Summer has arrived. For many, a cold beer never tastes as good as it does in summertime. It’s Father’s Day weekend, and there’s are a lot of articles about what to get dad, or what kind of special dinner you can cook him, but what do dads really want?
Most likely: Peace, quiet, and beer.
My husband and I love beer. As with food, moderation is important. Health authorities recommend that while binge-drinking (defined as 5 or more drinks on one occasion) is an unhealthy habit, moderate intake (women can have no more than 1 drink per day, and men no more than 2 drinks per day) seems to have no harmful effects. In fact, a moderate intake of alcohol may even have some benefit.
To keep in mind –
- Guidelines. You may choose to have 3 beers one day when celebrating a special occasion, and not have any on other days, and that’s probably okay.
“The code is more what you’d call guidelines than actual rules.” ~ Captain Barbossa, Pirates of the Caribbean
- Calories count too. Calories in beer come from its alcohol content, so a higher the alcohol content, yields a higher calorie count. I personally would rather just have one good beer, than three light beers, but that’s up to you. Just don’t overdo it too often.
Sure, I want all dads to be as healthy as they can be, but I also want them to be happy. This means eating food you enjoy, but balancing it out with moderation and exercise. While you enjoy a healthy spread of food this Sunday (perhaps some grilled vegetables and a nice lean steak), allow yourself to enjoy a cold brew with it.
Here’s a review of some of our (me and the dad in the house) favorite picks (including % abv – alcohol by volume) for adventurous beer drinkers to try out:
- Sierra Nevada IPA. We fell in love with this beer in 1991 when we went to visit a friend in Reno, Nevada. Nobody I knew in the East was drinking IPA then. It’s still one of my all-time favorite IPAs. We also love that it comes in cans, which is great for picnics, poolside or boat docks. It’s 5.6% abv.
- Dogfish Head 60-minute IPA. I’ll admit right now, I’m partial to IPAs. We visited the Dogfish Head pub in Rehoboth Beach around 1999 and have been enjoying this beer ever since. Maybe the 6% abv does it?
- Southern Tier 2xIPA. Let’s just say one’s enough. At 8.2% abv, this is darker, and complex than their standard IPA
- Founder’s Centennial IPA. Founder’s brews some great beers. This IPA is piney and floral, with a lot of other complex flavors I can’t describe. 7.2% abv
- Southern Tier Goat Boy. Another confession: We’re partial to goats. Sort of. Well, we don’t like them actually. My husband is a cyclist and has also competed in triathlons. Two summers ago he was out riding on country roads of Maryland, and a goat ran straight out into the road in front of him, putting him head over tin cup. He got scraped up pretty good, and hurt his shoulder. Ever since, he’s had a love-hate relationship with goats. So we admit, even before tasting a beer called Goat Boy – we liked it. To boot, they put their goat on a bicycle when creating the logo, so what’s not to love? (“Ein bock” is German for billy goat – for that reason bock beers often have goat references.) This is a German style bock beer – an imperial weizenbok. Dark and malty.
I admit, I’m what some folks call a beer snob. Please don’t take offense. For folks who really don’t like “beer”, but like to drink beer, these may be good summertime picks:
- Bud Light Lime. Beer Advocate rates this as “awful”, but if you’re not a serious beer drinker, you don’t like microbrews, and are just looking for something refreshing to drink on a hot day – this may be the beer for you. It’s only 4.2% abv, and has a light hint of lime
- Amstel Light. This is a light, 100 calorie lager-style beer. 3.5% abv
- Stella Artois. Belgium beers are nice in the summertime, and Stella practically got the whole “beer can be poured into a cool glass” thing going (The “chalice”). 5.0% abv
We are very fortunate to have a couple of fantastic breweries in town:
- Big Black Voodoo Daddy. If you like stout, check it out. It has coffee and chocolate flavors, and is exceptionally smooth. Packs a punch at 12.5% abv
- Pilzilla is a lighter tasting beer. 7% abv
- Good Vibes is a hoppy beer, with some fruit in the background. 7.3% abv
- Love Child. This smooth Belgium-style beer is brewed with Passion fruit. Raspberry, cherry and spices. Word in town is that if you drink too many of these, you may indeed have a love child. 10.5% abv
- Liberty Blond – a refreshing, malted, golden ale that has mass appeal
- Fresh Squeezed IPA – hoppy and delicious
- Werkzeug Stadt – a German style beer with a nice balance of malt and hops
- Black Bear – a dark stout, full-bodied with hints of coffee and chocolate. My husband loves a good stout anytime, I prefer mine for dessert
Drink responsibly, and Happy Father’s Day.