I played a private house concert in early May where the theme and focus was the Kentucky Derby, so the drink of choice was mint juleps. They were delightful, made from fresh mint from the neighbors garden and simple syrup handmade from organic cane sugar by the host. There was an array of Kentucky bourbons to chose from and I definitely decided that the mint julep is one of my new favorites.
However, what I didn't expect was when the host handed me a stout in a can. He knew that I am a bit of a beer snob, so he was curious if I had tried Moo Thunder Stout by Butternuts Beer and Ale (New York). The can looked familiar, but I couldn't say that I had tried it...THIS BEER IS RIDICULOUS. It may even be a close runner to Young's Double Chocolate Stout as my favorite dark beer. It is silky smooth with a coffee undertone, but isn't bitter at all. A hint of chocolate adds to a full, complex flavor that has a quick finish, unlike other heavier stouts. I was so thrilled when I saw it in my local Whole Foods!
Later in the month, I did get to try some new Colorado beers on my 2 week tour there. Always a favorite brewer of mine, I got very excited when I heard Ska Brewery had a new beer called "Mexican Logger"...I first had it on draft at one of my mother-in-law's favorite Mexican restaurants in Durango. I loved it so much, we requested that we had it backstage that night at our gig downtown! The "Logger" is more of a full bodied pilsner than a lager. The flavor is really round and complex, but still managed to be light. It almost reminded me of a good loaf of fresh baked bread with a lather of butter on top! We bought a 6-pack to take back to Nashville, but it didn't make it past Missouri!
Some of my other favorite beers in the summer: