Chicagoist's "Beer of the Week": Sam Adams Summer Ale

By Chuck Sudo in Food on May 15, 2009 9:40PM


The merger of Anheuser-Busch and InBev last year made Boston Beer Company the largest American-owned brewery (if you already knew that, give yourself a Mighty Marvel No-Prize). Not the biggest fan of Sam Adams brews here, for a variety of reasons unrelated to this post. Now that this review has been qualified, let's get on to this week's selection.

Of Sam Adams's seasonal selections, the one that is probably the most consistent to us is their Summer Ale. In addition to malted wheat, this is brewed with lemon zest and grains of paradise. Sam Adams jefe Jim Koch notes that grains of paradise was used as a brewing spice as far back as the 13th Century and does a commendable job of imparting spice to a beer without adding extra hops. Hops, as most of us are aware, are what bitters a beer. Sam Adams Summer Ale has the spice of, say, Gumballhead, but it's a malt-forward beer. with the humidity of summer waiting in the wings, this also makes a great session beer.

The picture in the post was taken at C-View, the rooftop bar atop the Affinia Hotel Chicago. Located 29 stories above ground level, C-View has one of the most beautiful views of downtown you're going to find. Sam Adams selections, including Summer Ale, are available both here and at C-House restaurant, which is a very underrated beer bar.