1. One Hundred Mags (Rule). Check out the sneak peek of BeerAdvocate magazine #100, plus some of the changes coming your way.

So I thought I wanted a lawnmower beer...

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by sprucetip, Jun 18, 2013.

  1. sprucetip

    sprucetip Advocate (520) Alaska Nov 13, 2007

    ...and it turns out I was wrong.

    I live in Southeast Alaska, where the average high temperature in July is about 65 degrees, and that is the warmest time of the year. The primary ecosystem in the region is coastal temperate rainforest. It's often cool, moist and windy. So when you get a week, or maybe we are going on 2 weeks now, of highs often in the 70s, and even sometimes reaching 80, we wander around looking dazed and blissful.

    I was in such a state yesterday after a short vacation, a 20 hour mini-holiday. A friend and I went on a little kayak/camping trip. Paddled in the unusually calm sea, went for a couple of hikes, and camped on a bluff above a beach. We even were lucky enough to see a whale swim by, breath a couple of times, and the expose its tail fluke when diving.

    So we arrived back in town yesterday afternoon, and cleaned our equipment. I went home and took a shower, preparing to go into work for what I expected to be 2 to a few hours. In that dazed and blissful condition, I peddled my bicycle to the only retail alcohol shop in town. I usually drink heavier beers. For example I have been knocking back a good deal of Hoptimum lately, and Lenny's RIPA is kind of a stand by favorite. Not to mention all the Abyss and Bourbon County in the cellar. You get the picture.... But for some reason, partly because I was going to work (computer work I could do in my sleep. And I am the boss, just FYI), I guess, I thought "hey it's (almost) hot (80 degrees whoo hook), hows about a lawnmower beer?" Since this work gig might last a few, and it did last about 4 hours, maybe something a little lighter than the usual suspects. I looked at Sierra Summerfest and backed away, for fear of it tasting like the lager it is. I really didn't search too hard. I saw Deschutes Twilight Summer Ale, and recalled, not being wild about it or anything, but deriving a bit more than a minimal level of satisfaction from it. So I got it. The label spoke of amarillo hops.

    And I guess next time a similar situation arises I will have to consider sticking with the brews I like, and maybe having fewer of them, despite climactic conditions and practical considerations of a clear head on the clock. I am a big Deschutes fan, but the Twilight, that I recalled somewhat favorably, did not hit the spot. But this is not about Deschutes, but about my (and I suspect some of you have this going on too) not really being into thin beers without much flavor. And the Twilight is not flavorless by any stretch. For a beer that tastes like dad's beer (Gen Xer speaking), it is quite good. But I have been so spoiled by ones soooo much tastier....
  2. TheBrewViking

    TheBrewViking Savant (300) Alaska Dec 13, 2010

    Ive been drinkin the crap out of some lawnmower beers the last two weeks, it has been way too hot in Anchorage. But by lawnmower beers I mean Hoptimum and Enjoy By along with a healthy dose of Sockeye Red.
    alex_hart likes this.
  3. shawnohall

    shawnohall Savant (340) Texas Nov 8, 2009

    I'm not a fan of the summer with regard to the seasonal offerings. Most of them are lager/blonde type beers without a lot of body, ABV or complexity. Bland, blah. Apparently, this is what the breweries think we're supposed to desire this time of the year. Not me. While I'm not seeking out Imperial Stouts or Barleywines, a good Pale Ale is about as light as I care to go.
  4. Jake1605

    Jake1605 Initiate (0) Missouri Nov 24, 2009

    Hoppy wheats are just wrong.
    Aero likes this.
  5. draheim

    draheim Poobah (1,050) Washington Sep 18, 2010

    Saisons are perfect for every season.
  6. YogiBeer

    YogiBeer Savant (485) Illinois May 10, 2012

    To each their own. I enjoy lighter beers as much as I do a good BB Stout or Barley wine. I tend to get sick of the heavy stuff come march or april, and can't wait to get into things like Prima Pils, Weheinstephaner kristalweiss, the enormous glut of fantastic berliners available lately, and really nice, clean, not overly-hopped Pale Ales. Mmmmmm Mm. Also, equating lower abv craft beers to "dad's beer" is a bit... what is a nice word for ignorant?
  7. Summerfest is a fantastic beer.
  8. sprucetip

