Herewith, some picks to strike a blow for better taste and
sophistication in beer offerings, beginning with Dale’s Pale
Ale. It was 10 years ago that the Oskar Blues Brewery in Colorado was the first to put a tasty beer in a can, and this is the
one. They also put Gubna in cans, a 10% ABV (alcohol by volume) Imperial IPA. But good taste in beer has little to do with
strength, and we’re shooting at moderate octane ratings here.
For many Americans of a certain age, Sierra Nevada Pale
Ale from California was the first craft beer they ever tasted,
a rich blend of malt and fruity Cascade hops. Introduced in
1980, the love affair continues, as this ale is the single largest-selling craft beer in the country. It began appearing in cans in
late February and will soon be widely available.
On the other coast, Brooklyn Lager is another veteran of the
craft beer movement, and shows just what can be done with
a lager, with its pleasingly sweet aroma and flavor, a suitably
crisp mouthfeel, and a nice bittersweet finish. Its appealing
light amber color is a good argument for pouring the brew into
clear glasses—even plastic ones.
Also out of Brooklyn—Brooklyn Center, Minnesota—is the
Surly Brewing Company, which thoughtfully provides a fruity,
piney IPA called Furious. Getting up there at 6.5% ABV, Furious might actually help the infuriated calm down if things
start going south on the course.
Harpoon IPA was introduced in 1993 as a summer seasonal,
but sales went off the charts and Harpoon quickly made it a
year-round offering. Now it’s the number one house brand of
the Boston brewery. Its Cascade hop aroma is less insistent
than West Coast counterparts, but the fruity nose gives way
to a toasty malt character and a suitable hop zing in the finish.
As far as craft beers go, the South is rising again, and the
Cigar City Brewing Co. of Tampa is leading the way. We’ll
cheat here and suggest both the Maduro Brown Ale to pair
with any stogies being torched, and the Hotter Than Helles
Lager for when the action heats up on the course.
New Belgium Brewing from Colorado is more invested in
biking than golf, but the ever-popular flagship beer, Fat Tire
Ale, would be a welcome addition to any round. It’s an easy-drinking amber ale with a biscuity nose and lightly bitter finish. Should keep the wheels from falling off.
Kilt Lifter from the Four Peaks Brewing Co. in Arizona is a bit
strong at 6% ABV, but who can resist the golf connotations?
This malt-accented Scottish ale even has a touch of roast to
it, and if you listen closely enough, you may start hearing the
TG&T Travel Editor Tom Bedell roams the globe for good beer as
well as golf; he’s a certified beer judge and was a contributing
editor to The Encyclopedia of Beer.