This week’s snowstorm has me all screwed up.
I should know better than to expect warm weather to stick around permanently as early as April, but I couldn’t help myself. The case of Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy was RIGHT THERE. It felt warm outside, we were enjoying baseball, and goddammit, it’s citrusy and refreshing. Who can resist?
But now it’s cold, and I’m back in the mood for New Belgium 1554. Or scotch, which is a different post altogether. But my beer mood is all fucked up, and I don’t know what to drink. So this seems like a good time to revisit what I drink according to any condition. Feel free to compare notes in the comments.
Beginning of Summer: Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy
This is how you know it’s summer. And how’s that? Because this is beer and lemonade in one bottle, something you wouldn’t dare dream of in the deadness of the endless winter. It’s bright, refreshing, tart, and reminds you that no longer do you have to stay huddled inside protected from the natural elements that hate you; you can wander into the sunshine in only but a few stitches of clothing and congregate with friends over charred animal flesh and stories about boats. Your beermonade is the perfect companion for those activities.
Rest of Summer: Oskar Blues Mama’s Little Yella Pils
I’ll admit sometimes summer becomes a slog because it gets so damn hot (milk was a bad choice). You’re standing there thinking about how awful it is that a bead of sweat dripped down your ass crack and how the fuck have I not evolved past the point where something drips into my most protected of crevices involuntarily?! Gross. Then you grab a crisp pilsner and pick up the bags for another game of cornhole remembering that heat means congregation as opposed to seclusion, which is what cold means. Drink pilsner.
Autumn: Odell’s 90 Shilling
Fall is here. All I have to say is: fuck Fall. – Lewis Black.
I used to agree with that whole-heartedly, but then I got older and started enjoying sweaters and shit. Fall also used to mean school, which, until college, used to mean unhappiness. In the summer you were fancy free. In the fall you were sitting in some tiny little desk that was giving you scoliosis listening to chlorophyll man talk about god knows what.
Then you start working and it’s pretty much all year of chlorophyll man talking about god knows what, and you start to look forward to earthier flavors. Like the roasty goodness of a 90 Shilling, or any other delicious amber ale. You can still drink outside, but it’s a bit nippier, so you’ll want your flavors a bit more toasty. Mmmmm, amber ale.
Winter: Left Hand Milk Stout
Winter is good for only a few things since I don’t really ski anymore. The main one is the return of chili season. I could (and do) eat chili all year round, but it just tastes so much better in the wintertime. Cold time is solitude time, so I can think of nothing better than on a winter’s night listening to Frank Black and the Catholics, eating homemade chili, and drinking a hearty milk stout. I’m either a hipster, a radical right wing separatist (probably living in the vast emptiness of Montana), or a little bit of both. Since I pretty much never wear dumbass looking shoes… wait, that applies to both groups. Whatever, chili, stout, records, wife. Wake me up when winter’s over.
Spring: Boulevard Single Wide IPA
IPA season, baby! Spring is the season of rebirth, which goes double for your taste buds. Start pouring barrels upon barrels of hops into your face, and don’t stop until you wake up and your mouth tastes like dandelions. When it sort of always tastes like dandelions, that’s because spring is here for good. Hie thee outside and run around because you’ve almost certainly accrued a nice flabby winter gut. Drinking lots of high alcohol content beer won’t really help that, but all the twirling in fields of fresh flowers will. And that’s what you do in the spring. Twirling! Always twirling! THE HILLS ARE ALIVE WITH THE SOUND OF MUSIC, GODDAMMIT!
That covers the seasons, so let’s get specific with a few other drinking situations.
Any Sporting Event: Cheap Domestic Lager (Coors Light for Jon)
More and more stadiums are carrying craft beers, but the lines are always outrageous and you’re paying out your ass to drink great beer in the one situation you don’t have to. It’s like getting all dressed up for church on Sundays and then going to the Kwal Paint store instead. Besides, I don’t drink a hell of a lot of cheap domestic beer anymore, but it always tastes excellent at Coors Field or the Pepsi Center. Why? I have no idea, but 22 oz cups for $7 helps. And if you want to get super snooty about it and do a food pairing, cheap ass domestic beer matches flawlessly with a bag of peanuts and a factory assembled hot dog. I know it reminds me of a time I didn’t write down everything I ate and had no idea what IBU stood for. Those were special times, my man. Special times.
Work Function: Great Divide Denver Pale Ale
If you’re drinking beer at a work function (Hint: Don’t drink beer at a work function, you child.), go for the high-quality, but accessible microbrew. If you’re the dunce walking around with the Bud Light, they know you went to a high school with a robust FFA program or a large contingent of students who were recruited into the Crips. Choose Corona, you’re a d-bag with no taste because Corona is terrible. But choose the microbrew everyone’s sort of heard of, you’re a man of discerning taste and curiosity. Good for you. Maybe next time you’ll choose to look like an adult with a cocktail or a glass of wine, but until then, microbrew it up!
Sub-Mainstream Music Show: Pabst Blue Ribbon
When in hipster Rome, do as the hipster Romans do. If you ain’t into Pabst, I’m sure someone will compel you to try some disgusting smoked barleywine or barrel aged saison that sounds interesting but tastes like you were mouthfucked by a hobo. So maybe just stick to the PBR.
Literally Any Time You Want to Drink a Beer: Oskar Blues Dale’s Pale Ale
I adore this beer. Drink it anytime you want. It’s perfect.
To any beer nerds readying their snarky comments, be advised that I don’t give a shit. I’ll gladly drink anything you put in front of me, try it with a smile, and probably like it. But I’m no connoisseur, I’m just an enthusiast who likes all kinds. It’s one of the only times in life when I’m not an insufferable dipshit. It’s beer. It’s delicious. Save the sanctimony. Recommendations welcome. Tut-tutting and dick-waggling prohibited.