Thursday, June 15, 2006

Summer Beer

Yesterday it hit 106° in Tucson. Porter-drinkin' weather this ain't.

When it's so hot out that it hurts to breathe (and please don't start with the "it's a dry heat" nonsense...only people who don't live here in the summer say that...when the ambient temperature is higher than physiological temperature, you feel it) lesser mortals are often tempted to forgo flavor for sheer cooling ability. They head for "lite" beer.

Might as well drink water. (Which is not a bad idea, anyway.)

But when it's time to drink beer, real beer drinkers still drink real beer. Beer can be flavorful and refreshing. Recent offerings at the Tucson Chapter of the SudsPundit Lounge (aka, our patio) include:

--Session Lager from Full Sail. Proving that short and stubby can be beautiful, Session lives up to its name by combining solid flavor with sheer drinkability. This is the kind of beer our grandparents drank before we went crazy.

--Bridgeport Supris (that's "su-PREE", but don't give your bartender a hard time about it) I've already covered, but it bears repeating. The Big Lebowski of beers, I like this more and more every time I go back to it.

--Polestar Pilsner from Left Hand is, in my opinion, the closest thing I've had to a great German pilsner from an American brewer. Grainy and grassy, with a lovely aroma of noble hops. Bready in the back of the throat. Most importantly--and this is what sets the Germans apart from most of their American imitators--is the gravity-defying head retention. It pours HUGE and maintains all the way down the glass, keeping the aromas nice and stirred up for your nose with every pull. This one, as in Germany, is best when not ice-cold.

--Summer Solstice Cerveza Crema from Anderson Valley defies all notions of what summer beer ought to be, and does so in style. A copper ale with spice and hints of vanilla, this one just flat-out works. I had my first one last night, but I look forward to seeing how it pairs with burgers from the grill.

So...what's your favorite summer beer?


  • At 6:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I like the Goose Island Kolsch, goes down very easy, thirst quenching, just a very nice beer.

    I lived in Tucson and now I live in Florida. Both miserable in the summer, but different types of miserable.

  • At 12:39 PM, Blogger Ben, aka BadBen said…

    We have hot & humid Summers, and I adjust my beer drinking, as well. I usually have a Kolsch on tap, but instead, I brewed an American Brown, and that works nicely as a session beer.

    Some of my other Summer faves that I have on tap, right now:

    A regular IPA and a (slightly watered-down) IPA. I brewed 9 gallons of a hoppy IPA; 5-gallons of it was left alone, but for the remaining 4 gallons...I topped-off the keg with (treated) distilled water. It sounds like beer sacrilige, but honestly makes a very refreshing Summer session brew.

    I also have my thirst-quenching Poor Richard's Ale, which is a new favorite session beer of mine.

    I usually brew at least two Belgian Saison's during the hot months. They tend to be less of a session beer, though.

  • At 5:24 PM, Blogger brx0 said…

    If it's hot (which the Portland weather folks keep saying will happen someday), I like a good Kolsch (like Pyramid's Curve Ball, or Alaskan Summer). Session Lager's good too. Plus it comes in cool stubby bottles, so it's useful for slowly weaning hipsters away from their PBR-swilling ways.

    But I can't give up the hop habit entirely. Whatever Tugboat has on tap at the moment will go down just fine; that's pretty much a given.

  • At 5:49 PM, Blogger Brian said…

    You guys in Portland feel free to abstain from hot weather at least until after the OBF. Or get it out of the way beforehand.

    Heat's one thing I am definitely NOT seeking on that trip...

  • At 4:02 PM, Blogger chris said…

    Here at the Atlanta chapter, I likes me some Sweetwater Summer Hummer. It's sort of a wit, but somehow different like most things here.

    Then there's one I like that I tried yesterday. Cooper's Sparkling Ale. Yeasty and tingly.

    The other summer stand-bys are hoppy, like 420, IPA's and golden belgians. Oh, and Stella and Urquell.

  • At 10:28 AM, Blogger Mark_E_Evans said…

    i'm sorry you visited my place of rearing in the worst months. There used to be a micro-brewery in the old Pueblo called Nimbus. They had a fantastic pilsner that made you forget the heat. I don't know if they're around anymore.

  • At 10:41 AM, Blogger Brian said…

    Alas Gastronaut, I was not visiting the Old Pueblo, I've lived here since July (that's right, I moved here in July) of 1999.

    Nimbus is alive and kicking, and in fact is in the process of negotiating an expansion into downtown. If you haven't been in a while, you'd be impressed with what they've done with the place. It's come a long way from the lunch counter in the front of the warehouse that served frozen pizza...

  • At 7:26 PM, Blogger Kyle said…

    Beer choices are limited out here but I have been loving the ESB Sunrye and am always down for Pyramid Hefeweizen.

  • At 12:55 AM, Blogger Gino said…

    hot weather beer for me is Luckey Lager.
    cheap, watered down,low quality, tastes good cold.
    its actually a favorite of mine.

    i have no shame.

  • At 1:57 PM, Blogger Jeff Alworth said…

    In Beervana, we have a wealth of beery options, though Session is becoming de rigeur at outdoor events. No matter who's at the gathering, your hip stubbies are a hit.

    (And I believe the brewery prefers soo PREEZ.)

    But despite the bounty, I also dabble in world faves: pilsners, of course, but also the saison where I can find it.


Post a Comment

<< Home