It isn’t summer until you’ve had a summer ale. While CraftBeer.com suggests plenty of options, it’s Sam Adams’ seasonal brew that officially kicks off beach season for me every year.
I typically don’t buy 12-packs of beer any more – my wandering eye at my local bottle shop prevents that – but I do like to indulge in each of Sam Adams’ seasonal variety packs to see what the brewers at Boston Beer Company cook up every few months. Along with my annual bottles of Summer Ale, I was excited to try some of the special releases provided in this year’s summer 12-pack.
So as today marks the unofficial start of summer across the U.S., I thought it would be worthwhile to highlight the special brews of this year’s summer pack.
Blueberry Hill Lager
The name should tell you all you need to know. Made with two-row pale and honey malts, this beer has the light body of a lager with plenty of flavor created by the use of blueberry flavoring. As I’ve noted with my own blueberry experiment, it’s hard to get true blueberry taste from the berries themselves, so natural flavoring would be necessary for Average Joe/Jane Drinker to get that sensation.
Tettnang hops offer a light bitterness to offset the blueberries, but this one is fruity through and through. There’s no disguising what you should expect when you drink this beer. Like Sam Adams’ Cherry Wheat, one bottle should be enough, otherwise the berry flavor may get a bit repetitive.
Blueberry Hill Lager stats:
- Malt: Two-row pale malt blend and honey malts
- Hops: Tettnang
- Additives/Adjuncts: Blueberries and natural flavoring
- ABV: 5.5 percent
The aroma of this beer carries lots of lemon zest and added with a fair amount of carbonation makes this beer smell almost like 7up.
That carries over into the taste, which tickles the tongue in a similar soda fashion while also providing notes of lime and lemon. Thankfully, the brewery’s blend of two-role pale malts backs it up a little, giving a slight malty sweetness that’s hard to pinpoint because Sam Adams doesn’t explicitly say what malt varieties are in their blend.
Either way, at 4.5 percent ABV this is a great back porch sipper that allows citrus smells and tastes to carry the brew, but the malt never stops it from being overbearing.
Porch Rocker stats:
- Malt: Two-row pale malt blend
- Hops: Tettnang
- Additives/Adjuncts: Lemon
- ABV: 4.5 percent
Little White Rye
Everything about this beer screams everyone’s favorite (or not) “crafty” beer. The only difference I found was a slight herbal taste brought on by the use of white sage and this beer’s aftertaste, which featured a touch of rye spice.
Other than that, if you’ve had a Blue Moon, you know what you’re getting.
Little White Rye stats:
- Malt: Two-row pale malt blend and rye
- Hops: Tettnang and Saaz
- Additives/Adjuncts: Orange Peel, corriander, white sage
- ABV: 5.3 percent
“Don’t drink to get drunk. Drink to enjoy life.” — Jack Kerouac