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

Christopher Bedford Former Editor in Chief, The Daily Caller News Foundation
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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.

Abita Brewing Company’s Purple Haze

The next pint on our list brings us south to ol’ Louisiana, where the gang at Abita Brewing Company have been hard at work convincing us, and others, that fruit beer doesn’t have to be, well, fruity. Our (not so) secret love for fruit beer has been well-documented, and we aren’t afraid to say it. Hell, we can spot an amateur beer snob right off the bat when they sneer at us for drinking a Bud Light while clutching the third Chimay they’ve ever had; and we know a hardened beer pro when we see a guy with a beard unafraid to crack into a fruit beer. That’s our definition, and we’re sticking to it.

Also founded in the “hazy ’80s” and “nestled in the piney woods 30 miles north of New Orleans,” the brewery gets its name from the Abita Springs from which it draws its water. Both the water and the ingredients pay off in Purple Haze.

Hazy and the color of light burnt oranges, this beer looks great and sports a thick white head.

On the nose, it’s like sticking your head into a batch of fresh, whole raspberries.

But don’t panic! At a sip, the first thing we noticed is that this is one crisp, refreshing, light beer with a slight burn on the bottom of the tongue. Only on the tail end did we catch that slight, fresh raspberry taste. “You don’t realize it’s raspberry,” one connoisseur noted, “until you’re committed.”

And after one sip, we were committed to crushing that six-pack.

We would pair this bold brew with a hot date on a hot day, because men and women alike will love this sucker, and we’re bound to impress our loves with our worldly knowledge that fruit beer can be dope. Hell, maybe they’re even a Hendrix fan.

At 4.2 percent ABV, it won’t knock folks on their ass, and it’s perfect for a sweaty, pool-side BBQ.

Delicious Beer News from TheDC

On July 6, Schlafly Beer of St. Louis is releasing their Bavarian-style Weissbier on draught at their tap room.

After closing down last week while wild fires ravaged their Colorado Springs neighborhood, Trinity Brewing Company is back on track, releasing Electric Cucumber Saison on July 13. With “24lbs of cucumbers per barrel, and a large amount of basil,” this beer comes in at 5.8 percent ABV.

On July 16, Oregon’s Deschutes Brewery will follow its Missouri introduction by opening up the Kansas market for its Black Butte Porter and Mirror Pond Pale Ale.

On July 20, Schlafly Beer of St. Louis is releasing their unfiltered Witbier on tap at their tap room.

On July 24Port Brewing Company brand The Lost Abbey will release their 2012 Bourbon Barrel-aged Santa’s Little Helper, with 22oz bottles selling at $15 a pop. The release party will be Christmas-themed and is designed to “collect toys and cash to benefit the Marine Corps Toys for Tots foundation.”

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Christopher Bedford

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