Thursday, June 16, 2011

"Summer is no time to fuss with the petty details of wine"

One of the best things about Malt Advocate becoming part of M.Shanken Communications is that I got a comped subscription to Wine Spectator. I'm learning a lot about wine, and a lot about magazine design, too.

But one thing I learned pretty quickly was to turn to Matt Kramer's column first, and the latest issue was no disappointment. That quote in the title of this post was the takehome for me, and it applies equally to beer or whiskey. Dude. It's summer, we're out on the deck, it's either the weekend or one's coming. Relax and enjoy. Or as Kramer said, "Even I, a professional wine obsessive, find myself during the warm summer season saying, well, to hell with it..." Yup.

So I present my own version of his points.  
  • Rediscover pale ale. Sierra Nevada, or the new ones from Victory or Left Hand. Pale Ale is a drinker, not a thinker, and still great cold. Best of all, at around 5-6%, it's still big-glass beer. Yeah.
  • Summer beers have returned. After being off the radar for a few years -- why? I don't really know, maybe brewers catching their breaths -- summer beers are back in a big way. Try that Citra-spiked Narragansett Summer in the big blue can, or the Stoudt's Kolsch, or whatever your local brewpub's got that's light and frisky. 
  • Hefeweizen! The summer beer that never, ever goes out of style. Don't want to go to the trouble of washing those big weissbier glasses? You're absolved, my child: go forth and pour hefe into any good beer glass you want. Want/don't want a lemon slice? Do as you please, and don't let anyone tell you different.
  • Try something new. There are always beers out there you've never had, whole styles of beer you've never tried -- or liked, and maybe this is the time to give it a shot. Go to a bar, saddle up, and grab a new handle. You're out, you're drinking beer, you're having fun. 
  • Relax. This ain't no time to argue. It's time to enjoy. Grill. Chill. Tip a few.

Sound good? Indeed. Just don't remind me of this when something pisses me off in July and I start ranting!


Anonymous said...

Wonderful advice. I have taken to grabbing a case of pale ales of one sort or another when I cross into your country and enjoy them greatly, even to the point, I have to admit, of thinking a wee bit about them!

A Good Beer Blog

Lew Bryson said...

Resist that temptation, Alan...the thinking part, that is!

Anonymous said...

Pretty soon the way the wine business and spirits business is going and the college age kids distaste for beer something has to change in this backward state

Steven said...

"Dude. It's summer, we're out on the deck, it's either the weekend or one's coming."

And guess where I'll be with my lovely wife this evening -- a bottle of French Chardonnay, a variety of cheeses from a great shop in Wisconsin, some hard salami, and some assorted cured olives. Aaah, summer.

Oh, and it's been Sierra Nevada's Summerfest that's been going down smooth this season, though I've been eyeing the Pale Ale 12 packs.

Steven said...

Damn! How could I have forgotten the Granny Smith apples! Aah, summer.

BeerClubGuide said...

I always enjoy an ice cold Hefeweizen in the summer with a slice of orange. And I can't wait to get my hands on some of Sierra Nevada's Summerfest!

Stephen Beaumont said...

Am I allowed to still be at least mildly irritated when a server delivers my Blanche de Chambly -- a great summer beer, BTW -- with a chunk of lemon hanging off the glass?

And as MA's longest standing (I think) non-staff columnist, why don't I get a comp sub for WS, too?

Lew Bryson said...

Absolutely: they should ask. And if you don't want one, and I do, and that's how it's served...neither of us should make an issue of it. Clink, and drink.

Hey, you gotta ask. That's what I did!