    sprucetip Advocate (520) Alaska Nov 13, 2007

    Fair enough. We basically agree I guess. I went paddling down the wrong creek yesterday.
  9. sprucetip

    sprucetip Advocate (520) Alaska Nov 13, 2007

    I will take accept the descriptor "ignorant" since you took the time to read my relatively pointless meanderings that were more about an experience than beer. Though beer was certainly involved, in the experience, and what I wrote about.

  10. YogiBeer

    YogiBeer Savant (485) Illinois May 10, 2012

    No, because it's not like you meant it in a shitty way... plus, a year ago, I had the exact same attitude towards lighter/lower abv beers.
    alex_hart likes this.
  11. TheBrewViking

    TheBrewViking Savant (300) Alaska Dec 13, 2010

    It happens sometimes, I just wish I could drink deschutes while I was working. Are you hiring?
    Duff27 likes this.
  12. sprucetip

    sprucetip Advocate (520) Alaska Nov 13, 2007

    I am open to them (occasionally), but usually am underwhelmed. There are certainly exceptions, though not many are popping into my head. How's about you give me a few suggestions. As was indicated in my rambling, there are certainly times when a satisfying low abv brew is in order.
  13. sprucetip

    sprucetip Advocate (520) Alaska Nov 13, 2007

    Accepting applications for next summer...
    TheBrewViking likes this.
  14. I'll mail you some all day ipa
    Aero, mikeburd1128 and alex_hart like this.
  15. In my experience I have found that many lower ABV beers, specifically Czech Pils like the Summerfest you left behind, are packed with flavor.

    Different strokes for different folks, I suppose.
    sprucetip and fuzzylogic like this.
  16. Daemose

    Daemose Savant (480) Texas Oct 3, 2011

    It's 98 degrees here in Texas.
  17. Donerik

    Donerik Aficionado (185) Michigan Dec 22, 2008

    When picking out a good drinking beer I normally go for a classic like SN pale ale in cans. Can't go wrong with the classics on a hot day.
  18. Kinsman

    Kinsman Advocate (600) California Aug 26, 2009

    So much wrong with this statement that I'm not even sure where to begin. What are you trying to say here? I'm guessing "tasting like the lager it is" means you fear it will taste like cheap macro lagers, which only perpetuates the myth that lagers are inferior to ales. In reality, they can be just as diverse and flavorful as ales and Summerfest is a great example of a tasty 5% pils where the Saaz hops come through really nicely in a crisp and refreshing beer.
  19. Amen brother.
    Providence likes this.
  20. ChanChan

    ChanChan Advocate (575) California Dec 12, 2009

    I like Summer Solstice by Anderson Valley and Daytime IPA by Lagunitas!!
    sprucetip and Hermthegerm like this.
  21. Summer Love is all you need.
    JackHorzempa likes this.
  22. alex_hart

    alex_hart Advocate (605) Oklahoma Feb 28, 2013

    that sucks.
    mikeburd1128 likes this.
  23. If you are literally doing yard work or any work after Hoptimum and Enjoy By --sheesh. Must have some extra hepatic enzymes up there in AK. I would think with almost 20 hrs of daylight, the the quest for good and satisfying lower ABV offerings would be even more important.

    Pick up some SNPA to enjoy before the wrecking commences.
  24. pecsokak

    pecsokak Aspirant (45) Virginia Sep 27, 2012

    I disagree that lagers can be just as flavorful and diverse as ales. I don't fear lagers, and I enjoy several styles of lagers, but IMO they are inferior to ales, especially anything marketed as a "summer lager". Not trying to troll, I just doubt that many craft beer fans really prefer lagers over ales. They definitely have their place in craft beer, but you hit the nail on the head with your description of crisp and refreshing.
    sprucetip likes this.
  25. Truth.
  26. bleakies

    bleakies Savant (430) Massachusetts Apr 11, 2011

    Primarily drinking big beers is like developing an enthusiasm for hot sauce at every meal.

