Looking out my window right now, you wouldn’t know that Summer in the Southern Hemisphere is only 20-odd days away. Okay, so Hobart isn’t the warmest place, but a few days ago it was 26 and sunny and today it might just be single digits and wet…very wet.
What is a man to do when faced with such gloomy weather? I know, try and artificially bring on Summer by drinking a Summer brew from the Northern Hemisphere…of course??
My brew of choice to help me with this is the Summer Love Ale from Victory Brewing. Victory is one of the American breweries I discovered thanks to one of my favourite TV shows, Brew Dogs. In their first season, the Brew Dog boys went to Pennsylvania and brewed “The Most American Beer Ever” by brewing it on a float during a 4th of July parade. Yeah I know, pretty corny, but it worked for me as I have bought any Victory beers I have found since then…and they are good.
So my local bottle-o had a few Victory brews new-in-stock this week and the Summer Love Ale was one I just had to have. I didn’t even read the label, I just saw the word Summer on it and I was immediately thinking back to or family holidays in Hawaii, California and Vegas…well done Victory marketing team! I was also really keen to see how this American Brewer interpreted the latest trend in craft beers, the Summer Session Ale. Out here in Australia, it seems that this is interpreted as a mix of maybe Pale and Wheat malts, very low bitterness, and a punch of aromatic hops such as Galaxy, Ella, Citra or Vic Secret. Great examples of these hight quaffable beers can be found at the end of my Hapi Daze beer review from the other week.
When I got home from the bottle-o I actually took a minute to read the label and discovered that things were not as I expected…this was not your typical (show back label pic) fruity summer ale. Reading the back label, which was a great story in itself, I found out that this is a beer brewed with German hops, Tettnanger in fact, which are usually reserved for Pilseners and the like, not a new age Summer Ale.
Note: upon further investigation, these guys couldn’t help themselves and loaded the beer up with Citra and Simcoe for aroma …so I guess it wasn’t a game changer like I had hoped!
Now back to the label, it got me a googling a little bit when I read the fine print to say they were using the “With Love Philadelphia XOXO” from the Philadelphia Tourism Council (GPTMC). It seems that a few years a go the GPTMC came up with this slogan to promote the area and the local brewery got behind it and brewed this beer to help bring the idea to life. This is one of the great things about the craft beer industry, local brewers are always looking to give back to their local community in various ways, shapes and sizes. I tip my hat to Victory brewing for doing this – it’s a bit of a larger scale effort but the motivation is still about giving back.
It’s worth mentioning that this sense of community is not only seen in the USA, here in Australian there are some great examples of breweries giving back to the community.
Stone & Wood – read this recent announcement from the guys at S&W. Among other things it talks about how they love their local community of Byron Bay and are doing a lot of things to help the area…none greater than building their new brewery there and employing more locals.
Young & Henry’s – these guys will eventually be buying their energy from are community owned solar farm that is going to sit atop their own brewery, check it out here.
I am sure there are heaps of other breweries giving back to the community in Australia, I might need to do a feature on it? If you know of a brewery doing something great in their community, email me the details.
And the beer…?
The beer, oh yeah, that’s what I am meant to be talking about…I have this issue with being distracted by shiny things and going off on tangents.
So, the beer, well it poured clear with a slight haze, a really nice pale straw colour as you would probably expect for something that is called a Summer Ale. I know that colour description doesn’t define this category, but it seems like it’s a neat fit these days. The pure white head that sat on top looked pristine and laced down the glass as I drank.
I am going to say the aroma is a slightly grassy citrus mix with some pale malt characteristics, nothing too intense. Down the hatch and it was a nice medium body that was well carbonated, a restrained bitterness as you would expect with this beer style. Finally a dry finish with a kind of a lemony flavour that was really refreshing.
This beer would be perfect for sitting on my deck in the sun! What a great idea…now where is the sun?
Cheers to great beers!