glowing color. While craft beers are almost never lite in calories or taste, you will certainly find it refreshing and perfect for a warm day. My favorites, if you can find them, are Half Acre's Gossamer Golden Ale, Summer Love Ale from Victory Brewing, and New Belgium's Somersault.
There is this stigma in the craft community that fruit in a beer, as either a brewing element or a garnish, is an unthinkable sin. This likely stems from some sort of push back against a few products put out by “Big Brewing” back in the late 2000's. These products were simply their lite swill pumped with fake flavors (mainly lime). Oddly enough one those same companies put out an ad a few years prior that had Burt Reynolds (or someone just as macho) proclaiming that to “fruit the beer” was against some form of man code. In reality there are plenty of well respected craft breweries making beer with fruit and doing it right. The most popular vehicle for fruits seem to be wheat beers. Apricots are easily the preferred option by brew artisans around the world. The one I really enjoy is Pyramid's Apricot Ale, but you really can't go wrong with any brew in this style. The other fruit beer that I love took me a lot of courage to even try. I hate watermelon. Hard to eat, full of seeds, and it simply doesn't taste great. Nonetheless, 21st Amendment's Hell or High Watermelon Wheat is a MUST try. I know full well that many of you wont even give it a go. For the thrill seekers who take me up on the challenge you will find an interesting yet delightful experiment from the San Fran brewery. A perfect partner for that chips and salsa platter at your next picnic.
There are few things about summers that are guaranteed: the days will be long, work days will seem even longer, and you will end up playing a lot less golf than you had planned. Another stone cold lock is that summer nights are always better sipping a great beer, watching the sun fade, and enjoying every second. Cheers.
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