Ever notice that the Summer Solstice is never actually the hottest day of the year? You would think being the longest day would correspond with being the hottest, but you would be wrong. Those crazy hot days never seem to come around until July or August. But during some of those hot non-solstice days I found a beer called Summer Solstice, from the Anderson Valley Brewing Company. Could it make up for the misleading real Summer Solstice by being the hottest (by hottest I mean greatest, not literally hot because that would presumably taste terrible) beer of the year? I intended to find out.
Two things about the packaging of Summer Solstice instantly drew me in. The first was that the label of the six-pack described the beer as a Cerveza Crema. Tightly translated, that means Cream Ale. One of my favorite beers of all-time, Spotted Cow, also happens to be a cream ale. The second thing that convinced me to buy the beer was also on the label: bears with antlers. I love bears and I love antlers, so why wouldn’t I love a beer with both on the label? It also didn’t hurt that the bottle caps called Anderson Valley Brewing Company (based in Boonville, Mendocino County, California) a “Solar Powered Brewery.” Even the sun supports beer (or at least 40% of beer, as research has taught me 40% of the brewery is powered by solar panels)!
Finally, I got the beer home and tried it out. This was some smooth drinking. The first thing that came to mind when this beer hit the tongue was the texture. This was certainly one creamy ale, with a frothy texture that fit somewhere between beer and milk. Actually, consider what carbonated milk would taste like. Now picture that, but with a beer taste and not a terrible milk taste. Okay, I can’t really describe it, but it’s better than it sounds. Besides the texture, Summer Solstice also has a slightly sweet and spicy taste to it that could easily carry this summer seasonal through the autumn months.
The only downside of this beer is that it’s surprisingly heavy for a summer seasonal. Usually summer beers are light and refreshing and although Summer Solstice would be tasty on a beach, I would have a hard time tackling more than two of these in a sitting.
Yet, as a beer to unwind with after a long day outside, a long day working or a long day doing nothing, Summer Solstice definitely fits the bill.