Hooray for beer! Where I am, the summer sun and humidity are oppressive. Beer seems to help sometimes, especially the lighter seasonals as sampled here. Keep in mind, my reviews run from 1 being outright undrinkable dysentery-causing bongwater to 5 being life-sustaining nectar of Valhalla. Remember to support your local and micro-brewers. The future lies with them, not your major corporate macro breweries. Make your beer personal and buy local. So with no further ado, let's get on with the beer reviews, shall we?
HONEY MOON SUMMER ALE (Golden, CO) - 3.5
Blue Moon's summer seasonal is a clear amber wheat ale brewed with clover honey and orange peel for added zing. The flavor is overwhelmingly sweet, and heavy on the honey, though Honey Moon feels lighter and less filling than the signature Blue Moon, so it's a better fit for those steamy summer days. Pretty tasty stuff...not too complex but refreshing just the same.
NEW BELGIUM - SKINNY DIP (Fort Collins, CO) - 4.0
This clear golden ale is New Belgium's summer seasonal, and it's among the brewery's lighter offerings. The flavor is mild and malty, with a slight hoppy character and a hint of citrus. Oddly, I place this one curiously between a traditional lager and a pale ale. It's certainly tasty, and unique. Like most of New Belgium's employee-(and Earth-) friendly brews, this one's quite satisfying.
GOOSE ISLAND - PERE JACQUES 2010 BELGIAN STYLE ALE (Chicago, IL) - 3.5
Saved this powerhouse for last, and for good reason. It's a limited edition ale that, in the grand tradition of classic Belgian ales, is bottle-fermented with active & living yeast, so aging further develops the flavor. But I'm not waiting to write this review, so off comes the bottle cap and into my glass it goes. Hmm. It's a nice opaque amber in color, with an odor of bourbon (indubitably the strong 8% alcohol content), candy sugar, and maybe grapes. The flavor is sweet, with an unmistakable muted burn. Definitely a brew to savor. The beer snob in me says to rate this one higher, but I can't help but feel it needed some time/aging to reach its full complexity. As it stands, strong and hearty, but lacking individuality.
MICHELOB - PALE ALE (St. Louis, MO) - 3.5
This attractive amber pale ale pours with good lacing. The appealing floral/hoppy aroma also bodes well for this craft macro. But that's all window-dressing. What's it taste like? Well, Michelob's Pale Ale has a brisk and balanced hoppy character, but it's not too acidic or strong (nor complex) as other pale ales. A sturdy, solid beer -- not memorable, but a good representative of the style, and a nice place to start.