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Friday, July 10, 2009

summer libation project, a la zac

Inspired by Zac's summer beer project, I thought I would report on my own summer consumption of adult bevvies. Seriously, this summer has been the best. And I haven't even gone on vacation yet! Anyway, I'm totally in love with this summer and I think I've sampled some tasty drinks, especially for a grad student on a budget.
  • Magic Hat Wacko. A librarian friend of mine recommended this to me in light of my love of beets. This beer is delicious and beautiful. I don't really have the vocabulary to describe beer like Zac does...and I don't have one in front of me at the moment to sip and be inspired by so this is just to say: I really enjoyed it. All Magic Hat beers are vegan.
  • Dogfish Head Aprihop. I thought this was the beer Zac recommended but then I got home and realized it was the Peche. Damn. I'll have to buy the Peche next time. The Aprihop is good but not amazingly delicious, in my opinion. It does taste like summer, though, so I definitely recommend it. Dogfish Head can't really go wrong by me. Note to self: try all their beers instead of always getting Raison D'Etre and 90 Minute IPA.
  • In the comments to Zac's post we discussed cream ales and recently I was reminded of one of my favorites: Buffalo Bill's Orange Blossom Cream Ale. I think this is a great summer beer and I just picked some up for our upcoming Minnesota lake vacation.
  • Boulevard Wheat. Zac posted about this beer and his plans to mix it with lemonade. Wheat is my favorite beer and I can't get it on Ohio. Instead of drinking it, then, I wax nostalgic about it. For example, many fabulous evenings of my life have been spent sharing pitchers of Wheat at Minsky's on Main in Kansas City, where each pitcher is ringed with half a dozen lemon wedges. Any time my family in Missouri visits me they bring me some, bless them. I'm sure my parents will bring me some of this at the lake. Perhaps we'll try this lemonade thing.
  • Tucher Helles Hefeweizen. My sister loves this beer and she introduced me to it. She first had it at Das Stein House in Jefferson City, MO. It's sold at Jungle Jim's so I often get her some (I import German beer and IKEA items to Missouri on a regular basis.)
  • Left Hand Milk Stout. I have a bottle of this in the fridge right now. One bottle. I first drank this beer at the Old Mohawk Bar in German Village, Columbus, OH. It's rich and delicious and refreshing and awesome. It's not a summer beer. It's a year round beer, a dinner beer if you will.
  • Chimay. I had my first bottle of this at Myra's Dionysus last weekend after J, J, and I went to see the new Woody Allen movie. Where has this beer been all my life?! Where have these Trappist monks been hiding?! In a monastery or something?! A new favorite for sure.
  • Now for bevvies beyond beer. If you haven't had a Bellini you really must treat yourself. Bellinis are served in Venice and drinking it really takes me back. Combine peach nectar (I like the tall glass bottles from the grocery store) with Prosecco sparkling wine. Please use Italian Prosecco, please. I'm begging you. Bellini-makings are fun to take to a dinner party, which is one of my favorite things to do. At the end of the evening, after dessert and when the conversation is getting really good, it's nice to have this refreshing taste of summer. If I can't go to Europe, at least I can drink it.
  • I also had Trader Joe's sake for the first time. It's really good and it may surprise you how tasty it is. They also have a "sparkling" sake, which in my opinion is just wrong, so make sure you get the non-sparkling variety.
I think that about covers it. Beyond my knitting night Shiner Bocks and pints of Guinness that's what I've been tossing back these days. I think next summer I will fulfill my longtime desire to make Limoncello but I didn't get it together earlier in the spring to have some for summer evening, after dinner sipping. What have you been drinking lately?


  • I realize now I forgot about the awesome Bloody Moskowitzes Jerms has been making us. I'll save those for another post.

    By Blogger abby, at 4:41 PM  

  • abby-where did you go? i need status updates. :(

    By Blogger Ashley, at 4:46 PM  

  • I can't believe that I never responded to this post. This is a good list. However, what makes Magic Hat vegan? I know they use an inordinate amount of fruits and vegetables in their beers, but aren't all beers vegan (aside from those using lactose)?

    Aprihop is a really good fruit/ipa for sure, but it is OK just to get the 90 minute or Raisin d'Etre.

    Summer beer is what we call the Boulevard Wheat mixed with lemonade.

    Hefeweizens are always a sure bet for the summer.

    I'd disagree on the stout in that stouts can be great summer beers. It's just that they're sippers meant for the evening. The more they warm, the more complex they get.

    Chimay is just the beginning of Belgian beers, but it's a great place to start.

    By Blogger comoprozac, at 10:14 AM  

  • Filtering agents are what make beers non-vegan. Gelatin and isinglass are two examples of animal products used to make alcohol. Also, sometimes if the brewery uses animal ingredients in other ways (not actually in the beer) some vegans don't consider the beer vegan. There are always interpretations, of course.

    If vegan drinkers happen upon this post, a search of vegan beers yields a lot of resources so I won't list any here...except this one, which amused me:

    I didn't add any lemonade to my Wheat last week when I was at the lake with my fam. But I did remember that I used to mix it with lager to make the British Shandy. Also tastes like summer...

    If I lived in Misery I'd try to become Z's beer apprentice.

    Some very thoughtful friends of ours just gifted us a bottle of craft-distilled gin ( so I should post about that soon.

    By Blogger abby, at 7:41 PM  

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