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Jul 24, 2010 07:28 AM

Good Summer Selections

So what are your go to beers for the summer? Lately I have been really liking Sierra Nevada Kellerweis and Sam Adams Summer Pilsner.

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  1. "Sam Adams Summer Pilsner"

    What's this? Do you mean the Spring seasonal "Noble Pils" (now out of season) or the spiced Summer Ale seasonal, or some limited draught only product, maybe?

    The SA Summer Ale this year seems to have been very controversial, with a long thread on Beer Advocate with many people finding the it "off" through "awful".

    I very seldom go anywhere near any of the spiced or fruited craft beers, but I'm sure staying far away from that one this year, even in bars where it might be the best of a bad selection. If the fans of the beer don't like it, I'm sure not going to be able to drink the stuff (which, like their Winter Ale, sometimes reminds of beer that someone dropped a rear view mirror air fresher into by accident).

    I'm hooked on Sly Fox Pikeland Pils in cans (under $30 a case) this summer, supplimented with some fresh (bottled less than two weeks before purchase) Ithaca Flower Power IPA.

    4 Replies
    1. re: JessKidden

      Sorry about that it was a Type-o. I meant Summer Ale. Yes I saw the thread over at BA but I have found no issue with the beer. Crisp, easy to drink with a hint of lemon.

      1. re: Liveitloud

        I tried one bottle of the SA Summer Ale last year and I found it pretty bad, so I guess I'm in that camp as well. It was like lemon flavoured medicine to me.

        This summer I've been drinking a lot of Schneider/Brooklyn Hopfen Weisse since it came as a seasonal release by our generous government overloards in Ontario (ie. the LCBO). I also have had a lot of Creemore Springs Kellerbier and Denison's Weissbier, but those aren't aren't available outside of Ontario.

        Although I don't necessarily only drink beer by season. This weekend I've had some wheats/pilsners, but also had everything from barleywines to quads to double IPA's to stouts.

        1. re: Liveitloud

          I also found Summer Ale pretty revolting. Lemon Pledge.

        2. re: JessKidden

          This is a belated reply, but yes...the Sam Summer definitely tasted much worse this year! And agreed that Flower Power is delicious.

        3. Dogfish Head's Festina Peche Berlinerweiss is pretty refreshing.

          18 Replies
          1. re: chuckl

            Agreed, a big favorite for me.

            1. re: Josh

              Have you had this year's version? I had bought a case last summer (maybe the last two summers? I forget now when it first came out) and I was all set to do the same, when I read about this video in which Sam Calagione admits they "dialed back" the lactic "tartness" to allow more peach character to come through. The lack, or at least, the very slight peach flavor (in some bottles, I could barely pick it up, it seemed) was the reason I LIKED the beer to begin with.

              Bought a 4 pack, and still have a few left. Too bad, about a beer style that's pretty hard to find a good, reasonably priced bottled version (not that DFH FP was in anyway "authentic").

              1. re: JessKidden

                Huh, no, I haven't. Didn't know they changed the recipe. What a bummer. And a bit of a shock, too, given DFH's seemingly relentless "damn the torpedoes" attitude.

                1. re: Josh

                  Just had a couple of bottle of In Heat Wheat that was good. I do like those wheat beers.

                2. re: JessKidden

                  I agree. Festina Peche has been a summer go to for me for years. Was down at the Rehoboth beach bar and way disapointed. It was a lot fatter and peachier. The intense tartness was what made it thirst quenching and special. Sam sold out I think wanting to appeal to more to the "easy drinking" crowd. Too bad, it was a great beer.

                  1. re: Chinon00

                    Man, that sucks. What's doubly irritating is that every undrinkable hop bomb manages to be popular. What we need is for someone to start a pseudo-underground marketing campaign equating tolerance for sourness with being tough and manly.

                      1. re: Josh

                        Send your delicous hop bombs to Ontario if you are so tired of them! I have to drive from Toronto to Buffalo just to buy double IPA's. (seriously, we are able to buy exactly zero double IPA's here at the government liquor stores) We are so hop deprived that when one brewer sold a IIPA out of their brewery store in the suburbs, it all sold out within a couple days when they expected it to last months.

                    1. re: JessKidden

                      I had some on draft last week paired nicely with fish tacos and I felt it had a faint hint of peach, which expressed itself nicely with the fish tacos. It was pretty subtle, but I liked it quite a bit.

                      1. re: chuckl

                        Been enjoying Solace from Firestone Walker.

                        1. re: californiabeerandpizza

                          I really enjoy just about everything from Firestone Walker, having grown up in Southern/Central California and visiting the brewery and tasting some of their more rare offerings. However Solace would probably rank last of all their beers of which I've tried (about a dozen or so). Solace isn't bad, but there wasn't anything really outstanding about it.

                          I'd rather pay another couple of dollars per six pack and pick up some Weihestephaner Hefe. A similar style, but with a much better mouthfeel (not as thin as the Solace) and a more enjoyable taste IMO.

                          1. re: Whisper

                            I find that Solace is good for the hot days (although we haven't had too many of those in So Ca this summer). One of those standing in front of the grill beers that is refreshing and has some bright flavors.

                      2. re: JessKidden

                        I knew it! I thought it tasted different. One of the selling points for me as well was that the Peach was barely present. It is far more apparent in the new bottles.

                        Still a very drinkable beer and a seasonal favorite, though I would like them to go back to the original recipe.

                        BTW, Jess have you found 1809? It's the only other BerlinerWeisse that I have found in the States. Shame it isn't a more popular style.

                        1. re: Ernie Diamond

                          That's a tasty beer, if a bit high in alcohol for the style.

                          1. re: Josh

                            I'd love to find someone who carries the genuine article in the states but no luck so far. Besides Dogfish and 1809, I don't know that I have found any. Are there others to look out for?

                            1. re: Ernie Diamond

                              The Bruery sells a seasonal Berlinerweisse style.

                              1. re: Ernie Diamond

                                I enjoyed Unplugged Berliner Weiss from New Glarus.

                                1. re: Ernie Diamond

                                  They stopped export Berliner Kindl Weisse to the US a few years ago and IIRC the two big Berlin breweries than made BW's are now owned by the same parent company and as a result the Schultheiss is no longer brewed at all. I hadn't seen that in many years here, anyway.

                                  The only other German brewed BW I've seen lately in the US is also imported by B. United (1809's importer) is Bayrischer Bahnhof’s.


                      3. I love most things from Dogfish Head, but the Festina Peche never did much for me. It wasn't bad, but it didn't blow me away either.

                        I'm becoming more and more of a fan of Stone breweries offerings, especially their Smoked Porter. Now, the Smoked Porter isn't really what you think of as a summer beer, but Stone's Levitation is a great option for hot weather. It's light, full of flavor, refreshing, and has a low enough ABV that you can have a few at a cookout and not get so sloshed that you can't legally drive home a few hours later.