Victory was one of my gateway beers into the craft brewery scene, so I see it fitting for me to kick this site off with their Summer Love Ale. A college friend (and employee of Victory at the time and now owner of Marshall Brewing Company in Oklahoma) brought about 5 cases of various Victory beers to an alumni tail gate to watch our Tulsa football team take on Navy in Annapolis. At the time I really considered beers like Guiness, Sam Adams Boston Lager, and Stella Atois to be unique and those only drank by true beer connoisseurs. Therefore this new range of India Pale Ales, Belgiums, etc was a whole other level to drinking and enjoying beer. To get to the point, the Bud Light and Miller took a back seat to Golden Monkey, Hop Devil, and Prima Pils. 5-6 years later they continue to take a back seat as I find myself enjoying the Victory summer release on hot summer day in 2012.
Now lets get to the beer. First off, how can you not like a beer that is a direct salute to the great American past time – baseball! I must admit that the label alone is enough to tempt me, but the beer stands up to the high expectations I have of a Victory beer and one aligning itself with my favorite summer event. As I pour this beer I am pumped about the golden ale that flows from the bottle into my frosty mug. Taste buds are all riled up and ready to roll. First thought on tasting is that this beer has way more flavor than expected. It has enough hops to let me know they are present, but really crisp taste and feel. I thoroughly enjoy German beer and this one reminds me of throwing back a liter of cold Weihenstephan Original. The use of 2 Row German malt definitely stands out and the American and German hops show their face, but are far from scaring a casual beer fan off. Off the top of my head I am reminded of 21st Amendments Bitter American, Sixpoint Crisp, New Belgium Somersault, and the previously mentioned classic German lagers/pilsners. This is a great beer with a great price ($8.99/six pack at my local shop) and the 5.2% alcohol content allows you to have a few while watching – insert your team here – beat the Yankees during the dog days of summer. I will have to rate this blonde ale with 4 mugs out of 5.
I must say they summer beers are one of my favorite sets of seasonal beers. Maybe it is just because they represent my favorite time of the year; however, I really think there is nothing like having a few cold session beers like this on a patio. Look out for a few more draft notes on summer seasonal before we move on to Oktoberfest in which I probably will claim that they are my favorite seasonals…
Find out more information about Victory Brewing Company and their awesome beers at: http://victorybeer.com/