The Top 5 Summer Beers
Back in the days before I was a workin’ man, every weekend of every summer was spent in, around or near some body of water. Being in Florida, the hardest decision every Friday was whether to go to the beach, the pool, the river or the lake. The easiest decision to make was what beer to fill your cooler with. It was such an easy decision because there was only one choice. Corona with a lime. The king of the summer beers.
My how the times have changed.
Walk into any reputable grocery store and you’ll find more “summer” beers than you can shake a stick at. I won’t be surprised if by next summer stores begin designating certain sections of their coolers as “Summer Beer Selections.” Now I could write up this long list of all the beers available and give you a bunch of stats about them, but that would just be boring. Instead, I’ve spent several nights and quite a few dollars trying as many summer beers as I could so that I could pick the top 5.
So here they are:
5. Blue Moon’s half brother, Honey Moon Summer Ale from the Coors Brewing Company. Although this is a summer beer, I wouldn’t want to actually drink it out in the hot ass Florida sun. Not a lot of it anyway. It’s a little too heavy and the taste is a little too bold and complex to drink while standing waist deep in a pool in the middle of July. This is the type of summer beer you drink on draft at a bar with air conditioning.
4. Sun Dog Amber Wheat from Anheuser-Busch. This was one of the surprises of the test because frankly, I’d never heard of it. It tastes great. It doesn’t have that sharp taste like many wheat beers. I guess it could be considered a “light” wheat beer. This probably would have done great this summer had AB not let some hippie from marketing name it.
3. Sam Adams Summer Ale from the Sam Adams brewing Co. This is a pretty flavorful beer but not so much that you couldn’t drink a shitload of it on any given summer afternoon fishing from a dock. Must be the lemon zest they add into this wheat brew that makes it so drinkable. Sam Adams prides themselves on having more than 20 different beers they brew seasonally and they definitely did a fine job with this one.
2. Shock Top also from Anheuser-Busch. This unfiltered Belgian-style wheat ale gets its summery taste from the orange, lemon and lime peels along with coriander that is added to the brew kettle. Unlike the other wheat beers on this list, this one could definitely be imbibed by the case while floating in an inner tube down the river on a hot summer day.
Bud Light Lime, also from our friends at Anheuser-Busch. This stuff is so drinkable and refreshing they should give it to football players instead of Gatorade. It’s like a low maintenance Corona. The balance of beer vs. lime is perfect. It’s not like Miller Chill that makes you think you’ve got a lime wedge shoved up your nose.(What the fuck is Chelada style anyway?) In addition to being the best tasting summer beer of the smackdown, it’s also the cheapest! Great taste and I can still afford to buy gas to get to the beach? Things like this make me proud to be an American. That and Tivo.