Monday, August 17, 2009

Endless quest for the perfect summer beer - part 2 some flavored beers

The Brewers over at Magic Hat like to unleash a steady stream of not so ordinary seasonal brews. This year's summer brew is called Wacko, not unlike the folks at Magic Hat themselves. If you missed the fine print when looking at it on the shelf, the beer is pink in color from the touch of beet juice. Are you still with me? Though not quite commonplace, I am not afraid and I purchase a 12 pack (because there are no six packs). I can get over the pink color, I can get over the concept of beet beer, I am eager to have a delicious summer beer, crisp with just a bite of hops. Unfortunately I am disappointed. Too much hops, too much bite, waaaayyyyy too much bitterness in the tasted during and afterwards. The beets only add a faint sweetness that stands before the bitterness like a zero level man-at-arms with a pointed stick against an ancient red dragon. Magic Hat wacko brewers I love you guys, but this is a fail. I will keep feeding them to Brian during game days until they are gone. On my way to the lake this weekend, with temperatures threatening into the low 90s, a crisp refreshing beer was desperately needed. Then I saw it, the nice folks at Harpoon UFO division gave me just what I needed, raspberry Hefeweizen. I think it is very similar to their regular UFO Hefeweizen but with just enough raspberry taste and just a hint of sweetness. I had a 6 pack of that like many good things, it passed leaving me wanting for more. This beer is crisp, well balanced, thoroughly refreshing and highly recommended for those hot hours of the day with the brilliant summer sun sizzling on your skin. My son brought with him some blueberry wheat beer from the Wachusett Brewing Company. I am not sure if this can be had in very many places outside of Northern Massachusetts but it is worth a taste if you see it. Far too light for cool weather drinking, it is crisp, dry, not too bitter, and with only a hint of sweetness and a balanced amount of blueberry taste. This beer does not stand up to heavy foods very well, but like the raspberry UFO above, is very good in the heat of the midday sun. We alternated between the raspberry and blueberry beers until they ran out. Fortunately for us the clouds rolled in and it was time to grill some Wisconson made Bratwursts, which went very nicely with the Dos Equis that we left in the refridgerator. But that is for another post. Cheers


  1. I've had the Wachusett Blueberry and it's very good - definitely a drinkable hot weather beer. Magic Hat makes (or perhaps made a summer beer whose name I forget, but it had a bumblebee on the label and was quite nice during the warmer weather.

    I will agree though that some small breweries like Magic Hat tend to get a little too...erm...creative with their new / seasonal beers.

    Question - what do you think about hard ciders during the summer? I'm a fan of a nice cold pint of Strongbow or Blackthorn when it's hot out (not a fan of American ciders really - almost always too sweet).

  2. I do not remember the name of the Magic Hat beer with the bumblebee label either.

    Regarding hard cider: I have not been a fan. The last time I had a hard cider was several years ago in Ireland. It was Bulmers (sp). Even though it was less sweet than American ciders, it was still too sweet for me. Given the opportunity and good recommendation, I would give something else a try but I clearly prefer a crisp beer or a gin & tonic with lime in the hot, humid weather. Besides with the tonic water you can combat the symptoms of malaria, if you should every contract it. Good to be ready, if you know what I mean.


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