I’m not going to tell you what you should drink.
I don’t care if you ferment raisins with brewers yeast in a garbage pail. I’m a laissez-faire kind of person. You can drink your Bud Light Lime, your Wildcat or your Pabst Blue Ribbon. You don’t have to be sheepish.
Why would I care?
Most people like to go out on a beer-limb once in a while, but it depends what your end game is. If it’s just to catch a cheap buzz, then who am I to say your beer sucks.
The math is probably solid.
You just have to make sure the beer is doing its job. If its job is to kill your taste buds so you can’t tell that your leftover kung pao chicken has gone rancid, then an over-hopped, super dry Imperial IPA may just be the answer.
If you are planning an evening stakeout to watch the beavers decimate the trees by the Yukon River, maybe an espresso stout is in order.
If you have hours of yard work ahead of you, you probably want to turn to what they dub lawnmower beers. Summer heat demands something quenching, not too alcoholic, and not overly bitter. A light, low calorie lager is probably your best bet. But along with the usual mass-produced suspects, any European pilsner will go nicely with a John Deere. Or, if you are into wheat, the German hefeweizens with their high carbonation and spicy finish can be lovely. Hoegaarden, a Belgian wit beer with coriander and orange peel, bursts with refreshment.
I am not against adulteration either.
My Welsh grandpa would swear by his shandy — a geriatric mix of ginger ale with an English bitter — to keep him going while watching long days of cricket in the old country. It’s sort of the beer equivalent of a wine spritzer, but blue collar (less Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and more Cockney chimney sweep).
I don’t know anybody who drinks shandies anymore, or at least, anybody with a prostate who will admit to it. But, they can be delicious.
There are some people who swear that Guinness is the best summer beer; probably the same people who sit in the sweltering heat sipping cappuccinos.
I don’t get it. But I am capable of changing my mind.
As William Blake once wrote, “The person who never alters his opinion is like standing water, and breeds reptiles of the mind.”
I just like that last bit about the reptiles.