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The Lois Beer Club

Viewing life through the bottom of a Pilsner Glass

Archive for May, 2013

Beer: Five summer beers in cans

By    Jesse Tigges

For whatever reason, I associate drinking beer in the summer with cans. Does beer taste better in cans when it’s hot outside? Possibly. Do cans get colder than bottles? Some believe so, but I generally don’t want ice-cold beer anyway.

Whatever the case, cans do offer distinct advantages to bottles. Cans don’t allow light or oxygen in so, in theory, the beer tastes better. (I’ve heard some complain about a metallic taste, but that’s hogwash — most cans have a spray-coated lining inside to eliminate this.) Cans are also much easier to transport — to and from a cookout, hike, swimming hole, etc.

With more craft breweries offering their delicious wares in cans, it’s worth finding some that please your palette. Here are five I enjoyed and that cover a variety of styles.

Dog Days Lager, Two Brothers Brewing Co. (5.1 ABV)

Two Brother’s Dog Days is the most crowd-pleasing of the cans I tried. There aren’t a lot of big flavors here, but a simple enough hop presence is countered by an equal amount of citrus — most similar to a lemon zest. The Dog Days is ideal for after sweat-inducing outdoor activities — yard work or sand volleyball come to mind — because it’s refreshing and endlessly drinkable.

Firefly Amber Ale, Jackie O’s Brewing Co. (4.5 ABV)

Oh Jackie O’s, can you ever do me wrong? The Athens brewery has been producing great beer and recently made its beer available in cans in the Columbus market — currently only at Weiland’s Gourmet Market. The Firefly Amber Ale has a slight malty sweetness that’s followed by a more-potent-than-expected earthy (Cascade) hop profile. Not my favorite of Jackie O’s beers, but worthwhile nonetheless. The Chomo-lung-ma Brown Ale is also available in cans.

Hell or High Water Watermelon Wheat, 21st Amendment Brewery (4.9 ABV)

21st Amendment has a wealth of great beers in cans — hello, Brew Free or Die IPA. But it’s the brewery’s fruit beer that intrigued me. When it’s done right these beers can be quite refreshing, even if that’s generally not your thing. The Hell or High Water isn’t overpowered by the watermelon — watermelon isn’t a very powerful flavor — giving it an initial sweetness that quickly fades as a crisp wheat beer takes over.

Resin, Six Point Brewery (9.1 ABV)

This is the canned beer for the hardcore hop lovers. Six Point’s Resin is a double IPA with huge, bold hops — best described as just straight dank. The piney, slightly floral hops are somewhat countered by some citrus notes, but it’s minimal. It may not be ideal for summer drinking, but this is a great DIPA. And if that’s your thing — I feel you, brother — this is the beer in a can for you.

White Rascal, Avery Brewing Co. (5.6 ABV)

My favorite of the beers I sampled for this article. The White Rascal is an unfiltered — giving the beer its cloudy coloring — Belgian wheat with a nice mixture of flavors throughout. While the flavors (coriander and orange peel spice, with a subdued hop profile) are quite welcome, the beer’s refreshment factor was most surprising, offering the best combination of both.

Photo by Meghan Ralston

There’s a big conference of beer producers. At the end of the day, the presidents of all beer companies decide to have a drink in a bar.
The president of ‘Budweiser‘ orders a Bud, the president of ‘Miller’ orders a Miller Lite, Adolph Coors orders a Coors, and the list goes on. Then the waitress asks Arthur Guinness what he wants to drink, and much to everybody’s amazement, Mr. Guinness orders a Coke!
“Why don’t you order a Guinness?” his colleagues ask.
“Naah. If you guys won’t drink beer, then neither will I.”
By MICHAEL FELBERBAUM AP Business WriterRICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Craft breweries from around the country are toasting the troops with a beer aged with a unique ingredient that symbolizes America’s pastime – baseball bats.

Nine different brewers collaborated to create Homefront IPA, all using the same recipe, complete with orange peel and unfinished maple Louisville Sluggers. Toward the end of the fermentation process the beer soaks in a tank with the maple bats.

All proceeds from the beer, which is being released for Memorial Day, will be donated to Operation Homefront, a national group that provides emergency financial assistance to military families.

The Hops for Heroes project began in 2011 when Chris Ray, co-founder of Center of the Universe Brewing Co. in suburban Richmond, was pitching for the Seattle Mariners.

A home brewer at the time, Ray wanted to partner with a local brewery to create a charity beer. Together with Fremont Brewing Co. in Seattle and his brother, Phil, they developed the recipe and chose the charity Operation Homefront, which was suggested by Ray’s childhood friend that served as a soldier in Afghanistan.

“I was always taught when I was growing up to help out the people that help you,” Ray said while talking about the beer at The Diamond, home of the Flying Squirrels minor league baseball team. “They’re putting their lives on the line for us every day. The least we can do is help them keep their car on the road or help them keep their house.”

In addition to Center of the Universe and Fremont Brewing, the list of participating breweries has grown to include Cigar City Brewing in Tampa, Fla., Sly Fox Brewing Co. in Pottstown, Pa., Perennial Artisan Ales in St. Louis, 21st Amendment Brewery in San Francisco, the Phoenix Ale Brewery in Phoenix, Left Hand Brewing Co. in Longmont, Colo., and Stone Brewing Co., in Escondido, Calif. Other sponsors within the craft brewing industry provided ingredients and supplies to help brewers keep their costs down and increase the amount of money raised for the cause.

Last year, the project helped raise $165,000, with additional donations to the group coming in because of the beer project, Ray said. After the beer is brewed, the bats also are dried and auctioned off.

The breweries will sell the beer in bottles and kegs in their areas, with all proceeds being donated to local chapters of the charity. Bottles in the Richmond market even include American flag caps.

“It doesn’t really get any more Americana than beer, baseball and America’s troops,” Ray said.

While Ray is glad more breweries are participating in the project, he said he wants it to grow slowly to keep the beer novel.

Aaron Taylor, spokesman for Operation Homefront, said the project is a great opportunity for folks to support military families and have a good time.

“It’s a win-win for everybody,” said Taylor, whose group helped meet the needs of 151,150 military families in 2012 by paying for car and home repairs and other financial aid.

Craft brewers are known for using their beers to support causes that they believe in, said Julia Herz, the craft beer program director at the Brewers Association, a Colorado-based industry group.

“They’re just so tied to their communities,” she said. “It’s a very symbiotic thing,”

And with beer lovers excited to see a craft beer that benefits a charity, the beers usually sell out fast.

“What feels good tastes even better,” Herz said.

Other adult beverage makers also support projects that benefit the military.

Several wineries a have created wines to support military groups like Operation Homefront.

Bourbon bottler Jim Beam has partnered with Operation Homefront for the past five years to raise money and awareness through promotional events such as concerts. And whiskey company Wild Turkey has teamed up with The Boot Campaign, which supports veterans through the sale and promotion of combat boots. Its “Boots and Bourbon” initiative raises money and highlights returning veterans’ issues.