It’s 92º in Chicago, which means the humidity is about 80% and the air as heavy as a Guinness. To take a bit of the edge of the brutal summer day, I’ve poured myself Goose Island’s seasonal refresher, Summertime. With a name like that, it just begs to be picked from the liquor store shelf and dropped into my cooler. Well, it doesn’t stay there very long, as my palate is soon calling for a cool beverage to accompany my hamburger or cool my brow. Dubbed as a ‘traditional german-style kolsch’ Summertime pours into my glass like a fizzing, happy sun, bubbles of carbonation excitedly playing through the glass. The head puffs initially and settles into a beach-like sandy white, just coating the uppermost rim of my glass.
I’ve chilled it a bit more than my typical brew and the glass sweats, the picture of refreshment. The smell is light and airy, yeasts are prevalent and blended with a lemony citrus. Its a stingingly cool taste, yet cleansing like the warm, lemony towels they give in first class. It coats just long enough to rinse the inside of my mouth and then disappears in an easy, non-dry fashion. The carbonation keeps me from gulping, so it forces me to enjoy each sip, rather than chugging it down with the sole purpose of attacking my thirst. The lemony refreshment again blends with the yeast to form a simple, but effective mixture.
I think this brew finds its niche in a crowd where ‘craft’ brews are typically a bit too much of a palate-stretcher for the average attendee. It is well-built and a perfect choice on a hot day, while bearing a brand common enough to fit in to a barbeque without causing too much of a stir.