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Archive for the ‘Style: "Summer" beer’ Category

Wachusett Summer

July 18th, 2008 by Aaron Goldfarb | No Comments | Filed in Brewer: Wachusett, Country: America, Grade: B regular, Style: "Summer" beer, Style: Wheat (Hefeweizen)

4.2% ABV

I was sitting at the Secaucus Junction train station on Friday afternoon listening to Bowie’s “The Prettiest Star” on my iPod when my dad called to tell me my grandma had just died. This was not unexpected as she was old and had been bedridden for a few years after having suffered a stroke. And, quite frankly, I wasn’t even that close to her, probably having spent less than a month’s combined time with her during my lifetime. Nevertheless, I broke down for an ever-brief second or so, not quite long enough for the slobs and perverts that hang at a train station to ogle me, to think me the “weirdo,” but long enough to feel something come over me.

I spend too much fucking time at train stations. Waiting. Waiting as my life passes me by. No one lays on their death bed reminiscing about the 25%* of their life that they sat waiting–their life in standstill–depending on countless other people and events in the universal ballet to get their train there, to free up a snag on the highway so they can move, to have a crowd of fatassed tourists part so they can continue on down the sidewalk toward their destination. To not have their life slowed down by uncontrollable others, to let their life fucking continue on to the “important stuff.”

As my grandma lay dying in a cheap hospital bed, I sat on a cheap wooden bench wedged between a sleeping bum and a fat retard in a Carlos Beltran jersey seemingly dying the same death. I will never get those minutes back. No matter how smart, rich, educated, handsome, flirtatious, or powerful one is, time is not something you can acquire more of. In fact, it is the only thing one can’t acquire more of**. As Aurelius said, “Yesterday a blob of semen; tomorrow embalming fluid, ash.”

Nothing is more a kick in the ass to “carpe diem” than the absolute madness of sitting alone in a train station. It’s like a goddamn coma that you are fully conscious of being in. What can I do? A crossword, a little light reading, learn who Jennifer Aniston’s currently spreading her legs for, listen to a podcast, dick around on my phone, eat some Pringles, doodle?

This is no life.

Which is why, what is the first thing a person says after a long and hectic train/bus/airplane/car ride?

“I NEED A DRINK.”

A drink to get their comatose life kickstarted again. The alcohol acting like the jumper cables to your heart and brain. Allowing you to reenter the world of emotions and feeling, pain and happiness, want, desire, horniness, and plain old living.

There is no time to scrutinize the offering, the drink. No time to select something “special. ” You just take what’s fucking given to you and enjoy it. In my case, I entered my friend’s house at the end of a long and arduous trek up the eastern seaboard and was handed a Wachusett Summer. Nice. I’d never had it before.

And it was one of the better summer beers I’ve ever tippled. Spicy with a good, rich body of lemon and wheat flavors. I detest most so-called “summer” beers because they are citrusy and thin little offerings. Just cause it’s July doesn’t mean I need to slug down watery piss. Now, while Wachusett Summer doesn’t have much ABV to speak of, it’s still a quality brew. In fact, I’d say it’s almost as good as Sam Adam’s terrific summer offering. I’ll certainly have it again on my next once-a-decade trip into New England.

Thus, I said a silent cheers to my grandma and began trying to enjoy my life again courtesy of glorious beer.

B

*Made up stat.

**Save maybe a few more inches at the end of your cock (though I hear medical technologies can do wonders nowadays!)

Samuel Adams Summer Ale

June 4th, 2008 by Aaron Goldfarb | No Comments | Filed in Brewer: Boston Beer Company, Country: America, Grade: B plus, Style: "Summer" beer, Style: Wheat (Hefeweizen)

5.2% ABV on draught

I’ve made clear my disdain for “summer” beers several times in the past, continually claiming I will never drink one again. Alas, I found myself out of town and at a Philadelphia Phillies game last weekend, shocked to see the nice, new stadium had the most meager of beer selection. In fact, Sam Adams Summer was the only craft beer on tap in the entire joint as far as I could tell. Alas, I decided to give summer beers one more whirl. I’m glad I did. I’m certain I’ve had Sam Summer in the past, but I don’t recall it being this good. While most summer beers seem to be brewed for little sissies that don’t like the taste of beer and want the lowest of ABVs in order to not risk getting any alcohol poisoning, Sam still packs a bit of a punch. In fact, I kept asking my buddy, “Are we sure this is Sam Summer? Is it possible the tap was screwed up?!” It’s darker than most all pisswater yellow summer beers and actually has a nice, complex taste. Summer beer usually equals pussy beer (wouldn’t that be a great bottling, “Sam Adams Pussy”?) but not in this case. I don’t know if this is “how” you make a summer beer, but it’s how you make a tasty beer. Thus, based on a exceedingly small sample size and one single plastic cup draught at a ballgame, I will declare Sam Summer the best summer beer in the bid’ness.

