TailGate Beer Blacktop Blonde
Hot days are thirsty days, so they're not the best time for high-alcohol ales or, for that matter, really intense flavors, which can tire the palate. This is one brewery's solution to the problem.
It pours medium gold with a moderately high head. The nose is yeasty and malty with a little piney hop aroma and a hint of spice in the middle. The palate is more sweet than bitter (only 19 International Bittering Units, which is down in bock or Belgian witbier territory). The sweetness fades quickly in the mildly bitter-sweet, medium-length finish. And then pretty soon you can reach for another, because it's a plain old 5% alcohol brew.
This is not particularly a food beer, but around now anything cold is probably food beer enough. It comes from Tailgate, a San Diego outfit that packages all its products in cans. Turn up your nose at cans if you wish, but they cool quicker than bottles, take up less space, weigh less and totally protect the beer from sun damage.
Style: An easy-drinking beer for thirsty, hot days
Price: $3 per 24-ounce can and $6 to $9 per six-pack of 12-ounce cans
Where to find it: Beverages and More, http://www.bevmo.com; and Total Wine stores, http://www.totalwine.com.