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Rough Draught: Don’t drink when it’s hot out — chug when it’s hot out

Photo of Christopher Bedford
Christopher Bedford
Managing Editor

It’s 100 degrees, Independence Day is over, the Supreme Court upheld Obamacare, there are 253 days until St. Patrick’s Day — basically, we’re looking at a long, hot summer. But not all is lost! Los Federalis’ Commerce Clause is on the chopping snipping block and there is still cold, delicious, refreshing beer. And a lot of it.

And this weekend, the folks from Colorado and Louisiana are brewing grade-A beer for the hottest, most dire occasions. So without further ado, Rough Draught brings you Breckenridge Brewery’s Summer Bright Ale and Abita Brewing Company’s Purple Haze.

Breckenridge Brewery’s Summer Bright Ale

Colorado is pretty much the most badass state we’ve ever been to except for Boston, Mass. Seriously — when we last left Colorado, we had postpartum depression. Friends, family, dates and bosses — we don’t mean this in an offensive way, but we’d rather be skiing. And face it — who would want to hang out with someone who wouldn’t rather be skiing with a couple of beers and a few pounds of steak? Sounds like a bore. (Also, y’all are totally welcome to join us in our dastardly pursuits.)

And what is the only thing cooler than being a ski bum? Being a ski bum in the ’80s. Which brings us to Breckenridge Brewery founder Richard Squire (that isn’t really a ski bum name … or is it?), who, during “those hazy days in the ’80s,” realized the brewing he was doing for his homies could allow him to be a ski bum forever while benefiting humanity. Hence, the beer we pulled off the shelf at Hayden’s Liquor Store.

So what does a ski town have to offer us in the summer? Well, we hear Colorado is pretty cool then, too, and if the Summer Bright Ale is any indication, we heard right.

Clear, with a white head and medium fade, Summer Bright Ale is a pretty sight. Heavy on the carbonation with a light golden color, this beer smells like a barrel of sourdough pretzels, plus a soft hint of honey.

When we sip, it passes by the tip of the tongue with a light fritz, imparting a lighter version of that classic-ale flavor with a citrus/sour note on background (which makes sense, since it’s “brewed with orange and lemon peels”). It’s more relaxed than complex — “light,” one expert taster from The Daily Caller said, “like I feel like I could chug this like water.”

We mean that in a good way. When it’s 100 degrees outside, take big gulps.

Inexpensive and brewed to 4.5 percent ABV, this brew is available April through August, so pick up a six-pack (or three) and enjoy while you prep the burgers. Heck — the brewer recommends steaming up some mussels with this bad boy, and we agree.