Weekly Beer Geek: Goose Island Summertime
- Written by Luke G
- June 7, 2012
Goose Island Chicago
The Beginning: Memorial Day has come and gone, and with it the unofficial start of summer in the US. I had the privilege of raising a few beers with some veterans, and I hope you all remembered that Memorial Day is more than National Barbeque Day. Nevertheless, summer has begun - the beaches are open, concerts in the park have begun, and fireworks shopping is just getting started. What better way to emphasize the beginning of summer, than with a beer straight-up called “Summertime”?
The Brewer’s Pitch: Goose Island presents Summertime, a bright German Kolsch the color of a summer sun. With notes of fruit in the scent and in the acidic bite, Summertime is perfect as a session ale for those hot, muggy days. At only 4.7% ABV it’s not too much to handle over the long haul, and it can be savored sip by sip during a lengthy evening. Not too bitter, Summertime pairs well with lighter fare such as salad or fish, mozzarella cheese is also nice. If you want to give it a try get at it soon, it’s a seasonal that will be done with the year’s brewing run in August.
The Beer: Summertime is a very pale golden-yellow with a high, dense, pure-white head. It is very subtle on the nose, a tinge of malt and grain that doesn’t really bring the promised fruitiness. The first taste is a bit sweet and a bit tart. There is a high level of carbonation that keeps it tingly across the tongue and palate. There is a wheaty, soft grain flavor that is accented by a lightly sour acidic note. The overall effect is something like a citrus without being definitively orange or lemon. The overall bitterness is very low even at the end, where a bitter flavor or hoppiness frequently asserts itself, and the aftertaste is subdued and pucker-tart.
The Breakdown: This grew on me. At first blush it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary, just a mild ale that failed to distinguish itself. Then the mellow sweetness and understated tang started to assert themselves and make things more interesting. Suddenly I realized the whole damn thing was gone and I wasn’t even halfway through my review. This thing is dangerously smooth and appealing, and it really is a good beer for summer. After finishing the bottle I’m left with only a very mild aftertaste at the back of my tongue and could easily have another bottle or two… or three or four. It’s mild enough that I wouldn’t pair it with much, but splitting a six-pack over an evening seems like happy times to me.
The Bottom Line: Why can’t all beers have a name so definitive of when you are to drink them? I can see a whole line of these being successful. “Summertime,” “Winter Night,” “Thanksgiving Dinner,” “Alone on a Saturday Night”- that last one would have to be pretty strong.