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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Drinking Beer in the Triple Digits

In Portland, the mercury rises to triple digits in summer about as often as snow falls to the ground in winter.  I feel the same kind of awe in the face of both.  The snow is unmitigated pleasure, while the deathly heat, which settles even into the shadows and persuades all creatures to lie low in silence, is more awe than awesome.  We're getting a little run beginning today of very hot weather.  Maybe not Phoenix hot, certainly not New Delhi hot, but pretty good by any measure.

And the last thing I want is a beer.  It's possible that I'll want something extremely light very late tonight, as I wait for the house to cool enough to sleep.  But if I do, it will be yet another doomed tonic, and I'll enjoy it far less than I would on a drizzly 40-degree night.  Heat and beer are like oil and water to me.  Yet I know that summer is when Americans buy the most beer, so obviously I'm an outlier.

But perhaps there's a ceiling for regular folk, too.  Portlanders (and others experiencing triple digits today)--will you be tippling beer or something soft and cold like iced tea?


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  2. Berliner Weisse weather. I saved some Festina Peche bottles just for these days.

  3. Gin & tonic(s).

  4. I'm cold-blooded, so these are the few days when all of me is warm, but I enjoy just about any good beer in this weather...maybe not an imperial stout. I'm also very happy to find so many well-flavored sessionable beers at places like Burnside. Their lime Kolsch is pretty sweet in the heat.

  5. Manhattans, vinho verde with ice cubes and Pimms punch.

  6. I definitely stick to the lighter side. Even a pale starts to feel a bit much. I like the <5% beers in hot weather, which limits your options quite a bit, espeically in the PNW.

    All that being said, a Radler is just about the most refreshing thing on the planet in hot weather. The only place I know of that serves them is Hopworks...

  7. Although usually a porter and stout guy, these temps (89 in bellingham, wa) are when I tip back an IPA or two or even (shudder) a wheat.

  8. Beer. Probably a Witbier. Or a Pilsner Urquell. Very rarely and Hendricks and Tonic.

  9. Kevin Scaldeferri7:27 PM, August 16, 2012

    Dunno, I thought the new New Belgium / Alpine DIPA was pretty tasty after work today.

  10. I second the Radler. But I have central air in the house, so just about any beer works for me.

  11. Shopping at Freddy's, I observed people reaching for the light in Corona and macro. I actually had some lemonade on ice when I got home...tasted fantastic. Then I drank a little leftover Workhorse, which seemed oddly heavy. Out for dinner, I ordered Everybody's Lager. Great stuff. Closing out the evening with ice water.

  12. As it turns out, I fled the house for a cool place to eat and drink. And, once cooled, the idea of a beer didn't seem so crazy. But back in the swelter of home, I'm thinking it was maybe not the wisest course.

    A pale ale, incidentally.

  13. My choice, in ascending order, are
    - Kölsch
    - Berliner Weisse
    - Pilsner or Pilsener and, sometimes, Pilzner

    I notice several Colorado craft breweries feature Mexican-style lagers
    - Del Norte Brewing, Denver; 04 variants
    - Mountain Sun brewpubs, Boulder [02] and Denver [01]
    - Renegade Brewing, Denver
    - Ska Brewing, Durango
    - Upslope Brewing, Boulder
    All pale lagers, excepting Renegades' amber.

  14. I just drink in Air Conditioning. Then the outside temperature doesn't matter!

  15. Jeff said, "But perhaps there's a ceiling for regular folk, too."

    Based on an admittedly small sample size(one store), the ceiling for beer shopping seems to be about 90 degrees, though that may have something to do with the fact that we don't have massive coolers full of ice cold BMC products.

    Once the temperature cracks 90, the sales definitely take a slight down turn, which I can only attribute to people forgoing drinking in their hot houses (it seems like almost no one in SE Portland has A/C) and heading to the bars. This seems in line with your rekindled craving for beer once you had reached an air-conditioned building. The sales we do get almost universally shift to the light, refreshing end of the spectrum while things like Black Butte XXIV just sit there.

    Also anecdotal, but upper Hawthorne was exceptionally busy for a Thursday night, and the crowds didn't see to linger outside for any longer than it took to smoke a cigarette.

  16. I third the radler, and HUB has a really good, sub 5% ABV Kolsch on tap right now too. Good place for hot-weather drinking.

    Full Sail's Session (the red one) or LTD are nice hot-weather beers.

    But when it's THIS hot, I pretty much switch to gin & tonic. With a lot of ice.

  17. Burnside Brewing Lime Kolsch all the way! Perfect hot weather beer.