Yes, I'm back with summer beers. I'm a beer fiend, it's true, and summer is the best possible time to avail yourself of tasty seasonal varieties if you're interested.
My favorite beer I've tried this summer is the Anderson Valley Brewing Company Summer Solstice. I tried it for the first time at a restaurant called Victoria Gastropub where my best friend and I ate three times in two days when we were in town for a concert. It's so far off the beaten track between Baltimore and DC that I don't know how you'd find it, but I've been as impressed with their beer menu as I've been that of any other restaurant. I may have my next birthday party there and get rooms at the hotel we stayed at next door. Regional tweetup, maybe? I'm not above it.
I found a few bottles at my local store, Gilly's Craft Beer and Fine Wine, where they offer a mix and match service. They put a bunch of bottles up on shelves and you can fill empty six-pack containers. It's a great way to try one or two bottles of a beer and decide if you like it. Bargain? Not at all. But it's a fun and useful tasting opportunity for a beer aficionado.
Image courtesy of Anderson Valley Brewing Company
Dogfish Head's Festina Peche is out. I have some issues with fruity beer. I burned out on Blue Moon after a few years of semi-faithful consumption, for instance. But Dogfish's tendency not to sacrifice the beer for fruity flavor is one of the reasons why they're one of the best craft beer brewers I know.
Gordon Biersch's Schwartzbier is not a summer beer by any stretch of the imagination, and everyone can think I'm crazy if they want, but it's still one of my favorite refreshers. It's a black stout, relatively low in alcohol, and I've been really enjoying it this season. If you have a GB location near you, you can drink it at the bar or take a growler home for a party. Or dinner, I don't judge.
Bell's Oberon Ale. Yum. Bell's can't really seem to make a misstep.
I can't get this in Maryland but thankfully I can get Virginia friends to hook me up.
What's your favorite summer beer?