Summer Beer

August has arrived; in most places that means just one month of summer remains.  Yet here in D.C., August and September both bring the worst of summer’s heat and humidity.  Productivity lags and many flee the city for vacation.  And it is during this time – the early days of summer’s latter half – I realized I had yet to write, in general terms, about summer beer.

For the last several years I relied upon Sam Adam’s Summer Ale as my go-to summer seasonal brew.  However, this year I’ve discovered two other fantastic summer seasonals and have enjoyed them so much as to forsake Sam Adams – my old reliable – altogether.

The first is Victory Brewery’s Summer Love Ale, a fantastic light and aromatic beer perfect for the mid-Atlantic region’s miserable summer weather.  Victory is based in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, just a bit southwest of Philadelphia, where the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains begin; so clearly, the brewers at Victory understand how to craft a brew that will help you manage this region’s miserable summer weather.

The second is Lagunitas Brewing Company’s Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale, a slightly hoppier and medium-bodied, but no less delicious, summer ale.  The folks at Lagunitas bill the ale as “sneaky smooth with a touch of what we call wheatly-esque-ish-ness.”  Coincidentally, a few weeks after I discovered Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’, a favorite writer of mine – James Fallows, national correspondent for The Atlantic – took a break from his ordinarily serious analysis to sing the praises of this wonderful summer brew.  Or, covering the recent debt  ceiling negotiations was driving him to drink.  (At least he was drinking good beer.)

So there you have it – a couple of new choices to enjoy during the latter half of summer.  Perhaps by next summer I’ll learn of a few additional options, making the decision of what to drink during these waning days of warm weather all the more difficult, yet fantastically refreshing.

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5 Comments

  1. Yo THF!

    Had the Summer Love during Philly Beer Week. To be honest, I don’t recall it making much of an impression. The bar was PACKED and I had a Dogfish Head 75 Minute IPA about 40 minutes prior, so my taste buds probably weren’t at their best after such a delicious and uber-hoppy beer. Will have to revisit. As far as the Lagunitas, that one is delicious! Quite potent too. Laginutas has been growing on me lately. Try the Hop Stoopid. Very very delicious!

    Stay cool!

    G-LO

    • I tend to stay away from super hoppy beers, unless I’m eating spicy food. The Lagunitas had a good amount of hop for me, but it wasn’t so overpowering as to be the only thing I could taste. Sounds like you had fun at Beer Week!

      • Beer Week was ok this year. Not as good as last year’s. The weather was the big difference. Last year’s outing was with temps in the low 80s and no humidity. This year’s outing was temps approaching 100 and killer humidity. Next year will be better!

        I’ve grown to love the hops, but I do have my limits. I don’t like hops for the sake of hops. Don’t be put off by the name Hop Stoopid. We were expecting it to be over the top and uber bitter, but it wasn’t. Just a really good beer.

  2. The Lagunitas is a great summer beer. I prefer Pete’s Summer Brew to Sam Adams though.

  3. I used to drink the Sam Summer Ale quite a bit and followed their seasonal releases quite closely. Following a tour of the brewery last year, I was less enthused and go for a variety of locals if I can. If I must get a Boston beer, I’m more inclined to get a Harpoon IPA.


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