Samuel Adams Summer Ale
Boston, MA | Sam Adams.
O kay. I’m ready to blast the cruise industry and their beverage service. We recently took a Disney Cruise, which I have to say was very nice and relaxing, but very expensive, four days. While waiting for the Set Sail Party I ventured to find a beer for me and a wine for Mrs. Dan. I finally found a nice little outdoor bar in the adults only area. I noticed a sign attached to a tall beer mug that said the “Beer Lover’s Special. $22.” The smooth talking bartender from South America said you pay $22 for this mug, which features the Disney Cruise line logo. “You buy this mug and you walk up to any bar and you get it refilled for free.” Cool. I immediately texted Brett and said “Sweet.” So we endured the launch party on the pool deck we decided it was a time for a refill. So I found my new found South American friend, and got a refill for my beer and get Mrs. Dan another wine. I looked at the ticket and it had $4.95 for the beer. I asked the guy about the free refills and he said. No the beer isn’t free. You get it at a discount and your glass gets replaced for free. You can drop this mug off at any bar if you don’t want to carry it and you get a receipt so you can get the mug back for free.
Bull crap. That’s not what he said when I bought it. I also noticed that they automatically charge 18% gratuity. So, I got this $22 mug that paid me no damn benefits whatsoever except I saved $3.00 on two beers. I stopped by one of the bars and tried to drop off my glass and get a receipt. “Sorry, we don’t have any and not sure where I can get them.” I put it in my room. When I tried to use it in the bar where they play bingo they said “sorry.”
I also want to talk about their wine list at dinner but I will save that for my review of the wine (but we got screwed there as well). What really pisses me off is that all the cruise lines screw over passengers on the first day of a cruise. They get them to buy into some great package which never pays off. They did that on Royal Caribbean when we went on our honeymoon cruise. They talked us into this 20 drink package. First time we tried to use it on some little foofoo drink they said we couldn’t because the special glasses cost extra. So we forked out $15 for some glasses that we didn’t want and a waiter picked up before we could save them only to be told later “Yes you can use your drink package to buy those special drinks. They just count as two drinks not one.
So I think the cruise lines have a plan to confuse you on the first day so you literally waste about $50 per person for drinks you will never drink. Okay, I’m getting worked up and need to calm down.
A sip of Samuel Adams Summer Ale has done the trick. I served it in my $22 Disney Cruise mug (this mug is really ugly. A nice pint glass would have been better. This turkey is too tall for the dishwasher or any of the cabinet shelves).
We left the Disney Cruise and drove to Orlando where we joined Grandpa and Grandma, and Unk-in-law for another 5 days of adventure. In order to survive 5 days of Orlando we stopped at the nearby Publix and bought some wine (Edna Valley on sale) and a Sam Adams Seasonal 12-pack which we didn’t open for a couple of days.
Later that night I had a Samuel Adams Summer Ale at of all places the Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament. When you enter the place you put on cardboard crowns and mill about the lobby where they hawk everything from swords to nasty blue slush drinks in flashing glasses (sold by some college student in period garb and calling you “My Lord”). You feel like the Griswolds on a National Lampoon vacation. But they did have Samuel Adams “Seasonal” on tap which happens to be the Summer Ale.
Once the show started it was pretty good overcame the cheesy theatrics in the lobby. We sat on the front row and those guys were swinging some serious blades. If I tried that I’d come home without an arm or a leg.
We only tried 2 beers out of the 12-pack while in Orlando. The rest came home with us where I finally opened the last 2 of the 3 Summer Ales in the 12 pack tonight. Maybe I’ll review the others later (Not sure if you saw my pledge but I will not purchase any more beers until the ones I have are gone. That might take me a month or so).
The label says “Wheat Ale brewed with lemon peel and Grains of Paradise.”
Nice golden yellow color. Obviously unfiltered. As I poured into my Disney Cruise line mug, which I measured out to be 24 oz., it foamed so bad that it filled the entire glass. With this glass that’s about an 8 inch head. I sucked off as much as I could and then added a second bottle.
I like this brew but I have to admit it isn’t so special that I can’t live without it. I would enjoy drinking this on a hot day or sharing a six at a picnic. Nice wheat flavor. Not hoppy bitter but a bit tart from the lemon peel. Not sure what grains of paradise adds to the flavor. I might have to do some research on that. The wheat obviously leaves a slight smooth malty feeling on the roof of your mouth. The sides of the mouth waters from lemon peel and ……….. Grains of Paradise?
Let me see. Wikipedia says “Aframomum melegueta is a species in the ginger family, Zingiberaceae. This spice, commonly known as grains of paradise, melegueta pepper, alligator pepper, Guinea grains or Guinea pepper, is obtained from the ground seeds; it gives a pungent, peppery flavour.” I might have to see if that’s available at the local spice store and see what it tastes like on chicken.
So this is part of the ginger family. I remember drinking some ginger beer at a Caribbean festival with Dennis that left my nose running and steam coming out my ears. I digress. I’m not sensing anything that sounds like that description but this doesn’t quite taste like a regular wheat beer. I have to admit this might be a bit smoother than most wheat beers. But it isn’t anything like let say Bell’s Oberon which is one sweet wheat beer (sweet meaning good not sweet like sugar).
I think this is a good food beer. I tried it with my favorite Artichoke and Jalapeño dip and it was nice. I tried it with some pimento cheese and it was pretty good.
So I think this is a good beer. Not enough to slap your mama good but good enough to enjoy on a hot summer afternoon.
And don’t use your Disney Cruises mug to drink it. Or for that matter don’t drink any beer from it and sell it at the next yard sale where you’ll get $3 for a $22 investment.
(For the record, the Disney Cruise ship we were on didn’t have Sam Adams Summer Ale and from what I could tell no craft beers. Boddington’s and Guinness were the closest thing to a dark beer they served).