To the North, and West for most of us, is where we are going for this beer review.
This state is proud of the fact that they lead the nation in breweries per capita. Give up? Oregon. It's no wonder that they lead the way. There are dozens of varieties of heirloom hops grown in their valleys, grains from their highlands are raised for the malt and their water is sweet and pure. There are even some of the top labs making brewers yeasts located in Oregon. They take this process very seriously.
Mass produced American lagers have set a disappointing standard for the country's beer drinkers. These beers can only be as good as their ingredients. Unlike the fine grains like barely and wheat used in micro brews, macro breweries take the "cheap cut" and use rice and corn as replacements. In place of whole kiln fired heirloom hops, they rely on little pellets of compressed hop dust. Their water source is usually fluoridated city municipal supply. Yuck! I don't even make ice cubes with tap water! This is a recipe for mediocre beer! I know for most who have grown up on macro beers a micro beer doesn't taste right, but I am urging you to step up to the plate and be the first one in your group of buddies to try what I like to refer to as a "real beer."
If you are new to micro brews, a few beers you might want to start off with would include a couple from one of my favorite brewery's Rogue Brewing. A great starter would be their Half-E-Weizen. This beer is a refreshing, unfiltered fusion of wheat, and Northwest Harrington malts, coriander, ginger, and Saaz hops in the Belgium style.
This is a perfect beer for the summer, and there's nothing better than squeezing a nice slice of lemon in it.
Rogue's other beer that I would recommend for the micro beginner would be their Honey Cream Ale. Rogue's Honey Cream Ale is a light, smooth, medium bodied ale, with a creamy head, hints of honey and a crisp light finish.
The second brewery I want to point out is Full Sail Brewing which is located right on the Hood River in Oregon. Their Pale Ale is something you don't want to miss out on. It has a mild sweetness that finishes clean & crisp. Full Sail Brewing also has a really nice India Pale Ale also known as IPA. This is a full bodied brew with a hint of fresh citrus. These are all "user friendly" brews. Making the switch from macro to micro takes some patience. Take your time and wean yourself onto micro brew slowly. When you find one that pleases your palate get excited to join a new world of real malt and real hops.
If some of these beers seem a bit to dry for you, be patient. Adjusting to hops may take some time, but you will find it well spent!
Pregame promotes responsible drinking.