This week we’ve got some bad news, some good news, some more garbage news and then some awesome news, so we’re going to go in chronological order.
First, the first bad news: This year July 4 is on a Wednesday. That means Independence Day is on a Wednesday. And this is garbage.
But we’ve all known this for weeks now, so we planned weekend parties accordingly. None of that three-day “weekend,” we-have-to-take-off-work-to-make-the-awesome party crap: America has committed itself to celebrating our vanquishing of the Brits on Saturday, June 30.
The second set of bad news is it’s going to be really, really hot on the weekend of June 30. And that is bullshit.
However — and here’s our Battle of Saratoga — the patriotic breweries of San Francisco, Calif., have prepared for this contingency, and come rain or shine — or, more likely, brutal temperatures and sweltering heat — we’re getting drunk. And grilling. Drunk grilling.
Probably some seafood, too, so let’s get started.
21st Amendment Brewery’s Hell or High Watermelon Wheat Beer, San Francisco, Calif.
Hold your horses — the folks at The Daily Caller have not gone soft. While we are known for our adoration of hops, we’ve been tough enough to crack a fruit beer — and a foreign fruit beer at that — in the past, and we’re tough enough to do it again. And here’s the reason: This brew is delicious.
That’s right. The gang that brought us Bitter American likes fruit beers too. Yeah, they may be from San Francisco, but so was Bruce Lee.
Also, for anyone who missed 21st Amendment’s M.O., they’re patriots: 1) Their whole concept is to recreate the local brewery culture wiped out by that most-vile progressive experiment we call Prohibition; 2) their cans all have awesome American themes; and 3) they sell all of their off-site beers in cans — a proud invention of the American heroes at Coors.
Case in point: “Like Lady Liberty,” the box reads, “we stand for independence and perseverance. In the pursuit of innovative beer, there is no obstacle too great. No journey too long. No fruit too gigantic.”
And so, with the spirit of the pioneers, the gang from San Fran tackled the watermelon.
Hell or High Watermelon is hay-colored and so hazy you can barely see through it. The beer’s head is white — and very brief.
On the nose — quietly — freshly cut watermelon. This, when combined with the name, gave us no cause for alarm when we tasted the brew and found a burst of watermelon flavor. But give us a second! This is not a sickly sweet flavor, and this beer ain’t got no connection to that artificial — though delicious — watermelon Blow Pop taste. Though it is instantly recognizable, it is barely stronger than the subtle nose, and the melon fades as it rides out a gentle wheat-beer wave. A slight spice also haunts the palate, and it’s a pleasant ride.
Now, this beer is not for sipping by the fire, or even pouring into a glass (though the first time we had it we’d been drinking heavy beers for hours, and it was deliciously served in a cup with chunks of watermelon). Hell or High Watermelon is meant for drinking out of a can on a 90 degree day with a bunch of awesome friends while you grill up some food and celebrate the weekend before July 4. And that’s what we’d pair it with.
Girls will love it, but so will guys. And both will love it more when they crush it in a pool.
Oh, and one more thing: This beer isn’t heavy. Shot-gun that sucker. It’s Independence Day, buddy — break out the fireworks.
At $9.99 a 6-pack and 4.9 percent ABV, Hell or High Watermelon is a solid beer for a patriotic weekend.