Beer. One of the greatest creations to grace our dear Mother Earth. The best thing about doing outdoor chores (mowing, pulling weeds, etc.) on a hot summer day is the victory beer waiting for you in fridge upon completion of your duties. That fresh *sssst* of popping open a tab en route to 12 ounces of glory, the crack of popping a twist off, the burst of life from the separation of cap from bottle, all good things…maybe the best of things.
But what’s your favorite beer? It probably depends on where you’re from or where you currently reside. There’s a whole wide world of beers out there, begging to be explored. I did some research for my own purposes, and thought it would be worthwhile to share with my fellow beer drinkers.
West Coast: Sculpin IPA – Ballast Point Brewing Company, San Diego, California
Ballast Point Brewing was founded in San Diego in 1992 as Home Brew Mart. One of their most popular exports is this beauty to the left, the Sculpin IPA. This IPA is described as “bright with aromas of apricot, peach, mango and lemon. Its lighter body also brings out the crispness of the hops.”
Let’s pretend we haven’t all been quarantined for a second. We’re in San Diego, cool breeze flowing through the beach bar. We’re bellied up with one of these bad boys and it’s 7.0% ABV sweating in front of us. Life is good.
The Ballast Point Sculpin IPA, while a tad expensive ($14.99 for a six pack of 12 ouncers), seems like a real winner. I will be ordering shortly and looking forward to trying this delectable beverage.
Midwest: Steeped Emperor’s Lemon Saison – Moody Tongue Brewing Company, Chicago, Illinois
Moody Tongue Brewing Company has two locations in downtown Chicago. They brew their beer with a focus on infusing elements of food into their drinks. The brewery essentially takes the idea of a bar/restaurant and flips it on its head. A very cool idea that has inspired a lot of interesting brewing.
The beer I found most interesting was the Steeped Emperor’s Lemon Saison. At 6.3% ABV, the story behind this libation reads “The lemon combination within the Steeped Emperor’s Lemon Saison highlights intense flavors and aromas that are balanced by the acidity and fruit flavors of the Saison yeast and Sorachi Ace hops. We use a double-steep process to showcase the lemon profile and the resulting Saison highlights flavors of lemon meringue pie with the aromatics of a Meyer lemon.”
Brewmaster Jared Rouben suggests if having this beer with dinner, pairing the Lemon Saison with lighter seafood fare like grilled shrimp or sautéed scallops. The beer is a bit of a utility player as well, and can be had with dessert if paired with something light, such as a lemon tart or lemon sugar cookie.
East Coast: Atmosphera Tripel – Sugar Creek Brewing Company, Charlotte, North Carolina
If you’re looking for Belgian style beer in the Carolinas; look no further than Sugar Creek Brewing Company. This brewery was founded in 2014 and lives by their credo to #BreakTheRules when it comes to traditional brewing, you can read more about that here.
What caught my eye about the Atmosphera Tripel, besides the 9.7% ABV, was the enticing combination of complex fruit and spice flavors. The brewers at Sugar Creek describe it better than I can, calling the beer “a delightfully tart and refreshing hint of lemon zest, supported by a soft pilsner malt backbone and a warming alcoholic finish.” That’s certainly enough to get me hooked.
To quote the great Celine Dion: “near, far, wherever you are…there is beer to be found.” While there will always be time for Miller Lites and Naturdays, it is nice to get a little deeper into the brewing game and discover what kind of interesting creations these brewmasters come up with. So cheers friends, and if you ever have any recommendations for your boy, I’m all ears.