|By Sherv||Thursday, 2 Apr 2009|
Whenever I hear mention of summer ales my stomach lets out a groan as my mind wanders to the swill that is Sam Adams’ “Summer Ale”. Ok, so I’m heavily biased against the mainstream Sam Adams brews, and bear that in mind as you read the following declaration: Oberon is by far the best “Summer Ale” I have ever had and it well within my top 10 beers of all time.
Crafted in Michigan at Bell’s, when you pour an Oberon it’s easy to be thrown off by the light orange hue and chalk it off as a thin-bodied ale. My misconception was thrown down the well when I actually tasted it and had a full frontal assault of its incredibly rich body. It’s an ale all right, a very tasty malty consistency, but then it has a hops character which complements it fully. Not nearly as intense as an IPA or APA, with perhaps a more floral and delicate bitterness.
I’ll spare you the nonsense than the snobs write about at beeradvocate.com and instead provide my own eloquent metaphors; what I taste in every bottle of Oberon is an amalgam of carefree summer evenings stargazing, sweaty nuances of fighting for survival in a mosh pit, a slight tinge of confusion stemming from a 3AM night of binging, and a hefty dosage of an incredible sense of comfort and connection that can only be provided by a gathering of the best of friends.
Fate smiled upon me last weekend as I purchased the only case of Oberon available at a package store in PA. 7 or 8 beers later I was nestled under my sleeping bag, nursing what would be the final bottle of Oberon for the weekend, surrounded by friends in various states of consciousness and coherence, as images of Troll 2 danced onscreen. Oberon’s particular magic is such that good memories add to it like a katamari ball.