B+

Dogfish Head Festina Peche

June 4th, 2008 by Aaron Goldfarb | No Comments | Filed in Brewer: Dogfish Head, Country: America, Grade: C-, Style: "Summer" beer, Style: Wheat (Hefeweizen)

4.5% ABV on draught

I fellated Dogfish Head’s flagship brew so heartily in my previous review because I knew what I had to do next: absolutely trash their Festina Peche offering. I needed to make it abundantly clear that I adore DFH—it’s close to my favorite brewery—before laying into one of their brews. You know how when your favorite filmmaker makes the rare dud of a movie and all the critics and your friends bash it, but you refuse to believe your beloved idol made such a stinker—despite what you saw with your very own eyes—so you lie to yourself and insist to your friends that it’s actually a great flick and they just don’t get it and maybe the filmmaker isn’t even making movies for (idiot) people like them any more. Eventually, you fess up and admit to your friends that they were right all along, your idol had indeed made a shitty picture.

Well, I refused to believe that Dogfish Head had made such a bad beer in their Festina Peche. I was absolutely stoked when I first saw it on the shelves last spring—beer, peaches, I love them both!—and absolutely stocked up on it despite never having had a sip of it. You ever rush home with like 30 bottles of the same kind of beer, sure you’ll love it, and then after popping the top of the first one to taste it you realize almost immediately that you hate it? There’s nothing sadder than staring at those remaining 29 bottles of beer realizing that it is going to literally be work to plow through them, like a punished G.I. staring at a pile of potatoes yet to be peeled.

I guess I forgot about that experience, or continued refusing to believe it because I found myself at a bar on Friday night where a brand new keg of Peche had just been put on tap, a new offering for the spring. My sister was getting the round and when I ordered the $7 brew she said, “Mmmm, sounds good…”—same exact thing I thought a year ago—”…how is it?”

“I absolutely hate it,” I responded.

My sister: “Let me get this straight, I’m going up to the bar to buy you an expensive beer you hate?”

“Yes. But I’m hoping that I’ll like it this time. That maybe they brewed it differently this year.”

Suffice to say, she wasn’t pleased when after a single sip of my pint I realized I hated it just as much as last year’s offering. I don’t know what I expect. Maybe something super-peachy and rich like a Lindeman’s Pecheresse? Perhaps, that is a tasty son of a bitch, but, alas, a completely different style of beer.

The Festina Peche does smell great but it just is really, really, really sour and tart. It’s as clear as a cheap macro-cider that girls that “don’t like beer” drink. I just really don’t like it at all. It’s the only Dogfish Head offering I haven’t loved, not liked, loved. I don’t know what went wrong with it. I really think—hope!—that one day I’ll taste the Festina Peche and go, “Aha! Now I get it!” and realize that it is a great beer, like some kid that finally understands the glory of “2001: A Space Odyssey” after several viewings. But I have a feeling that will never happen with this one. I almost wish this beer was taken off the market cause I know I’ll continue buying it every single May to give it another hopeful whirl.

C-

Blue Point Summer Ale

June 4th, 2008 by Aaron Goldfarb | No Comments | Filed in Brewer: Blue Point, Country: America, Grade: C-, Style: "Summer" beer, Style: Blonde Ale

4.4% ABV

There are lot of Blue Point beers I like (I know it sounds gay, but their blueberry beer in particular is sublime. OK, using the word “sublime” sounded gay. But really, there is no other way to describe the wonder of Blue Point Blueberry). Any who, I was pretty excited to see this Blue Point Summer Ale fresh on the shelf at my local supermarket, rushing home to try it. I didn’t like it at all. I guess it’s just time for me to admit that I don’t like summer ales. Any of ‘em. Even breweries I hold in super high esteem (Brooklyn, Sierra Nevada to name two) make summers that I don’t really love. Much like all summers, Blue Point’s is overly light, overly citrus-y, underly alcohol-y, and just really has no body or taste. I mean, I guess this would be the pinnacle of beer for those (non-)drinkers that list Corona as their favorite, but other than that, it just isn’t that swell. I don’t really have anything to criticize this beer for, but there’s nothing to recommend about it either. Actually, it does have a pretty gorgeous (first “sublime,” now “gorgeous”???) label, looking like special issued stamp from old-timey Long Island. That was my favorite part of this beer.

C-

(Note: A lot of people take me to task for criticizing beers like Corona and summer ales. They say that these are great, “refreshing” beers meant to be enjoyed ice-cold and poolside or at an outdoor BBQ. Hogwash. A beer should be good no matter where I have it. A Gatorade Propel might be refreshing in the hot sun too, but it doesn’t mean it’s a great beer)