When the snow melts away at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and gives way to temperatures finally above 30 degrees, summer hopefuls come out of hibernation and onto their porches with a drink in hand to catch some rays.
The rise in temperature foreshadows the ever-close six weeks of no homework or classes that is also known as summer break, and the drink of choice becomes a warm-weather brew like Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy, whose blend of lemony taste could make a person forget they were even drinking beer.
Summer poses brewers with the challenge of seeing which fruits compliment beer the best, and some rise to the occasion while others fail miserably.
Samuel Adams and Blue Moon, two usual crowd-pleasers, both make seasonal brews similar to Summer Shandy. Blue Moon Summer Honey Wheat has a hint of citrus flavoring, which is balanced by a sweet honey taste.
Although good, it is not anything spectacular and is an even tie with the classic Belgian White paired with a fresh orange slice.
Samuel Adams Summer Ale would be my beer of choice.
Also boasting a citrusy flavor, the brewmasters at Boston Brewing Company have found the perfect balance of sweet, fruity flavoring and the traditional wheat taste.
Getting away from citrus, 21st Amendment Brewery in San Francisco makes Hell or High Watermelon wheat beer, a seasonal favorite for many, so I decided to see
what the hype was all about.
In my opinion, it has a mildly refreshing taste of watermelon, but follows up with a bland aftertaste.
Its fruity aroma and a taste that somewhat resembles it are the only things the beer has to offer, and it left me wanting more.
With a countless number of summer brews out there, beer lovers can find a summer flavor that appeals to their taste buds, whether it be citrus, melon or honey.
For those who prefer liquor, Indiana bars boast an array of cocktails to satisfy that summer craving for fruity drinks. Twisted Jimmy’s has become known for their freshly squeezed crushes, a combination of liquor mixed with juice squeezed from an orange right behind the bar.
High demand for crushes finally gave way to a handful of new flavors in addition to the classic orange, including blue raspberry made with SKYY Raspberry, dreamsicle made with SKYY Vanilla and gummy made with Pinnacle Red Liquorice.
Not a fan of vodka? Twisted Jimmy’s also has crushes made with rum or gin, including, my favorite, the Gin and Juice Crush.
Made with Death’s Door Gin, Triple Sec and grapefruit juice, the Gin and Juice Crush starts with the crisp taste of gin, followed by the slightly sour taste of grapefruit.
Summer makes for the perfect time to enjoy fresh juice – add some alcohol to it and get the perfect day drinking beverage.
Crushes range from $6 to $7 at Twisted Jimmy’s, 29 N. Seventh St., Indiana.