It is the Fourth of July, our national day of independence and I am not alone in reaching for a beer.
Beer, on a volume basis, is by far the most popular alcoholic beverage in the U.S. Further, according to a Nielsen report, July 4th weekend is the top beer-selling weekend of the entire year. And the numbers make sense.
Beer is part of the fabric of national history, with quintessential American breweries like Anheuser-Busch, the company that produces beer Budweiser, Coors, and Miller. Of course, with InBev's purchase of Anheuser-Busch last year, consumers may wish to make a special effort to "Drink American" this holiday weekend. Good thing that, in addition to Golden, Colorado's "Silver Bullet" and Milwaukee, Wisconsin's best-known brewer, there are regional and micro-options aplenty, with patriotic themes and special summer beverages.
Take Sam Adams, for instance, the Boston, Mass. politician that helped draft the Massachusetts Constitution and push through the Declaration of Independence. His image helped pilot the Boston Beer Company, maker of Sam Adams Boston Lager and other beers, to its prominent position amongst "craft breweries". Sam Adams also brews a special Summer Ale, with lemon and spices creating a mouthfeel and flavor that fits the season.
Another brewer invoking the American spirit is Northern California-based brewer Anchor Steam, which has brewed Liberty Ale since 1975 to honor the patriot Paul Revere. Anchor's special Summer Ale is an all-malt affair that promises clean flavors.
Abita is an American brewery in Louisiana, somewhat well known for its Turbo Dog and Purple Haze varieties. Its special summer beer, a Wheat Lager, gives BBQ-ers a reminder that beer is not a coast-centric business, and that the south can truly hold its own.
And, so long as we're recalling the different regions of the United States, let's point the spotlight firmly away from the mainland. Hawaii's Kona Brewing Company has many high-quality brews, but the company's Wailua Wheat -- and thus your opportunity for a passion-fruit spiked beer -- is available only for a limited time
Indeed, the Fourth of July is a great opportunity to show one's patriotic spirit. Sweeter, and perhaps more patriotic, for the citizen if the celebration is done with a beer in hand.
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