What to Drink When it is 112° Outside

It is 112° in Phoenix today. As I write this, my phone confirms that fact. It is hot here.

I usually tell non-residents I come across that if you can just get through July and August…Arizona is a great place to live. Mild winters and our awesome spring months make this a beautiful state. But days like today seriously challenge my thinking on the matter. Mr. Weatherman says it will be worse tomorrow.

I’ve been thinking a lot about beer as the temperature climbs because I spend a lot of my summers outdoors. When I am not writing, reading, traveling, or what-noting, I am usually in my yard, trimming something, raking something, cutting something down, or shoveling those d*** rocks again. When I am in the yard, beer means a break—rest time. A reprieve from the heat. A chance to quench my thirst.

“Thirst quenching” is a characteristic of beer that I believe the modern craft beer movement tends to overlook. When I read descriptions of new beers pouring out of craft breweries, there seems to be emphasis on the resultant nuances of flavors or perhaps a statement about technique or special ingredients (see my review of Arizona Wilderness Brewing for an example of this). Rarely does one see a description of a beer that mentions its ‘thirst-quenching’ capabilities.

So, in honor of this unrelenting heatwave, here is a short list of beers that I believe do just that—quench one’s thirst. They all seem to hit the spot when it comes to wetting your whistle, cooling you down, and getting you ready for one more go-round of that project that is keeping you in the sun.

In no particular order:

1. Bud Light Lime. This is probably the only place on this blog where I will throw some love at ‘big beer’ but Bud Light Lime has repeatedly helped me through long, hard yard projects. I am no fan of Bud Light itself, but the citrus taste of the Lime version makes this a winner. Downside: extremely poundable. It is so refreshing, you very easily can lose count.

2. Santan Brewing Lime Leaf. Some local love here. This is very similar to Bud Light Lime, but with a bit more ‘pucker.’ Bright and yummy.

3. Schofferhofer Grapefruit Hefeweizen. This German import drinks more like a grapefruit soda and less like a beer. Don’t be deterred…there isn’t a hint of hefeweizen flavor in this. Some grapefruit beers, Ballast Point Sculpin for one, lean toward bitter/IPA styles, but this is all sweetness.

4. Leinenkugel Summer Shandy. Hey, it’s lemonade and beer! Of course it’s going to be refreshing! I admit I had my doubts at first. Then I tasted it. A very decent blend of flavors that goes down quick.

5. Corona. I seriously debated including this, but when it is the only thing in the ‘fridge and it’s hot out, you’re gonna drink this. I tend to find mild citrus notes in Corona (not bold, like Bud Light Lime, but very subtle on the back end) so I find this hits the spot on super hot afternoons.

I know there are fans of Dogfish Head’s SeaQuench Ale, a curious brew that the Arizona Republic reported could actually hydrate you. That’s a benefit, especially in summer. However, I have no taste for it. I tried it at the most recent Strong Beer Festival and I could not get past the extreme tartness.