Friday was a day filled with emotional excitement for yours truly. I had made up my mind to buy a motorcycle and take the test to get my learner’s permit with the state of Illinois. I was up an hour earlier than usual and at the Secretary of State’s facility with documents to get the title transferred, get plates and take the test. I Yes Maam-ed and No Maam-ed and wrote checks and signed my name about twenty times and took the test successfully. I was in and out in under a half hour. More in a future post.
I was back at the Manly Garage and it was 9:45 am. There was still time (and some money) remaining to buy some beers for review. I decided to shop around first.
As I may have mentioned, we have three beer stores here in the town of Morris. There’s Feeney’s, tucked away on the side of a downtown street on the south side. There’s the Four Seasons, right smack dab in the middle of the main drag, and there’s the beloved MBS on the north side. My first visit was to Feeney’s where I spotted a beer that interested me a week or so earlier. I checked their selection and I checked their prices.
The beer I chose was Breckeridge Summer Bright Ale from the Breckenridge Brewery out of Denver, Colorado. The label said, “AN ALE FOR THE SUMMER SEASON.” Interestingly, the label had the motto:
Honest and solid in construction Complete and satisfying in drinking.
Hmm. A seasonal beer, perhaps a light, easy drinkin’ beer. I checked the price. $8.99. A reasonable seasonal. I bought it.
My next stop was at the Four Seasons. Not only did I spot some beers I never heard of, they also had a pretty decent selection of styles. I also checked their prices.
Finally, my last visit was to the MBS where they smiled and greeted me by name. We all bantered about last week’s review and how their business in craft beer sales has picked up. That was nice to know. As I once again checked out their craft beer shelf, Gail, the Beer Maven, told me that they had rearranged once again, trying to get the brews in alphabetical order. (?) They’re working on it. I picked up another sixpack that I had my eye on for tomorrow night. I was back home with plenty of time to spare for lunch and a reasonable cruise around the Net.
My time at work dragged Friday night. A massive thunderstorm threatened and we worked with bated breaths until all the booming and rattling went away with just a few drizzles in its wake.
By 11:39 I was back within the quiet confines of the Manly Garage, beer glass in hand and MacBook at the ready. I grabbed the first beer, and uncapped it. No twist-off on this one.
The beer filled the glass with a nice pale yellow colored liquid with a medium population of large bubbles. There wasn’t much of a head at first pour and it dissipated within a few minutes. (I quit tilting the glass after that first pour.) The aroma was mild and had a nice beeriness to it.
The first sip actually slid down my throat. It was light with some middle flavors and a nice bite in the back of the throat going down. The first sip was so good that I decided to have some more sips. There was not a lot of outstanding flavors in the middle but something was there that tasted pretty damned good. Perhaps that was what made this beer taste so light. There was enough middle flavor to provoke another sip. The beer was not sweet but pleasantly tasty. The crispness at the end of each sip kept me coming back for another.
Soon some sweetness came forward. Not a lot but enough. One summarizing sip put it all into perspective: lawnmower beer. Yep. That was it. I was drinking a lawnmower beer. It filled the bill. Low ABV at 4.5%, light to the taste, easy going down, crispness and able to provoke the tongue into another taste. I could see myself slamming about 2 or 3 of these in a sitting after a hot stint in the yard or out at the game.
This beer is a good way to get unthirsty, but only by about three deep. After the third beer I was ready for something different. The absence or oddness of that middle taste had me a little off. There was something lacking. It was kind of like a flimsy beachball that slowly went soft on a hot day.
Don’t expect a lot of taste. By the third beer my tongue started to protest and wanted to know when the good stuff was coming down. I started to want more of something myself.
If you run across this brew during one of your visits to the local beer store, pick up a sixer and try a coupla two, three. Then save the rest for when you forget why those beers are in the fridge or for when casual guests arrive.
Taste: C+ > Just enough taste to be recognized as beer.
Smoothness: B- > A real slick willie.
Drinkability: C > Half today, the other half later. Whenever.
Bang for the buck: C > 9 bucks = 6 beers = 2 (or 3) sessions.