The Great Brew Debate
At the end of a long summer weekend, I think nothing's better than sitting out by the lake with the sun, a breeze and a nice cold beer. Being from Wisconsin, it's actually required that I like beer. Seriously. Take a look at the State Constitution sometime. Okay, so maybe I'm making that up, but just give our new activist Court a little more time and we'll see what happens.
Anyway, as a Wisconsinite, I have access to a nearly unparalleled array of beers (at least for an American). So what do I choose to quaff? It all depends on the season and the reason, but in general, these are my top 11 beers:
11. Rolling Rock: this Pennsylvania beer is perfect for a very hot summer day. It's extremely light and there's just not much too it. Much like music, you don't want a dark, complicated beer in the summer. You want swill. And this is swill and it's best.
10. Sam Adams: is a good standby beer. It's unlikely you'll be able to find many of my other choices at just any old bar in America. But, most places will have Sam Adams. It's a solid, middle-of-the-road, accessible brew.
9. Miller High Life: Picture this. It's a gorgeous fall day and you've just come out of your college's football stadium after another glorious victory. You want to celebrate a little bit longer, so you head to a nearby beer garden. The crowd is pumped, the music is rockin' and you happily drink Miller High Life. In a can. For some reason High Life is world's better than Miller Lite, Miller Genuine Draft or any of the godawful Bud products.
8. Blue Moon: Lots of people who don't like beer complain that it tastes "skunky". Of course, they assume that that's a negative. Sometimes, as with Blue Moon, the skunkiness works. I like my Blue Moons with an orange slice (for whatever reason, I'm a big fan of beer with fruit: gimme Blue Moons w/oranges, Corona w/limes and a whole slew of beers w/lemons) to slightly temper that skunkiness. To me, Blue Moon is a spring or early summer beer. It's not that light, but it's a step in the right direction from heavier, darker beers.
7. Delirium Tremens: is my hipster's beer. Brewed in Belgium, it packs a punch with a 9% alcohol percentage. As the website says, this beer really does give you a nice glowy feeling. It's definitely something you sip, not chug, and it's something you don't drink during the day.
6. Sprecher Special Amber: In general, I'm not a huge fan of red beers, but I'll make an exception for this one. Sprecher Amber comes in extra big bottles and it doesn't have the almost acid-like taste of some other red beers. It's much smoother and more complex. This is a good fall beer for when you want your brew to warm your soul and your toes.
5. Leinenkugel's Honey Weiss: Ah, Leinies, how I love you. Honey Weiss is a great beer for people who don't like beer. It's a little sweeter and goes down a little easier, than most beers. It tastes great from the very first sip. Although it's now a year-round brew, Honey Weiss is best sipped when the weather's a little warm. I must give you a warning, however. This beer goes down so easy that you might very well find yourself drunk as a skunk without realizing it. Beware.
4. Oldenburg Raspberry Wheat: This is an almost mythical beer for me now. As far as I know, the Oldenburg Brewery, which was located in northern Kentucky, across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, no longer exists. So, that means I can never enjoy another bottle of this beer again. That sucks. Most berry beers taste good at first, but then have a very nasty aftertaste. Not this one. This beer was sweet and smooth all the way down the bottle. God, I miss it. I'm secretly hoping that someone is going to tell me it still does exist.
3. Point White Biere: I'm sure one of my family members will make a comment wondering why plain 'ole Point Beer isn't good enough for me. Well, the sad truth is that regular Point Beer sucks. Yes, it's my local beer and I have fond feelings toward the beer, in theory. In practice, however, it's a challenge for me to finish a bottle of Point. However, give me one of their White Bieres and it all changes. Somehow, the little Point Brewery has managed to produce an almost perfect wheaty beer with just a hint of orange. This should be another summer beer, but it's just too damn good to only drink 3 months out of the year.
2. Guinness: I've noticed that most of the beers on my list are wheaty, fruity beers. But, in truth, I enjoy a good dark beer just a much. But when I want a dark beer, I almost always just want a Guinness. Few things are better than sipping a creamy, caramely Guinness in a dark pub on a cold afternoon.
1. Great Dane Crop Circle Wheat: Unfortunately for most of you, you can only get this beer at the Great Dane Brew Pub in Madison and at a few select bars and restaurants throughout the state. The Great Dane has a beautiful little outdoor beer garden lined with bushes filled with twinkling lights. Few things are finer than drinking this lemony, spicy German wheat beer under the lights and stars of a perfect Wisconsin summer night.
Those are my top 11 beers. I want to hear what other people think as I'm always up for trying some new brew (that is true). Sorry, just had to get the Danny Kaye reference in there.
Posted by at July 31, 2005 06:16 PM
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|# August 2nd, 2005 5:16 PM marcus|
|Weiss beer! Good choice for a summerry beer! I was pounding them on Sunday and hope the cooler is still cool with 'em!
One beer I found to be a good summer beer is Spotted Cow from New Glarus. The old Adler Brau up here in Appleton makes an excellent Weiss Beer as well.
I also really like Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Reall good beer.
Old Style is good for a commercial beer and so too is Old Mil. In fact Old Mil won a Consumer Reports best beer award some years ago.