The Days Are Getting Longer and The Beers Are Getting Lighter

May 22, 2012

It gets hot in Texas. And once it gets hot in Texas, it stays hot. There is no break from the heat at night. It is as hot at midnight as it is at noon. And it stays hot for a long time, 10, 20, 30, even 40 days straight of over 100 degree temperatures is not unusual. Even now, in the middle of May, it will be over 90 degrees by the end of the week.

Fighting heat like this requires special beers. You want to drink something cold, so you need a beer that has the flavor profile to stand up in a chilled glass, but you don’t want something too heavy tasting or complex. You will want to drink a few beers over the course of the hot sumer afternoon, so you need a beer with a slightly lower ABV. There is nothing worse than passing out drunk and shirtless in the backyard and roasting in the summer sun, or so I have been told.

The Sierra Nevada Summerfest is a light and crisp pilsner. It pours clear and slightly fizzy. The taste is slightly sweet from the malts, with mildly herbal and lemony hops. It clocks in at 5.0 % ABV, so you can have a few while you laze around in the backyard.  It is good enough to drink, but nothing to rave about, 6/10.

The Saint Arnold Weedwacker is THE summer beer for me. This beer started out as part of Saint Arnold’s Movable Yeast experiment (SA would use different yeasts in their standard beers to see the difference that yeast plays in the flavor) that proved to be so popular that it has become a regular beer for them. Saint Arnold takes their Fancy Lawnmower, a German Kolsch, and uses hefeweizen yeast for the fermentation. It pours a nice cloudy orange yellow, with a slight head and vigorous lacing up the side of the glass. There are those banana and clove aroma and flavors you expect from a hefeweizen, along with a  touch of honey. It also has less than 5% ABV, so chug away.  This is the beer I reach for when the weather turns brutal, 7.5/10.


This snake was in the backyard, and was probably there for awhile. It is a water moccasin, about two feet long, and approximately two years old. And the guy in the video with the bare feet kicking the pickle bucket containing the venomous and agitated snake? Yeah, that’d be me.


Tarantula in a jar

That is a Tarantula in a jar. It was captured by a neighbor in his front yard. It is curled up in this photo, but when spread out, it was about six inches across.

Beer in the Sun’s Anvil

September 24, 2010

I have been in Texas for a few weeks now, and the one thing I cannot adjust to is the heat.   T.E. Lawrence and his band of Merry Arab Pranksters may have crossed the Sun’s Anvil to attack Aqaba by land, but the Mexicans who work construction here in the summer think A’Lawrence and those Arabs are a bunch of candy asses for hiding from the sun during the day.  It is the end of September, shortly after 10 a.m., and it is over 90 degrees, and no one here thinks that is odd.  It is just the way it is. Read the rest of this entry »

Samuel Smith Pure Brewed Lager beer

June 1, 2010

Hear’n, my chillens  and younguns, and lissen to the tell of the olden days when Anhesuserus Buschex and Milleradactyl roamed the vasty plains, and fearfits to flavor wereda norm, and no one brewed with flowers of hoppiness or dark malts or wild yeasts, and the ancient secrets were foresaken and near lost.  The brew was all light and no tasty and had to be dranken icy icy icy chill’d or it couldna be dranken at all, but some knew better, and they kept the flame lit in the dark caves and brewed the goodly stuff in their homes and basements and garages and shared some with their neighbors who learned that beer could have taste.  Soon after, if you looka’d in the dark corners and the bottomest of shelves, you’da find some new brews made like in the ancient times by those that knewda secrets, and wouldna let them die.

Lagers and Pilsners were all the Anhesuserus Buschex and Milleradactyl made, so when the goodly stuff returned, we ne’er drank the Pilsners and the Lagers, but the Anhesuserus Buschex and Milleradactyl made the Lagers and the Pilsners badly, so now we should try them ag’in. On the heatniest of the summer afternoons, when the burnt wood is made to glow again and the burgers sizzle and the franks splitten and blacken, a good lager will quench the thirst.  Lagers are generally German, but the Englishman Samuel Smith makes a good one, probably ’cause the English beat the Germans in two world wars and one world cup, crisp, light, perfect for a summer day, 7/10.

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