Thirsty Thursday: Summer Beer

Happy Thirsty Thursday, friends!

My boyfriend.

On Sunday, I had the privilege of seeing U2 for the third time at my beloved Spartan Stadium. They were, in a word: spectacular. Bono’s voice and the entire band sounded better than ever. Being the first time that we had experienced U2 outdoors, I was a little concerned about the sound, especially in such a large venue, but after a few tweaks during the 4 opening songs from my favorite U2 album, Achtung Baby, the sound not only improved, it excelled. You could hear what Bono was actually saying when he spoke, as well as the lyrics when he sang. Believe me, I’ve been to plenty of concerts where the sound was so muddy I could barely make out what song the band was playing. Sound is so important, it can make or break a concert.

So why am I talking about a concert in a Thirsty Thursday post? A concert where no overpriced alcohol was served? Yes, I know, calm down, it’s okay… we did survive. 

Because of the pre-concert festivities, of course!!! It was a beautiful, sunny day. We met up with my cousin & her hubs (who drove! so awesome!) before the show and headed out to do a little pre-show bar-hopping. We sat outside and ingested a few beers, even my cuz-in-law had a Labatt’s n/a. It was just perfect beer-drinking weather.

My cousin & I, geeked to see Bono!

I was donning my Drink Local tee-shirt, as I have favored just about every time I go out lately shuddup, it’s flattering, fun, super comfy, and I can dress it up with a skirt & down with jeans… I’m sure I’ll wear it out by the end of summer. *sigh* The downside to this shirt is that I do feel obligated to drink local beer. Not a huge issue for this chic. I usually do favor Michigan brews! As the sun beat down on my face & arms, the server listed off the local brews, and Bell’s Oberon just seemed like a given. I ordered a pint though, because, and some of you may not like this statement, but Oberon tends to vary in flavor. Yes, I know many of you are loyalists to the celebrated Oberon, but I gotta be honest, by the 4th of July, it’s yummy-peak has passed, and even the orange-wedge can’t save it. Sometimes it’s too hoppy, sometimes it lacks body or flavor… sometimes it’s just plain skunky.

Ok, ok, fellow Michigan beer lovers, stop throwing your rotten oranges at me! This peak-issue isn’t something that is only a challenge for Bell’s, I believe it’s a reality every brewery has to face. Many breweries only offer particular beers during certain months. The seasonal brews can be frustrating. This year, I only had a single opportunity to drink a KBS, one of my favs from Founders. I did, however, have many more opportunities to drink Curmudgeon than usual. However, by my last 8oz pour a few weeks back, the prime of one of my favorite beers had passed as well. It’s so disappointing, but I am learning to taste first, then order for these particular seasonal brews.

The hubs & I — how cool is that stage?!

But back to my Oberon at our first bar-hopping stop Sunday! It arrived and looked… amazing. I wish I would’ve taken a picture, it looked so rich with flavor, and when I took the first sip… oh my heavens, it was delicious. Just what you hope every pint of Oberon would look & taste like! A ton of body and a hint of citrus finish. Yum. So imagine my surprise when I told the waitress I wanted another and she told me she brought me a Summer Shandy. I thought she had accidentally brought me the Summer Shandy right then and there & had to exchange it, so I told her I wanted an Oberon like a dummy. My cuz-in-law was quicker than me and said “Ya know, I think she meant your first pint was a Summer Shandy” Oh. Is that  why it was so good?! Hmmm. I got my Oberon, and it was indeed different, but still really good for Oberon… just not as full of body & goodness as the Summer Shandy.

The telling part of this experience? When I ordered a Summer Shandy at a local restaurant last night because it was their beer special, it sucked, and I wished I would’ve ordered an Oberon for $1 more. Typically disappointing I suppose. Guess I should just stick with my old summer standby, the non-local, refreshing, rarely fluctuating Tecate in a can with a lime and salt on the rim. Can’t win ’em all.

What’s your favorite summer beer, pre-concert or otherwise?

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