Schlafly Summer Lager - The Saint Louis Brewery, Saint Louis
Helles beers are great in the summer. You can't enjoy a heavy stout in 90 degree weather as much as you can in the fall or winter. I believe all beers tastes the best during autumn, but that's another topic for another time... It's not quite 90 yet but it's definitely warm, it's also yard work season... which means it is high time I crack open my first Helles of the year. Schlafly recently rebranded its Helles Lager when it changed the packaging from bottles to cans. Their Summer Lager is essentially the exact same as before, except for the can of course. This also happens to be my first can of beer, not just of the season but in many years...
I had a pint of the Summer Lager a week ago at a cafe concert and really liked it. It was light, refreshing and sweet. I dug it. Here we are a week later and I've just finished mowing the yard, it's about noonish and I'm looking to kick back for a couple hours so I grab a can of Summer Lager, a Schlafly pint glass and head for the deck.
The first thing I notice when I pop this can open is that it smells like a can of beer... or rather, it smells like beer that comes from a can. Not a great start, but that's just a psychological hurdle craft brewers will have to over come. There is a stigma against canning because for many years there was only one type of beer you could get in a can, and it wasn't any good.
It's cliche to say the times have changed so I'll say tastes have changed. There is demand for craft beer in places where glass bottles aren't welcome or convenient, so kudos to smaller breweries for making it easier to get better beer in more places. That being said, it's still weird drinking beer from a can. Actually, I poured this into a glass like a civilized person but you get what I'm saying...
This Summer Lager is quite good. I'm a big fan of German Helles beers and this one ranks right up there. It's clean and crisp without being too pale. Schlafly's Sumer Lager earn bonus points for being sweeter than other Helles beers I've had. While the body is light, the flavor is bigger than expected and it all adds up to a pretty great summer beer.
If you're a fan of the Helles style, Summer or even light beers in general you should pick up a can of Schlafly's Summer Lager and find the nearest deck, patio or pool to kick back and enjoy the warmer months.
In the interest of full disclosure, I did receive this can as a gift from a Schlafly representative, but all of the previous pints of this beer I've had were paid for out of my own pocket. For what it's worth, I'd suggest getting it on draft rather than taking it in the can. ...Sorry, I couldn't help myself.