Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Beer >
Jun 9, 2009 08:56 AM

Best summer ale for 2009?

Bell's Oberon gets my vote!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Ipswich Summer Ale from Mercury Brewing of MA. It is light-colored but very tasty and firm-bodied; it's not at all a typical dumbed-down "lite" summer beer.

    I'd love to try Bell's Oberon, but it's not available where I live. The Bell's brews I have tried, while traveling, were just remarkable.

    11 Replies
    1. re: Kenji

      I guess we're even, then, as I don't think the Ipswich is sold in N. Carolina. (Will have to check the specialty markets to be sure.) Do try the Oberon if you get a chance. The label says its has the color and scent of a summer day, and for once the label is correct!


      1. re: Jeff C.

        Actually, Ipswich has recently entered the NC market. At least, I have seen it in the Triad.

        1. re: brentk

          Good to know. Thanks. Will see if I can find in WNC.

      2. re: Kenji

        Oberon is one of my favorite beers, regardless of season. Kills me that we can't get Bell's in California.

        1. re: Josh

          I couldn't agree more about Bell's. I have been doing a lot of trading for Midwest beers recently and have tried a ton from Bell's, 3F, Founder's, and Dark Horse. Bell's has easily been my favorite out of all of these repected breweries. I particularly love the Expedition Stout, Third Coast Old Ale, and Porter. I have to try Oberon.

          I do like the 3F Gumballhead a lot.

          Locally, I am loving Lagunitas' Little Sumpin Sumpin, but its higher abv limits it.

          1. re: pininex

            Don't think I've seen the 3F G. locally. What kind of beer is it?

            1. re: Jeff C.

              Gotta go with Three Floyd's Alpha King, followed closely by their Gumbalhead.

              1. re: Shaggy

                Crap. Three Floyd's beers are available only in the Midwest! (Guess I'll have to make a trip to Chicago sometime.)

            2. re: pininex

              You'll have to also try their Two-Hearted Ale! It's as good as OBeron, IMO.

              1. re: crewsweeper

                I have. You're right! (I like everything I've had by Bell's.)

                1. re: crewsweeper

                  I was out in the Plains last week and was able to try Bell's Two-Hearted Ale on tap while in Kansas City. I remember hearing about it, probably on this board, and knew I had to try it. It was wonderful!

          2. and mine
            the mini cask is even better

            1. Picked up River Horse Summer Blonde Ale and Hive Honey Stung Ale and like 'em both when I'm sweaty. Good to see some US brewers toning the machismo down a bit for the summer months...

              1. Oberon is delicious, and Gumballhead is even better, IMO. Some of my local favorites are Port Carlsbad's State Beach Blonde, the Bruery's Berliner Weisse, and Ballast Point Even Keel. AleSmith's summer version of YuleSmith is one of the best beers I've ever had, but with a fairly high alcohol content it may not fit everyone's idea of a 'summer' ale.

                1 Reply
                1. re: juantanamera

                  Was up at Alpine on Saturday and Pat said the next batch of Exponential Hoppiness that comes out in a month or so is supposed to be amazing and their best yet. Probably the most excited I've ever seen him about a beer before.

                2. Dogfish Head Festina PĂȘche. A beer that screams out to be drank amongst bright sunshine and high temperatures.