Living in Sonoma County has many advantages. One that we can all probably agree on is the availability of great beer. Another is the amazing weather. Even in the winter, daytime temps are in the 50’s and 60’s and ice is a rare occurrence, worthy of office wide discussion. So for the 17th installment of The Session, we’re discussing drinking anti-seasonally.
Now let’s be honest, with such mild weather, is there ever a real need of a winter warmer? For that matter, is it worth saving all of the Imperial Stouts for the week of cold weather we might encounter in the early months of the year? Hardly. I say follow the lead of Stone Brewing, Imperial Stouts are best in weather that encourages you to drink them warm.
On my recent camping trip I had a cooler that was stocked with plenty of Coconut Porters as well as a Hazelnut Brown. In fact, it was these beers I tended to reach for during the day, saving the ESB and pale ales for the evening. Why? Probably just a coincidence, but for the purpose of this blog I’m going with “because I’m a rebel!”
Another thing to think about is what are you eating when it’s hot out during the summer? My guess is you’re outside at a BBQ, burning meat on an open fire. Darker brews go perfectly with your roasted meats, dusted in charcoal and a thick smokey BBQ sauce.
Finally, if you’re out at a BBQ and plan on having more than a couple brews, stouts, porters and browns might be the best way to go. While non-beer drinkers automatically think dark beer is strong beer, we know better. These darker beers tend to be easy on the alcohol. So instead of making a complete fool of yourself at 2 pm because you’ve got a head full of Racer 5 in 100 degree heat and were last seen streaking down the county road, start off slow. Guinness starts at a mere 4% and one of my favorite browns, Lost Coast’s Downtown Brown, is right there at 5%. As the day wears on, then get into the heavy hitters.
So this 4th of July, reach for something dark, and celebrate our country’s independence. Personally, I’ll have a bottle of Marin Brewing’s San Quentin Breakout Stout by my side. After all, I’ll be celebrating in Monterey and let’s be honest, it gets cold down there.
The Session #17 is being hosted by Rob and Des at PFIFF!
Update: I’m an idiot. I left my bottle of Breakout Stout at home. Not that one bottle would have been enough. So I went to the store and grabbed a 6 pack of Black Butte Porter and later on a bottle of Missiissippi Mud, half of which went into the 4th of July chili.