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Drink of the Week: Samuel Adams’ Summer Ale

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5.2 percent ABV. $13.99 for a 12-pack at Green’s.

For me, the perfect hot weather beer should be light on the palate but with enough flavor to be interesting. This beer checks these boxes and more.

Summer Ale is constructed on a base of wheat and barley malt along with orange, lemon and lime peels and a small measure of peppery Grains of Paradise. These ingredients are skillfully formulated and brewed so that the flavors of each citrus fruit is easily discerned. This layering of flavors gives the beer the complexity expected from a craft-brewed ale.

These fruit flavors are accentuated by the beer’s rich malt base. Rather than using hops to provide bitterness to balance the sweet malt, the brew relies on the tartness imparted by wheat and the acidity and tannins from the fruit peels to balance the taste and lighten the perception of weight on the palate. A German hop is used that adds a mild floral note to the flavor profile without adding any bitterness, and the spicy Grains of Paradise add emphasis to the flavors.

This is a remarkable beer, simple but also surprisingly complex and refreshing. Summer Ale is a reliable choice for hot weather activities or for self-quarantining. And the 12-pack is a bargain. Cheers!

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