It is a well-documented fact that I am a bit of a beer snob. In the same way that I approach food, I make an effort to sample new beverages as they make their way to store shelves. It’s rather fascinating to see how the flavors and ingredients of beers change with the seasons, especially in the wide world of micro brewing. So for my top five beer picks, I decided to dedicate one brew to each season. How do I pick five beers when there are four seasons? Stay tuned to find out!
Since GIMMGP Headquarters is located close to the nation’s capital, Laura and I have tried to make a habit out of attending the Cherry Blossom Festival each April. Every year there are concerts, street vendors, and plenty of food stalls to visit in the DC area. With the piles of fresh sushi, savory udon, and piping-hot takoyaki that are consumed, I particularly enjoy a crisp beer with a soft finish. Crafted in Okinawa using spring water located by the brewery, Orion draft beer is easy on the palate and a perfect complement to Japanese cuisine.
Summer: Porch Rocker
Let’s be frank at the commencement: I don’t like fruit-flavored beers. If any sort of citrus, berry, or melon is added to a brew, I will generally pass the bottle to someone who likes juice instead of beer. So when I picked up Sam Adams Beers of Summer 2013 variety pack, I naturally gave the lemon shandy to my wife. But after insisting I give the Porch Rocker a try, I took a quick swig from Laura’s glass and found myself taken aback. Most of the shandies I have drunk in the past have been overly sweet with the odor of lemon Pledge; this was not the case with Porch Rocker. Sam Adams has crafted a smooth lager with mild citrus sweetness that makes for a great summer sippin’ beer.
Autumn: He Said, He Said
I have a yearly drinking tradition once August rolls into town. As soon as the first batch hits the local beer store, I make a mission out of trying every single pumpkin brew that I encounter. I started a small journal this autumn in order to properly rank each of the spirits that I sampled. There were many delicious and interesting entries in my Pumpkin Diary of 2013, including a ginger-pumpkin pilsner and a chocolate-pumpkin ale. Of the thirty-two different pumpkin concoctions that I consumed this year, there was a pair of beers that took the blue ribbon. He Said, He Said was a collaboration brew between 21st Amendment Brewery and the Elysium Brewing Co. This modest little four-pack actually contains two separate beverages: a Baltic-style pumpkin porter and a pumpkin Belgian-tripel. Both of these styles are rather unique for pumpkin beers and each of these make for a delicious drink.
Winter: Snow Blind
Just as food turns heavier and sweeter at the end of the year, so must the beers in winter. I am a huge fan of savory and sweet combinations in flavors (trail mix, sea-salt caramel, chocolate-covered bacon), so bocks and porters tend to fill the GIMMGP Fridge during the holidays. This year, Star Hill’s Snow Blind was my winter warmer. A dark beer that starts with sweet chocolate/coffee notes and finishes with a slightly salted taste, this brew is a solid start (and finish) to holiday meals and festivities. Special thanks to Draft Notes for the great picture!
Chocolate: Sweet Baby Jesus
Now for the not-so-elusive fifth season of taste, chocolate. It seems that no matter what time of year it happens to be, chocolate will find its way into all sorts of occasions and dishes. Earlier this year, chocolate (and peanut butter!) snuck into my beer and my life is made much better for it. Sweet Baby Jesus was a strange recommendation from a friend that turned out to be one of my new favorite brews. With neither flavor overpowering the taste of a delicious porter, Sweet Baby Jesus makes for a tasty treat all year round.