Cocktail Hour

Summer is waning.  It’s mid-August, and September is rumbling toward us.  School starts again.  Soon the weather will get cold and the fun will be over.  And a different kind of fun begins (stout season… oh yeah.)

Meanwhile, my wife and I haven’t had much of a summer.  For most of July and some of August we were waiting for our first child to be born.  We weren’t able to go on vacation.  We didn’t hang out by a pool.  We went to a few BBQs, but mostly we just waited.

Last week, our son showed up. 

So, there’s still some summer left for us.  We’re enjoying our baby, enjoying the warm weather, and just enjoying being a family.  That said, there’s still no vacation on the horizon.  We’re kind of house bound.  So, we’re making due with what we can.  And, that means taking part in one of my favorite parts of vacation…. the cocktail hour.  (Kind of like Happy Hour, but… every day–and without the drink specials.)

Every day at 4:30, I declare it Cocktail Hour.  We break out the chips, the wife has a soda (for now) and I have a beer.  My beers have been of the summer variety.  Full Sail IPA has been a popular choice.  Narragansett Summer (see? it’s still SUMMER gosh darn it), is one of the best summer beers out there.  Today I also picked up a 4 Seasons IPA by Voodoo Brewery, which I intend on sampling.

Gotta do something otherwise you go stir crazy.

Now, I know this is a beer blog, but what are you favorite cocktail hour drinks?


Autumn is Coming

If you’ve been in a liquor store, beer store, gas station, or bottle store in the past week or so, you’ve probably noticed something on the shelves.  Oktoberfest beers.  Beers labeled Harvest beers.  Pumpkin beers.  And then, after making your purchase, you step outside and remember it’s still August and it’s 157 degrees out with 110% humidity.

It’s confusing.  Beers can’t seem to get their timing right.  Pumpkins don’t really get ripe until October, so you know all those pumpkin beers are using last year’s pumpkins. 

And no one is in the mood to buy a heavier, malty beer, when they know it’s just going to sit in their stomach and make them sweat even more.  Me?  I just picked up a case of Narragansett Summer, because I’m really not ready to let go quite yet (and I love Autumn).

But what’s the story?  Why so soon?

As we all know, Samuel Adams sets the tone for all craft beer.  And if you remember, they released their Summer Ale back in like… March (maybe April).  It must be their bestselling beer. 

So, once that hits the shelves, everyone tries to catch up.  That moves the market up.  Which means, the breweries have to kind of plan ahead with their brewing of the fall beers.  And because, to them, summer starts in March, then Fall must start in August.

And here we are.  Trying to hold on to the last strains of summer, as the beer community is telling us… let it go.  Embrace cold weather.

But, I’m still a sweaty mess.

I’ll stick with my summer ales until September, then.