It’s July Fourth. Ninety damn degrees, if we’re lucky. Dehydration, heat stroke. Barbeque, beer. Explosives. Whiskey.
But no one wants one of those heat strokes mid-party, right? Just keeling over the grill Tony Soprano style? No one wants that.
Which is why we hydrate. With beer. Too hot for beer? That’s an insane thing to say. But yes, it is too hot for the average, say, porter. Or stout. That’s why Boston Beer Company brewed up some summer beers: Samuel Adams’ appropriately named Summer Ale and Porch Rocker Radler.
Already had the Summer Ale last year?
This is different.
Ever notice how some years, Summer Ale is great, and some years it needs a lemon to taste good? That’s because they make a new batch every year.
Never heard of a Radler?
Never fear. They’ve got a cool story.
We’re from The Daily Caller, and we’re here to help.
Samuel Adams’ Summer Ale
Made with Hallertau Mittelfrueh and Saaz Noble hops, 2014’s Summer Ale is a hazy, lazy yellow, Summer Ale has a medium carbonation, which bodes well.
On the nose, it’s sharper than we’d expected for a wheat beer, with lemon and wheat dominating.
On the tongue, the Summer Ale surprised too: Light (fruit), but flavorful, with a bite that manifests in a peppery flavor on the sides of the tongue. While past years have tasted heavier, and more wheated, 2014 is crisp on the tongue — and the best we’ve had in years.
It isn’t too sweet, either, and has a nice, lingering lemon finish.
This year, Sam Adams also released the Summer Ale in a can, and let us tell you, out of a can, it almost tastes like a different beer. Beer is more affected by light than most things, so canning is likely to deliver a product closer to the brewer’s intention than bottling; and we’ll just guess that’s what’s up here.
This is the first time Sam has released canned Summer Ale nationally. And canned, it’s sweet on the tip of the tongue, with more pepper and more fruit. It’s generally less subtle all around, but cans are better for drunk days on the beach, where we rock American flag sunglasses and towels that are wicked cool and have Shamoo, like, jumping through the solar system. In that environment, who needs subtlety?
Our Summer Ale weighs in at 5.3 percent ABV, and sells for about $10 a six-pack, location depending.
Samuel Adams’ Porch Rocker
Porch Rocker is a Radler. That’s German for cyclist. Why name a beer after a cyclist? Well, the same reason it’s so refreshing.
Turns out a Bavarian inn keeper was just chilling, keeping his inn, when a crew of cyclists shot in looking for beer. Homeboy didn’t have enough beer to feed ‘em, so he just mixed it with lemonade. Amateur move? Professional result. And so it is today.
To the eye, the Porch Rocker is clear and golden, and on the nose, no lie, it smells like Fruity Pebbles.
It was a smashing hit with my coworkers I got to clean the kitchen in exchange for booze, too. Seriously: Everyone liked it. Strong orange and lemon on the palate, on the first half the lemonade bit asserts itself above the beer, but then on the end, there’s wheat, and you know it ain’t your average lemonade. But there’s something else there, too: hints of blueberry. Try it. We think you’ll agree.
At 4.4 percent ABV, we could drink this all day, but it’s a little sweet for that. At least we know that our girlfriends won’t get too hammered. Someone needs to drive us home.