    It's not that lagers lack flavor, but rather it's likely that you've desensitized your palate to anything that doesn't slap you in the face.
    beertunes, 5thOhio, fx20736 and 6 others like this.
  27. for some reason I consider Sculpin a great grasscutter beer...
  28. ...aaaaaaaaand I put Tabasco on everything.
    sprucetip likes this.
  29. bleakies

    bleakies Savant (430) Massachusetts Apr 11, 2011

    Hahaha! So it would appear!
    sprucetip likes this.
  30. Duff27

    Duff27 Advocate (670) Illinois Feb 10, 2010

    I just got a Pikeland Pils in a trade that I can't wait to try!!
  31. LukeH

    LukeH Aficionado (185) Minnesota May 5, 2013

    Weather plays a huge role in what sort of beer I'm in the mood for. Summer here started out relentlessly cold (for the season) and gloomy, so I still found myself in the mood for darker, heavier beers. Now, however, it's been warming up into the eighties, and I am now wanting the lighter, more refreshing, "lawnmower" beers. That doesn't happen to me until it gets into the mid seventies.
  32. dagmer

    dagmer Aficionado (115) Illinois Feb 27, 2012

    I live in Southeast Alaska, where the average high temperature in July is about 65 degrees, and that is the warmest time of the year.

    I envy you. Are there any apartments for rent in your area?:)...as i grow old my tolerance for heat diminishes exponentially. My peak these days is about 80-ish.
  33. spicoli00

    spicoli00 Champion (760) Indiana Jul 6, 2005

  34. spicoli00

    spicoli00 Champion (760) Indiana Jul 6, 2005

    FFF pride and joy is an amazing, low abv (at 5%), highly hopped ale.

    had some schafly can sessions IPA over the weekend. it's not amazing, but if you're looking for a tasty, lower ABV (4.5%) brew, this one fits the bill.
  35. nikalus31

    nikalus31 Aficionado (125) Alaska May 23, 2011

    Just saw Kenai River Brewing's Peninsula Brewer's Reserve (PBR) in the can on the delivery truck today! May not be the lawnmower beer you are looking for, but it definitely is the bocce ball beer I was!
  36. fx20736

    fx20736 Advocate (555) New York Mar 7, 2009

    my lawnmower beer is inside this box:

    dfecteau, saucy626 and Dools9 like this.
  37. You mean it tastes wonderful? Come on man. Lagers are fantastic.
  38. Kinsman

    Kinsman Advocate (600) California Aug 26, 2009

    Of course, anything marketed as a 'summer ale' is also not going to be as flavorful. The reason many craft beer fans don't prefer lagers over ales is because of people just like the OP who seem to immediately write them off as cheap macro swill. The myth continues to perpetuate that lagers are suppose to be light, crisp, flavorless pale beers but anyone whose ever had a doppelbock will tell you clearly that is not the case. Add in the fact that lagers take longer to produce, which keeps many craft breweries from brewing them in the first place, and it's no wonder beer geeks continue to have such a misguided view of them. Thankfully, breweries like Jack's Abby are coming on the scene to show that lagers can and should be given their proper respect. I'd be willing to bet that 9 out of 10 BA's in a blind taste test would not correctly identify their Hoponius Union as a lager because all you taste is delicious American hoppy goodness.
  39. shawnohall

    shawnohall Savant (340) Texas Nov 8, 2009

    Ah...Genny. I prefer their Cream Ale, though, and I'd kill (almost) to get their Bock at $7-8 a 12-pack.
    saucy626 likes this.
  40. Lil' Sumpin' Sumpin', No?

    More on the topic...I live in VA, it gets hot as shit here during the summer. 5%ers are necesary. SNPA, Sam Adams, Bitter American....You cant tell me those beers aren't flavorful. I like bigger beers as much as the next guy, but you live in Alaska. Come visit and you will understand. Also your hike and whale sighting sounded awesome.