Geary’s Summer Ale – 6% ABV

As my Keg Tap brother Irving has already mentioned, it has gotten unseasonably hot up here in the Northeast. Already there are a number of people who are quite vocal about their opinions in these parts. Throw in some extra heatwaves and you’ve got a tenuous situation on your hands. Being from Texas, I’m used to this type of skin-scorching, sweat-inducing weather. But even I get thirsty sometimes and require a cooling-off period. Enter Geary’s Summer Ale. This fine brew is a kölsch suited perfectly for the summertime, hence the name. It weighs in at 6%, maybe a little strong for a light summer refresher, but I’m not complaining.

I recently just brewed a kölsch and come to expect a certain color when I look at it. Generally it will have a light golden amber color, much like a typical pilsner style beer would have. When pouring this selection into an imperial pint glass, the color is much more amber, much less light golden hue. It almost bordered on orange to tell you the truth. The color yelled at me because I was expecting something much lighter. “Grr, strong like bull.” The white foam head stayed around for a while, eventually leaving a thin white layer above the amber body. One can only hope that the taste will live up to its initial visual impression. We shall see.

As soon as I poured Geary’s Summer Ale out and let the two-finger head settle down a bit, I decided to give it a go. Now I’ll be honest, the head stayed around for a while, so I was concerned that the beer would be too warm to fully enjoy by the time the head died down. It is pretty hot out after all. Thankfully I had some shade and a bit of patience. As soon as I went to take a pull on this, I got the distinct aroma of banana and bubble gum. This is not foreign to me, I’ve had a few beers that emit that particular smell. Let’s see if the taste stands up to it.

Like the aroma, the flavor that hits me first is like the banana and bubble gum aroma I just smelled. Malty backbone, as expected, but plenty of light fruit coming through – banana, light grape and citrus. The bitterness takes over somewhere in the taste, leaving a slightly dry finish in the back of your throat. Those who like IPAs would appreciate this. Those who are die-hard kölsch drinkers might be taken aback. The mouthfeel is pretty easy, it is smooth and rich going down, with that slight metallic bitterness in the end. The solid carbonation helps keep it light and refreshing and it goes down pretty easily. Not a bad brew.

I’m not a big hophead or even a fair-weather friend to hoppy beers, but this one seems to pull it off ok. The hops don’t dominate the conversation, but they do make their presence known late in the game. Give Geary’s Summer Ale a shot if you want to cool off on these punishing hot summer days. Cheers!