by Brian Cullen
There’s a scene in the Shawshank Redemption where a nigh-emotionless Andy Dufresne teeters over the edge of the prison rooftop, just barely held in place by the enraged guard Byron Hadley. For the six of you who don’t know this scene, Andy agrees to make some clever–and entirely legal–financial transactions for Hadley in exchange for a few buckets full of ice-cold, easy-drinking Bohemia-style beer. It’s a gorgeous scene. And while the golden sunlight shines over the inmates, the mahogany-tinged timbre of Morgan Freeman narrates over the whole thing–“We sat and drank with the sun on our shoulders and felt like free men.”
I can’t think of a better way to describe the feeling of a warm, summer Saturday, with nothing to do and a refreshing beer resting at your side. At times like these, can anything bring you down? Can anything stress you out? All you need is a dog, the love of your life, and maybe a hammock, and congratulations. You found life’s cheat code.
If you’re lucky enough to steal away on one of these rare days, try to get your hands on one of these beauties. They’re all Man Cave tested and Man Cave approved for the summer months.
One of the original wheats, and to this day one of the best. This frosty, frothy brew pours with a head so thick you’d think it was drawn in a cartoon. This darker-than-the-average beer has notes of banana bread and cloves, and is backed with juuuuuust a touch of yeastiness to back it up. There’s a lot to like about this beer–not only will you be getting authenticity points (Georg Schneider was the original brewer at the Hofbrau Haus–which brews another terrific wheat) but ordering a Schneider Weisse will allow you to practice your Alan Rickman imitation! Go ahead. Try it. See? You smiled. Don’t deny it.
While most brewers of summer beers tend to favor wheat brews, there are still plenty of refreshing, easy drinking selections for the folks that don’t like all that yeastiness and banana flavor. Case in point: Victory Prima Pils. Now, I’ve already recommended a Victory beer once, and I’ve gone on record saying that the US isn’t quite as good with pilsners as with other styles. But this beer trumps all that. This is literally one of my top 5 favorite beers. I’m going to spare you the typical mumbo jumbo about malt and hops etc., and just tell you that this beer tastes like a unicorn giving you a hug after you just won the championship game against the MonStars from Space Jam. It tastes like a rainbow of joy shooting out of the chest of a robot playing the bass guitar. It tastes like “Mr. Blue Sky” sounds. Just…you should try it.
This beer could taste like grasshoppers and I’d still love it. That’s because I’ve always wanted a chance to saunter up to a bar, put on my best Billy Dee Williams voice and say–“Bartender. I’d like a Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’. If you know what I mean.” And then she’d be like: “Do you mean the beer? Tell me you mean the beer. Because you’re so fat and white that I’m having trouble deciding whether you look more like the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man or the Michelin Tire Man.” And then I’d be like: “I’m a man either way, dollface” as I casually flipped a Sacagawea dollar her way.
…before I have to explain this to my girlfriend, let me just say that this beer is a hoppy, floral wheat beer that packs a punch at 7.5% ABV. Not for the faint of heart.
Let me ask ya somethin’–do you find wheat beers refreshing, but they just don’t calm the shakes as quick as you need ‘em too? Well, there’s good news. Southampton Double White is not only one of the tastiest Belgian wits out there (read: orangey! For the non-beer nerds, like a fancy, higher quality Blue Moon) but clocking in at 6.7% ABV, it’s deceptively heavy. As refreshing and smooth-drinking as this beer is, the alcohol is just secretly waiting in the wings like some kind of magic booze ninja (brb writing down band name idea). Anyway, it has hints of curacao orange peel, coriander, and enough yeastiness to play nice with everyone.
So there you have it, folks. Four of our favorites. Now, quit wasting time on the internet! Go call out sick, grab a Frisbee and find your closest park or beach and give these puppies a test drive. Until next time–cheers!
Brian was your Guide to Spring Beers as well. –>