Sunday, September 06, 2009

The Session #31: Summer Beers

Today being the first Friday of the month, it's time for The Session: Beer Blogging Friday.

The Session #27: Beyond the Black & Tan

The Session is a monthly event for the beer blogging community which was begun by Stan Hieronymus at Appellation Beer. On the first Friday of each month, all participating bloggers write about a predetermined topic. Each month a different blog is chosen to host The Session, choose the topic, and post a roundup of all the responses received. For more info on The Session, check out the Brookston Beer Bulletin’s nice archive page.

This month's topic was hosted by Peter Estaniel at his BetterBeerBlog: The Session #31: Summer Beers.
With the summer coming to a close, what was your favorite beer of the summer? It doesn’t even have to be from this summer. Is it a lager or maybe a light bodied wheat ale? Maybe you’re drinking anti-seasonally and are having a barleywine or Russian Imperial Stout. Why is this beer your favorite? Is there a particular memory associated with this beer? How about a city? Maybe there was a particular dish that made this beer memorable? Spare no detail.

Past Haitian dictator 'Baby Doc' Jean-ClaudeDuvalier was reputed to have thrown lavish soirees in the heat of the summer. Air-conditioning would be turned down to frigid temperatures, mimicking the cold of winter. Fireplaces would roar. Glamorous women would party wrapped in fur coats.

YFGF wouldn't recommend such behavior —'Baby Doc' was deposed in 1986— yet drinking whatever flavor of beer appeals at whatever time of year is a natural thing.

For instance, I posted last year in the heat of the summer about enjoying cask English barleywines and bottled US craft weizen dopplebocks: Just say no ... to lawnmower beer.

Enjoying lighter styles of beer in the summer —lawnmower beers, if you will— is also fine and dandy. Refreshing as the beer might be, however, what it is not is rehydration. Alcohol is a diuretic.

One of my special treats in past summers has been pouring Quelque Chose over crushed ice, with a splash of bitters. The beer —from the Unibroue brewery in the town of Chambly, in Quebec, Canada, and so pronounced as KEL kuh shows— is an oak aged pale ale, re-fermented with Canadian cherries. It ends up un-carbonated, 8% alcohol by volume (abv), and wickedly sour and complex, but not to the puckering dimensions of a lambic. On hot and muggy Washington, D.C. summer evenings, it has been the occasional treat: refreshing and unique.

Quelque Chose

I use the past tense because this tale has a sad ending. Unibroue's Maryland wholesaler has informed me that Unibroue is no longer exporting Quelque Chose to the United States.

C'est dommage.
  • My post is two days past due for The Session's Friday deadline. Go to BetterBeerBlog for the recap of those who did manage to submit on time.
  • I don't recall why Watership Down was on the table in the photo, except that it may have been a relaxing read for the evening.

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