Keep Your Summer Beers, Gimme Flavor!

Yesterday Don posted about enjoying the great flavors of summer beers.  This was actually his position in a bit of a debate we’ve been having behind the scenes.  He’s a big fan of the summer seasonal delights, enjoying saisons, lagers, pilsners, pale ales and other light and crisp brews.  I say keep ’em.  I want big boy beers! 

Now don’t get me wrong, I like the lighter summer beers, and have been buying golden beverages for the last couple of months as the weather has warmed.  I discovered the the excellent Voodoo Brewery Pilzilla, developed a hankering for Yuengling Lager, and have shared cans of Dale’s Pale Ale (a year round favorite) with my buddies at the lake.  But as refreshing as these beers are, they were no longer hitting the spot.  I missed the dark, rich goodness of stouts and barrel aged ales, ones that are so flavorful and robust they make your toes curl.

This struck me like an epiphany, and I headed out to the beer store to remedy the situation.  I picked up some Weyerbacher Heresy, the delicious barrel-aged Dragon’s Milk, a selection of dark and powerful beers from Founders, and some other murky goodies.  My cart looked more like January than June.

Once home, I took the Dragon’s Milk and a Founders Stout, walled myself up in the mancave and watched Top Gear with the AC blasting.  It was wonderful, probably the closest I’ll ever get to meditation. I savored every sip.

So that’s where I stand on this issue.  Summer beers are nice and everything, but once the novelty of the season wears off, I find that I cannot survive on pale beers alone.  I need dark, complex, hearty beers as part of the mix.  I need big flavor, whatever the season.

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Categories: Beer, Lifestyle


Craft beer nerd, frequent beer blogger and occasional home brewer.

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7 Comments on “Keep Your Summer Beers, Gimme Flavor!”

  1. June 30, 2010 at 10:30 am #

    Sorry to post a link as a response…but it’ so much easier!

    • June 30, 2010 at 10:36 am #

      Good link Nate. I agree that there’s tons to love about lighter, more refined beers. The Voodoo Pilzilla blew my mind, and Victory Lager is a favorite of mine. Like you always say, it’s harder to do a delicate beer well, and I appreciate a good effort.

      However, after doing lighter beers for a few weeks, I started feel like something was missing. I needed a beer that sunk into my chest with broad and earthy flavors. It was really satisfying to curl up with a heavy brew and sip it slowly. It’s a different kind of drinking experience and one I sorely missed.

      • June 30, 2010 at 10:41 am #

        That’s kind of where I’d go with it. To be honest, I don’t really have a “summer” or “winter” beer.

        That being said, I do understand your fatigue. When I really started getting into craft beer I ODed on IPA. I am just now able to enjoy them again. Really rereading your article, I see your critique isn’t the style, just too much of the style in a short period of time.

  2. Rob Crozier
    June 30, 2010 at 10:43 am #

    I just love the fact that we have so many choices to fulfill all of our beer cravings whether it be a big beer or a session beer. I do miss having a big beer from time to time during the dog days of summer but I’ve been known to bring a sixer of Victory’s Storm King to a summer party just to go against the grain of what folks usually drink.

    • June 30, 2010 at 10:53 am #

      I wasn’t really thinking about what I was drinking, i was just buying seasonals at the shelf. Once I ran out of dark beer, it only took a couple of weeks for me to start craving their rich goodness. Now I’d say I’m probably 50/50 dark and light for the summer, enjoying the darker stuff indoors in the evening.

      That said, I have a four pack of Monks Blood I’m bringing to the lake this weekend. I’m curious to see how a can of that stuff goes down in 90 degree weather.

      • Don
        June 30, 2010 at 12:13 pm #

        Monks blood drinks cold very well, and is actually quite refreshing. It is a good all around beer for whatever your pleasure. I’ll be interested to hear what you thought of it.

      • June 30, 2010 at 2:24 pm #

        I remember it was really good when you sent me some – Big smooth and delicious.

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