Session Beers: The Freedom to Drink Outside, All Day

Drinking outside at the Phoenix Brewing Co. The light!

Beauty pageant winners in my book. At the Phoenix Brewing Company in Mansfield, Ohio

Independence Day is an important holiday for both its historical and cultural significance. We celebrate our independence from Britain, we wave mini flags at beauty pageant winners grinning stiffly from convertibles, we use copious amounts of lighter fluid in our meals.

Most importantly, we openly exercise our freedom to drink. Outside and all day. This year I enjoyed a beer on my stoop while the local Fourth of July parade went by. The insurance agents and scout leaders who handed out swag eyed my beer avidly and threatened to return. They didn’t though; and does anyone want a State Farm water bottle?

Drinking outside is really one of my all time favorite summer things to do, if you can call it “doing” (which you can, and that’s part of why I love it). It’s perhaps second only to my love of backyard badminton, at which I am a crack shot. It’s hard to pinpoint precisely what it is that I find so appealing about indulging outside: the glow of a pint in the midday sun, the crisp bite of hops on a muggy day, or how much more charming I become over the afternoon. Continue reading

Pardon Moi? Beer Lingo Defined, Part Un

Ha, ha -- See, magic!

Whenever I go to a French restaurant (which, let’s be honest, is not all that often) I feel immediately intimidated by the real cloth napkins and, more importantly, the menu. I always end up ordering something with mushrooms in it, because champignons is my favorite French word. And parapluie, but they rarely offer umbrellas at those places.

I know for some a beer menu can seem to be in a foreign language, too, so I thought I’d start a series in which I translate a few of the trickier bits of beer lingo.

Let’s start with the ABV, which stands for Alcohol by Volume. This is often found as a percentage on the menu listing and describes how alcoholic or strong the drink is. This number means very little to me in a science-y sort of way, but I know what the percentages mean in a how-fast-you’ll-feel-drunk sort of way. Boring old Buds and Millers, etc are generally in the 3.5% to 4.5% range. They are not very alcoholic. I can only imagine this is why people buy it by the truckload. Five to six percent is fairly average with anything above seven being ones to be careful with, that is to drink slowly or forever hold your tongue. Continue reading