Please forgive me for my absenteeism, we had a baby on November 7, 2011, and she is my overall priority. I will continue to try to get posts up and hopefully I will stop neglecting the fabulous blog. Thanks!
I am just trying to enjoy beer responsibly, and hope others enjoy the same that I do.
I went from living in Central PA, to downtown Baltimore, and now I moved back to Central PA/bought a house/got married. I still work in Baltimore, which allows me to be open to obtaining the precious beer that I love, but it introduces me to others that cannot be found in Baltimore. I am now in search of my new home bar and perfecting my new hobby- homebrewing.
I am getting on the kick of making my list of what I like to have (or am having) during the summer. The heat, humidity and yard work are all factors in the decision that needs to be made when it comes to beer. You don't need to have a fruity foo-foo drink to enjoy the summer weather.
One of the best styles to have directly following yard work or any other outdoor physical activity is a nice crisp pilsner. I love having a Sunshine Pils (Troegs). This German Pilsner beats the thirst, while the light body of the beer doesn't weigh you down for the rest of the day. The hint of lemon and slight grassy taste are accompanied with a perfect amount of carbonation. Other Pilsners that I would recommend are: Victory Prima Pils, Stoudts Pils, Lagunitas Pils and, for the import crowd, Javer Pilsner.
Sometimes I like to keep the light body, but push the alcohol content to the roof with a Tripel. My favorite tripel is made by Selin's Grove Brewing, but unless you are close enough to grab a growler for home, you might never get it. So, go find what is on the back shelves at the beer store (many tripels are available in the winter, not so available in the summer). The Bruery Trade Winds, River Horse Triple Horse and Unibroue La Fin du Monde are very good examples. Be prepared for the 8-12% abv that comes along with the sweet nectar. You could, of course, go with any of the classic Trappist beers (Achel, Westmalle, or Chimay-my favorite) and be extremely happy.
If you don't like the pilsner and the tripel has too much heat, you could go with a nice "fruity" Saison (or Farmhouse ale). The Saison of the Year (in my opinion) is the Stillwater Stateside Saison, made by a guy who decided this year to start commercially brewing, and hasn't been able to keep up with the demand. This is a great saison, with an added hop kick to it. Most saisons (as well as this one) are light bodied, lighter colored beers that have a zesty citrus kick. The farmhouse name comes from a funky smell/taste that some beers have. Some people love it, some hate it, but it is a very refreshing beer to drink during the summer. Saison Dupont is a classic example of the style. Other beers to check out are Ommegang Hennepin, Jolly Pumpkin Bam Biere and Great Divide Colette. Brettanomyces are a strain of wild yeast that makes the beers have that funky, sour taste. Nice word to look for on the bottle.
If I am going to a park or party or where ever and want to be "environmentally clean"- I'll grab my friends in a can. The best- Oskar Blue's Dale's Pale Ale. First time I brought a six pack of cans (with the dolphin killing plastic) to a party my friends thought I was crazy bring beer in a can. Then they tried it. Instantly, they were captivated by the taste. Oskar Blues only cans and kegs there beer, and all the beer they make are winners. From Dale's to Gordons to Ten Fidy, you can't go wrong if it has Oskar Blues's label on it. Other canned beer that is good are the Caldera IPA and the beers brewed by 21st Amendment.
The last great summer beer to try, would be a wheat beer. Whether you go with a Belgian Wit or a German Hefeweizen, the wheat beers give the light body, smooth taste that make drinking in the summer weather a good experience. Ayinger and Schneider Weisse are two great examples of hefeweizens that most beer drinkers would enjoy having, while Allagash White and Harpoon UFO are two good examples of witbier.
Finally, the beer that has not left my fridge for a long time- Flying Dog Raging Bitch. I feel this beer can be drank in any weather, and be kept on hand. Hopefully, you like this quick list that I made up, and if you don't, comment below and we'll discuss.