Tuesday, August 12, 2014

GAP TEAM TOP 5: Last Hurrah for Summer Beer

Earlier and earlier every year, it seems that Fall seasonal beers are finding their way on to liquor store shelves and tap lists everywhere. And while we love the brews that come with the changing of the season, we hate to see the Summer offerings go so soon. 

To celebrate the Summer, since it’s still here until September 22, we decided to have a Summer beer tasting on a gorgeous Friday afternoon. From shandies to IPAs, the GAP team tried 12 different Summer beers and gave each one a score between 0 and 5. Our panel consisted of 11 GAP employees, each bringing their experienced palate and preferences to the table in our very own Blackburn Tavern. 

Here are the results:

1. Otter Creek Fresh Slice: The most enjoyed beer of the afternoon was the Otter Creek Fresh Slice, an unfiltered white IPA. It had a crisp, fresh, citrus taste, and a hazy-orange color. It had the perfect balance that appealed to both beer aficionados and non-beer-drinkers alike.

2. Narragansett Del’s Shandy and Harpoon UFO Big Squeeze: Tying for second place, both shandies seemed perfect for a day at the beach, playing games in the backyard, or any outdoor adventure.

The iconic beer from Jaws (Narragansett) teamed up with Rhode Island’s summertime frozen lemonade staple (Del’s) by combining their beer with lemon concentrate to create the perfect concoction of malty sweetness and citrus tartness. While Del’s Shandy is said to only be available this Summer, we have a feeling it will make another appearance next year, as it flew off the shelves all season.

Harpoon’s UFO Big Squeeze is a shandy of a different color. Rather than the usual lemonade and beer combination, Harpoon crafted a shandy that mixed beer with grapefruit juice. The orange coloring has a hint of pink and has sweet, grapefruit flavoring with a hint of tartness.

4. Harpoon Summer Beer: A classic seasonal offering from Harpoon, this beer is light and refreshing, which pairs fantastically with a hot, Summer day.

5. Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy: Like much of America, the GAP team took a particular liking to shandies during our beer tasting. Leinenkugel’s put shandies on the map over the past few years with their Summer Shandy, which features natural lemonade flavor and crisp wheat beer taste.

Since we enjoyed our Summer beer tasting so much, we will be bringing you the GAP Team Top Five every season! Our favorite beers will be placed in our Beer Hall of Fame and featured on our social networking pages. Stay tuned, our Fall seasonal beer tasting is right around the corner!