My Memorial Day weekend in beer
Memorial Day has come and gone, and summer is (un)officially here. The long weekend was a welcome respite from work and the endless news cycle. With so much going on in the world these days, it was nice to be selfish and focus on rest and relaxation for a change.
And of course beer was a big part of the festivities.
Friday I took my kids to the pool to celebrate their first day out of school. I laid waterside while they splashed and played for a couple of hours. The Arkansas sun beat down on us and I worked up quite a thirst in the process. Fortunately I had a couple Founders Brewing Co. Green Zebras on hand for when we got home. This watermelon gose was just the thing to cool me down. Green Zebra is light-bodied and blends the taste of watermelon with a slightly-tart and salty base beer. I enjoyed a couple as the clouds rolled in and a brief thunderstorm had its way with Fayetteville. Sitting under my covered porch with a delicious beer in hand was delightful.
After dinner some of the neighbors gathered for a few "driveway beers." For people my age--and especially those with children--driveway beers are a way of life. We don't go out much anymore, and being able to slip outside for an hour or two before getting the kids ready for bed is convenient and fun. I started the evening with one of my favorite local beers, New Province Brewing Co. Philosopher IPA. I wrote about it in an earlier post, so I won't go into detail about why I love it so much. After a few tall tales I was at the bottom of my glass, so I switched to Lost Forty Brewing Co. Trash Panda. I'm a sucker for the nouveau hazy IPA, and Lost Forty makes a damn fine one. Friday night's was the Amarillo hop version, which is probably my second favorite behind the Citra.
Saturday we had a few friends over for a cookout. We don't host many gatherings these days due to our hectic kid-centric schedule. The boys have been playing spring sports and most Saturdays are full of games or practices. After a trip to Sam's Club and Walmart to pick up the necessary supplies, I lit the charcoal grill and cracked open a Dogfish Head Sea Quench Ale. My friend and fellow beer geek Scott Parton has been hyping this beer for a while now. I think he typically enjoys it poolside. I figured the day's heat and a blazing grill would provide a good opportunity to see if he is onto something. And he is because it was a delicious abatement to the searing temperatures of the day. Kudos to Scott for leading me to what will most definitely become a summer staple at my house.
I'm pretty sure we made too much food Saturday. We apparently planned a menu for a small army, not five families whose appetites were stymied by the heat. The ribs, pork tenderloin, and burgers quickly gave way to more beer and good conversation. I finished off the Lost Forty Trash Panda, and with a good buzz worked up, decided to break out the recently-released BDCS 2018 from Ozark Beer Co. The consensus of beer geeks and non-beer geeks alike was that this year's version of BDCS is perhaps the Rogers brewery's finest. The bourbon is not over-the-top, the roasted character and chocolate notes are lovely, and all-in-all it was the ideal way to wrap up a great cookout with friends. Other beers of note from that night were Ska Brewing Co. Rue B. Soho Grapefruit Lager and Deschutes Brewery Passion Fruit IPA.
Sunday morning was spent shaking out the cobwebs of the previous days' fun. Clean up was a chore, with a volume of recyclables that will surely raise the eyebrows of the city's trash pickup crew. Later that evening we loaded up the car and went to see the Northwest Arkansas Naturals play some ball. My family usually goes to 10-12 games each season. We live close to Arvest Park and it's something everyone in the family can agree to. The craft beer bar is kind of expensive, but has a good selection. My wife and I opted for Ozark IPA on draft. It has become standard fare for us, whether at a ball game or out to eat. We really enjoy its middle-of-the-road appeal; by which I mean it's neither too hoppy nor too malty. It paired extremely well with the BBQ nachos and peanuts I devoured during the game (as it does with basically everything). I did sneak in a Yuengling Traditional Lager before the fireworks started.
My wife worked on Memorial Day so I decided to get some things done around the house while she was gone. I spent most of the morning cleaning out the garage, and most of the afternoon putting it all back together again. The heat approached unbearable levels and I sweated through a couple of shirts before I decided the time was right for refreshment. Keeping with the summer sessionable theme, I reached into the beer fridge and pulled out a Stiegl Grapefruit Radler. I love this beer because it tastes like a grapefruit soda and clocks in at a mere 2.5% ABV. It is the consummate "lawnmower beer" if there ever was one. I'd like to say it powered my project through to completion, but alas, there is more garage cleanup and put-back to accomplish later this week. Fortunately there is more Radler in the fridge for when that time comes.
I had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend, chockfull of good times, good friends, and good brews. How was your holiday? Did you drink any memorable beers?