Sunday, May 07, 2006

Summertime, and the drinkin's easy ...

Okay, that title was lame. I'm an editor, that's part of our job is to come up with corny headlines.

But the point is, summer is here. Time to put away the heavy malty stuff. There's some good stuff out this year for clear, crisp drinking experiences that will cool you off. Try these:

Sierra Nevada's Summerfest is ... well, it's made by Sierra Nevada. Do you need to know anything else? It's light and clean, but it also has flavor — what a concept! I think most of you out there know that good Pilsners really do exist, although I was slow to realize this truth after being deceived by the mainstream breweries. (Shut up, Bret.)

My next discovery, which I think is new this year, is New Belgium's Skinny Dip. It is that thing I didn't know existed: a great tasting light beer. 110 calories. Okay, that's more than Pearl Light, but ... well, I don't think that thought really needs completion. It's from those same cool folks in Colorado who bring you Fat Tire. Their portfolio of beers has been expanding really quickly, and they don't seem to have stumbled yet. This is probably the biggest winner of the bunch; it has this hint of Kaffir lime leaves in it, which gives this yummy citrusy flavor, but not so much that it overwhelms the beer (as opposed to, say, squeezing a lime into Corona to disguise the fact that the beer actually has no flavor).

Almost as good is Shiner's Kolsch. It's not a Pilsner — Kolsch is a German style that the website says was created as an alternative to Pilsner. It's also a real pick-me-up when you're dripping with sweat. Highly recommended when you've fired up the grill, or just finished mowing. (Or both, as was the case with me today.) Dammit, I was about to go to bed, but thinking about it is making me want another one. And speaking of rapidly expanding portfolios, has anybody noticed how Shiner has just taken off? And how all their new experiments just put Shiner Bock to shame?

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