Anyone who’s known me for a while knows that I hate winter. Not just a, “severe dislike,” or even, “overreacting whininess,” either. I’m talking a full-on, get-grumpy-in-early-fall, complain-about-the-weather-every-day-for-six-months kind of reaction. If my wife would agree to it, we’d move to San Diego because, “Sunny and 75” every day for the rest of my life sounds PERFECT.
But despite suffering through seasonal allergies, I really do look forward to the warmer weather here in the mid-Atlantic. I love dropping the top and going for a drive in my old roadster. I love sitting on my deck listening to the crickets after a long day at work. And I love the summer seasonal craft beers that get released from some of my favorite, local Maryland breweries.
I mean, I love a good IPA on a sweltering day, but it’s the lighter-bodied, lower-alcohol summer ales that are perfect for hot days lounging around the pool or picnic.
It was on one of these hot, steamy, late-spring days that I received a can of Smooth Sail, the summer seasonal from my friends at Baltimore’s Heavy Seas Beer.
Summer ales are typically lighter in color and body, and are often made with lightly roasted barley and wheat with hops that are very mild.
Smooth Sail fits the bill, pouring into a glass as a dark, hazy gold color with good carbonation and a head that fades quickly. The alcohol content is also pretty light at only 4.5% ABV, which is exactly what you want on a hot, humid day.
The aroma is pleasant, and has a slightly bready scent with just a hint of citrus. Drinking it, you get a bit of citrus fruit flavors up front, mostly lemon, that fades to a mild maltiness and ends up with a slightly dry finish.
Typical of wheat ales, it’s very light and easy to drink. Smooth Sail certainly lives up to its name.
It’s definitely one that I’d recommend, especially if you like wheat ales (particularly Hefeweizens). Its low alcohol makes it very manageable, and with it now in cans, it’s great for taking hiking or bringing to a friend’s summer cookout. It’s one of those beers that’s going to appeal to a wide swath of beer fans.
It’s available now on tap and cans pretty much everywhere that Heavy Seas is distributed, so finding it should be pretty easy.
If you try it, let us know what you think. To me, it’s just one more reason to love summer.