Thursday, April 7, 2011

MAXED OUT: The Weather Man

This week's edtition of MAXED OUT fortuitously delayed one day so that its tapping co-incides with National Beer Day? Perhaps. Regardless, the following ought to put you in the mood to commemorate the ending of Prohibition back in 1933.

Happy opening week of the 2011 Major League baseball season my hop fiends! Yes, opening week, not opening day apparently. And in honor of the return of my favorite sport, I’m going to play weather man and tell you what style of beer you should drink on a rainy day as opposed to a summer’s day, snowy, windy… you get the point. Let’s do this!

As some of you know I lived in San Francisco for five years, and some of my favorite days were cold, rainy summer days in the city by the bay (Mark Twain once said “the coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco”) so I’m going to start off with a porter for a rainy day. Porters tend to have strong coffee, chocolate, smoky, or vanilla notes and often a combination of two or more of those flavors.

As I’ve said before, porters were originally known to be lower alcohol content versions of stouts but these days the lines have been blurred between the two styles, but for the sake of this week’s topic I’m going to stick with true porters. So, the next time you’re cuddled up on the couch watching reruns of The Cosby Show, do yourself a favor and grab a six-pack of Black Butte Porter from Deschutes Brewery out of Bend, Oregon. At 5.2% ABV this beauty (did you see what I did there? Black Butte – Beauty… eh, eh ) has subtle notes of coffee and chocolate. Grab a carton of strawberries, a tub of Dreyer’s vanilla bean ice cream, light a fire, and demolish a six-pack of Black Butte while watching Mad Men and you have yourself one successful rainy day. Damn, now I wish it were raining outside!

Hows about we dive into San Diego weather and go with a nice sunny day, say 78 degrees, not a cloud in the sky? Or as we call it here in S.D. a typical day in the neighborhood (eat it, East-coasters.) I’m going to go with a nice light I.P.A., Bear Republic’s Racer 5 or Sierra Nevada’s Torpedo being the perfect choices.

Torpedo is a nice dry, crisp, refreshing version of an India Pale Ale, and while it comes in at 7.2% ABV is surprisingly smooth and easy drinking. Racer 5 is similar in its smoothness but replaces the crispness of the Torpedo with slightly more fruity notes, citrus and apricot and rings in at an even 7% ABV. Grab a twelve pack of each, a cooler, some buds and bocce ball, hit the park and once again you’ve got yourself a successful sunny day! Son-of-a-b, I wish I didn’t have to work tonight!

For my peeps from Chi-Town, I’m gonna go all windy on you guys and go with a Alesmith’s Nautical Nut Brown Ale for a blustery day in the neighborhood. Quick question: have you ever had a Newcastle?

Did you enjoy it? If the answer is "yes" to both, smack yourself. If the answer is "yes", you have tried it and "no", you didn’t enjoy it, do yourself a favor and give this bird a go. I know it goes slightly without saying but the nutty-ness of this beer is fantastic and while it comes in at a whopping 4.8% ABV, I can think of no better way to escape the wind than by ducking into a hip little beer bar (Hoffer’s) and slamming down one or two of these bad boys. Post script: I HATE THE WIND!

Every once in awhile, San Diego can get rather hot so I thought I’d throw in a good beer on a really swelteringly hot day. As I thought about it, I actually came up with three styles of beer that could best be described as ‘hot weather beer’: There’s the Kolsch, the Hefe and the Pilsner, all of which would go down like a big girl on prom night. For the Kolsch style beer I really like the Alaskan Summer Ale for its creaminess and accessibility (also found in 6-packs.) The Hefeweizen should definitely be the Paulaner Hefe for its smooth characteristics paired nicely with its deliciously refreshing balance of coriander and banana (typically I say "no" fruit in beer but with a true German Hefe, squeeze a lemon wedge in and set the rind to the side.) The best Pilsner I have ever had is called Reality Czech from Moonlight brewing. Absolutely perfect for a blisteringly hot day but only available in the Bay Area as this guy does everything himself including delivery, paper work, brewing, etc., etc. So if you ever get the chance to try one of Moonlight Brewery’s beer, I implore you to Czech it out (see what I did? AGAIN!)

What about a snowy day? I don’t know, I’m from San Diego. Something strong, I guess.

Well my beautiful people, I think that will just about wrap up this week’s dissertation so thank you as always for joining me. Hit me up on Facebook, at, or in the comment section below. I’d like to thank my BFF Corey for this week’s topic, and join me next week when I tell you what kind of beer goes best on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc. etc. And I’m out!

Until next time my beer loving brethren, have a beer for me.


Road Dawg said...

Keep up the good work Max. Mark Twain is often misquoted with the coldest winter in SF line. It was droll and typical of his character and kind of poetic, but not his. Hope to see you and get good tips in person at the next Family Values Tour, or try to make it to Joshua Tree, I could see you in the great campfire banter.

B-Daddy said...

Max, the Racer 5 has always been the backyard BBQ favorite, at least when we invite Dean.