Even though it is not quite summer yet, the 90 degree temperatures are upon us once again here in Florida. As the weight of these hot days bears down on us, if you are like me you occasionally like to cool off and beat the heat with an ice cold beer. Most of the time I have a go-to beer waiting in the fridge for those really hot days. For me, this beer is usually lighter in color and lighter in alcohol, but not necessarily lighter in flavor. In the past these “go-to” beers have included Bells Oberon, Dogfish Head Namaste, Founders All Day IPA and Anderson Valley’s Gose, among others.
Now I have a new brew to add to my summer go-t” list. For the past few years this beer has been available exclusively in Finland, but not any more. I just had my first can of Brooklyn Brewery’s American Ale and it is just what I needed after a morning of trimming trees in the hot sun. Some of you may already be familiar with Brooklyn’s Summer Ale, which is a solid summer offering in its own right. The American Ale has some key differences that make it stand out to me. First, it is a little lower in ABV. It comes in at 4.5 percent while the Summer Ale is an even 5 percent, and that makes it just a bit more sessionable (key for those afternoons spent at the beach or on the boat). Also as I am more partial to English-style pale ales over German-style pilsners, Brooklyn’s American Ale appeals to me because of their use of traditional English Maris Otter and Crystal malts (think biscuit and slight caramel notes), rather than the German Pilsner malt used in their Summer Ale.
Even if it does not become your new summer beer, Brooklyn’s American ale is certainly worth trying on a hot summer day. Remember the sun dehydrates. Beer is mostly water. Stay hydrated.
Rick Swartz, Beer Consultant – Vero Beach
Follow me on Twitter @abcbeerrick