I’ve been a beer drinker since 1995. And I’ll never forget the first one I tried that didn’t make me want to throw up in my mouth – and that was Blue Moon. It was kind of a “gateway drug” of sorts, which led me on an adventure in finding OTHER beers that were actually “tasty!” Long story short? I’ve found plenty of tasty beers during that time! Ironically enough, I don’t really drink Blue Moon anymore (it just doesn’t taste the same to me as it did back then). Funny, I “founded” this blog in 2011, and it kind of started out as being a beer blog, so I guess you could say I’m going back to my “roots” with this one!
Recently, I became amused at a comment thread on a craft beer enthusiast page on Facebook. All Hell broke loose when someone posted a picture of this Natural Ice variety…the craft beer folks tried to point out the myriad ways that this post didn’t fit the criteria of the page, get off my lawn, etc…
What the Hell? I’d probably give this “beer” a try!
As for beer drinking, as I’ve gotten older, my “allegiances,” if you will, have switched slightly. I used to be kind of a “beer snob” and tended to ONLY drink “microbrews” (like Bell’s, Shorts, and dozens of other brands sold in Michigan and beyond) as opposed to “macrobrews.”
Me drinking some kind of high ABV beer at the YpsiAlehouse in Ypsilanti, MI – (2017). I was making an active attempt to look “snobby” while drinking this (and secretly worried I’d break that snifter).
But then something happened…microbreweries started going batshit insane…for hops. An all-out “hop war” erupted, with microbrewery after microbrewery seemingly getting into battle royales as to whom could make their beer the hoppiest.
I could see the evidence of this via some of the comments/photos of some pages I follow. People were reporting sightings of Hopslam at various retailers, which is Bell’s Brewery’s really “super hoppy” beer (in beer snob parlance, they’re called IPAs). Not to be outdone, Arcadia had their own “super hoppy” beer called “Hopmouth.” Arbor Brewing Co., which is in my ‘hood, also started making lots of hoppy beers, including “Buzzsaw,” and even eliminated one of their easiest drinking beers permanently from the lineup – Bollywood Blonde. Another of their “easy drinkers” was also eighty-sixed – the Bavarian Bliss Hefeweizen. Their only “easy drinker” they still have (read non hoppy) is the Strawberry Blonde, which is about 7 percent ABV. And it’s not NEARLY as good as some of the other fruity” beers other Michigan breweries are making these days (I’ll get to those in a bit). A couple of recent additions to the ABC lineup that are more on the “easy drinking” side include the Ypsi Gold and the Ypsi Classic.
Now don’t get me wrong. I like a hoppy beer once in a while. I even tried a bottle of Hopslam once, after a crazy week at work when my husband and I stayed a night at Weber’s Inn. We put together one of those “create your own” six pack deals, and I picked a bottle of Hopslam, threw it in the hotel room fridge, and adjourned to the hot tub/pool. When I got back, the Hopslam was waiting for me to try.
So I tasted it, and I was like…”Whoa…this is the result of tequila and beer having a baby.” Not exactly in terms of TASTE, but in terms of faceplant potential after consuming too many, if you will. Weighing in at 10 percent ABV, this stuff is definitely a SIPPER and NOT for the lightweights!
The real “hard core” craft beer aficionados tend to be “hopheads.” I get it. Bitterness in a beverage CAN be good. I have had some good IPAs. I like black coffee, after all. Maybe some people have to feel like they’ve “earned” the right to drink a beer? I honestly don’t know. But I have had it up to here with all of this “hop madness!” In the summer months, I tend to like beers that are the LEAST hoppy, whether bought in a store or from a bar. Here’s a list of some my favorite beers to drink during the summer months:
“La Cerveza” from Cheboygan Brewing Co. in Cheboygan, MI. Only available on draft. Perfect easy drinker for hanging out on a patio! This beer is modeled on Mexican style lagers, such as Corona and Dos Equis. I could see myself enjoying this one all summer long if I lived in Cheboygan! And after I’ve had enough of them, I’ll become the most interesting woman in the world (LOL)!
My Favorite “Summertime” Beers:
- Atwater Brewery’s Dirty Blonde
- Bell’s Oberon (though I think Dirty Blonde is far better)
- Short’s Local Light
- Magic Hat #9
- Keweenaw Brewing’s Pickaxe Blonde
- Petoskey Brewing’s Cranium Crush (real waffle cone crumbs are used in the mash along with raspberries)
These beers will live up to their name if you have enough of them! Lake Michigan is in the background at Leelanau State Park, northwest of Traverse City.
- Cheboygan Brewing’s Blood Orange Honey (also better than Oberon imho)
- Short’s Soft Parade (fruity but STRONG)
- Dark Horse Raspberry Ale
- Saugatuck Brewing’s Neapolitan Stout (tastes like its name). I don’t normally dig stouts in the summer, but for this one, I’ll make an exception (but will likely just have one). Man would this one be good over ice cream!!!
- Ypsi Classic, Arbor Brewing Company Microbrewery. This is a recently launched beer – weighs in at about 4.5% ABV, IBUs on the low side (I called it craft beer’s answer to Miller Lite). I hope this lovely beer hangs around long enough for me to enjoy drinking it this summer!
Ypsi Classic at the “Corner Brewery.” More beers like this one, pretty please!
See a common thread? I like fruity/easy drinking beers in the summertime. When I go to the annual Michigan Brewer’s Guild Summer Beer Festival in Ypsilanti, those are the ONLY ones I seek out!
In the past few years or so, I’ve become kind of a “dual citizen” when it comes to beer drinking. Though I still enjoy the “microbrews,” I also like the “macros” from time to time, too. Labatt and Molson tend to be my favorites, but I’ll also have a Miller Lite once in a while too. It’s great when I have to drive since it’s virtually non-alcoholic (LOL). Though if you refer to Miller Lite as being “non-alcoholic” to a Miller Lite fan, don’t be surprised if they glare at you – or tell you to shut your whore mouth!
This is why I’ll never fully fit in with either beer drinking camp. The craft beer folks will look down their noses at me for not wetting my panties for IPAs, sour beers, and the dozens of other awful-tasting “trendy” beers out there. My pal Archie (a craft beer aficionado) teased me INCESSANTLY when I had a couple of Miller Lites at a trivia tournament in August, 2018 (oh lord…). See what I mean?
I don’t want “gimmicky” beers. I don’t to drink beer that was aged in a bourbon barrel, thank you! If I want bourbon, I’ll just drink bourbon! I like the “idea” of bourbon, and enjoy watching people enjoy their bourbon, but it’s just not my hooch.
A couple of blokes of my acquaintance enjoying some Woodford Reserve bourbon at Knight’s Steakhouse in Ann Arbor.
I don’t like sour beers, either. And I only like “hoppy” things in moderation, and when the mood strikes. Ditto for stouts – time and place for everything! St. Patrick’s Day is coming up – I’m sure I’ll have a stout or two to celebrate!
Likewise, the macro beer crowd probably won’t totally accept me either for liking Canadian beers. And if I told them that the last time I drank PBR my stomach was knotted up the entire next day, they’d probably laugh at me (I really was laid low, and I only had three tallboys, too)! But that’s OK! I’ve pretty much been a misfit all of my life, why the Hell would I want to try fitting in now?