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Sunday, June 2, 2013

Mayflower Summer Rye Ale

Ah, the beers of summer...Hefeweizen, Wheat, Whit, Saison...and now it appears we can add "Rye" to the list.

This is the beer I enjoyed today- Mayflower Brewing's excellent seasonal "Summer Rye Ale"- as I sat outside in an Adirondack chair, feet in my daughters kiddie pool, as she splashed me and squirted me with her tiny squirt gun (because I was also wearing her tinkerbell hat, which she thought was a hoot. Sorry, there are no photos).

Today being the 4th straight day of 90+ degree heat, I was growing really desperate for a low abv, high taste brew to help me beat the heat. But in the craft beer world, low abv can be hard to find. This is why I seek out seasonal brews whenever I can.

Seasonal brews from a local brewer are the single best way to guarantee that you are getting the freshest beer brewed for exactly this season. Mind you, most locally brewed beer is super fresh anyway, but going with a "seasonal" brew is great way to ensure that you will enjoy something brewed specifically for the weather and food that typically accompanies it, and that hasn't been sitting on the shelf too long.

Summer Rye Ale
Mayflower Brewing, Plymouth, MA
3.8% ABV

This beer pours a pale, hazy yellow, with a brief, loose, white head. There is no head retention here, as it collapsed immediately. The appearance reminds me of a hefeweizen.

Smell is cut grass and citrus (lemon, maybe), and if you take a deep breath, you get the hints of rye spice. Aromas are pleasant and distinct, yet not overpowering.

Mouthfeel is light and smooth, perfect for a summer beer.

Taste is pure summer joy- malt cereal notes at first, followed by citrusy orange peel bitterness, but subtle, not strong at all. This is quickly balanced off by the peppery rye spice, which is also very modest and understated- there is just enough to add hints of flavor, nothing more. The flavors here are all very distinct, but very, very muted, almost delicate if you will. Finish is clean and dry.

I loved this beer, and recommend it to others looking for a great session beer to enjoy poolside. At 3.8% alcohol by volume, it won't work you over, even when the temps touch the 90's. And the flavor profile is such that it will compliment just about anything you'd serve in the heat of summer.

Similar beers I'd also recommend:

Harpoon Brewery- Dan and Rich's Rye IPA- Originally brewed to celebrate Harpoons 25th Anniversary, this beer has proven so popular its been put into the regular lineup. Think of it as a spicy IPA- stronger flavor profiles, more hops, and about 6% abv.

Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA- An excellent IPA brewed with rye by one of the best brewers in the USA. I find this spicier and more complex than Harpoons version.

Coming latter this week- More summer beer talk- fruit in your beer and why its a good thing..



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