The Samuel Adams Beers of Summer Variety pack is an interesting group of brews. Of course, the flagship Boston Lager is included. My first "new" choice of the pack, the Summer Ale, failed to meet my expectations. It seemed confused as to what it hoped to be, and so it really didn't become anything distinguishable. It was bitter, its was sour, it was meh. After a couple weeks rest, I decided to have another crack at the 12-pack, this time selecting the Berliner Weisse. As a wheat beer fan, I was cautiously optimistic.
One of my earliest reviews was of a beer called Bombshell Blonde. I had picked it up by happenstance, building a six pack at Central Market and looking to round out after choosing five. I was initially drawn to the clever design of the can (branding counts guys!) and figured, what do I have to lose? Well, what I found that day was a wonderful brewery based out of Conroe, TX, whom I had never heard of but one that made excellent beer. Bombshell Blonde was absolutely delicious, and as I had no prior expectations, it was truly serendipitous. So when I was prowling the craft beer isle of my local Total Wine and more, and I found a can of Southern Star's Conspiracy Theory IPA, I knew I would have to try it.
This is a beer that, seemingly, needs no introduction. Pliny the Elder has captivated the craft community for quite some time. Brewed by Russian River, based of of California, Pliny has developed a reputation for punching you in the mouth with 100 IBU of hops, but doing it in a lovable, classy way. With 174,000 reviews ratings on Untappd, Pliny has managed to maintain an obscenely high 4.55/5. So when I was presented an opportunity to do a beer trade for a couple bottles, I jumped at the chance.
Keeping up with the summer theme, I decided to review Victory Brewing Company's Prima Pils! What's better on a hot summer day than a clean, crisp, refreshing pilsner beer? Would Victory's offering meet expectations? Or would this be a mediocre player in a heavily saturated market?
Having now lived in the great state of Texas for a little over six years, Real Ale Brewing has cemented itself as one of my favorite breweries. From the first time I tried their Fireman's Four, I have been pleasantly surprised by each of their beers. Devil's Backbone, a tripel, is quite possibly the best of a great cast of beers from this Blanco based brewery.
Goose Island's Summertime Kolsch is another one of the beers I picked up for inclusion in the Battle of the Beers - Summer Brews article. I picked it up as a single bottle from Trader Joe's (BTW, they will let you pick any bottle from any six pack, unlike many other stores). Having seen a lot of Goose Island's products, but having never tried one, I figured now was as good a time as any.
I picked up this beer at Trader Joe's when preparing to write my Battle of the Beers - Summer Brews article. I had seen Deschtue's all over social media, but couldn't remember seeing it in stores here in Texas. It was a no-brainer to pick up a bottle and give it a whirl.
Given the borderline holy status of the Spurs, silver and black (and sometimes the old school "fiesta" logo colors) are all over this city. For this reason, it is no surprise at all that Branchline Brewing Co. would build a liquid tribute to the five-time NBA Champions. Yet again, I have to give props to my brother-in-law for introducing me to this beer, as I had never heard of it until he handed me a tallboy.