Tastes like Summer: Fullsteam Summer Basil Ale

Hello friends!  I greet you this evening with tasty beer in my belly and having spent a wonderful night with friends and even a few strangers (aka new friends)! Once a week, I host a Glass Night Meetup on behalf of the BEST meetup group in the Triangle area, Tri-Beer (seriously, if you like beer, and you live in the Triangle, join this sucker.)  We meet up at Rockfish Seafood Grill at Southpoint mall for $2 pints and free (or DEEPLY discounted) glasses dependent on the beer of the night, and almost all of their appetizers are half off until 7. It’s basically the primary reason I so look forward to Thursdays.

Tonight was a special occasion SUPER BONUS because, other than being a glass night, it was a glass night in honor of Fullsteam Brewery’s summer ale: Summer Basil Farmhouse Ale. I will precede this entry with the following. I am a HUGE Fullsteam fan.  Photographic proof:

Fullsteam, my love!

I also have a Marry Durham commemorative glass somewhere in this apartment, but it wasn’t easily findable.

So maybe that makes me a bit biased favorably, but I will be as objective as possible.

Light and Summery!

This beer, straight from the tap at Rockfish, is definitely a summer staple in my house. The growler in the above picture contains the Summer Basil ale, and I had two glasses of it tonight.  This cloudy beer honestly smells more like basil than it tastes like basil. As a huge basil fan (I have three adorable basil plants growing on my back porch in a pot), I was bound… nay, destined to like this beer.

At first sip, I was pleased with the amount of carbonation in the beer. It was  chock full of bubbles, and that got me all tingly. I think the picture to the left is an accurate portrayal of the golden color, and the oh-so-sexy glass that I bought with it. The taste was slightly sweet with a bit of spice in it. I didn’t taste the basil until it got to the back of my tongue. And it is totally drinkable. I definitely saw several people get 2-4 glasses of the beer in one night. Having purchased 2 myself, I can attest to drinkability. My plan for this weekend is to make a shandy in my NEW SEXY PITCHER FROM A SOUTHERN SEASON! This will basically contain a growler of the beer, some lemonade, and (if I can get my hands on it) ginger liqueur.

Basically, what I’m trying to say, is if you get this beer, and have access to a pool, combine the two. If you like beer with a bit of earthy flavor to it, this is the brew for you. (I PROMISE one day I’ll review a beer I don’t like.)

From the brewer:

A cloudy, rustic country beer brewed with local wheat and local whole-leaf basil. Summer Basil pours with a  creamy, white head and a bouquet of herbs and flowers, with a subtle basil finish. A refreshing thirst quencher that’s a lawnmower beer…if you mowed over your herb garden. This was the very first batch we brewed on our big brewing system, and we offer it only when basil is in-season.

Availability: MAY through NOVEMBER.5.4% ABV.

Summer Lovin’: Had me a blast!

Victory Summer Love Ale

My deepest apologies, as all future images of beers I drink will be of the actual beer that I drank (unless I get buzzed and forget to do that…) Honestly, when I purchased/drank this beer last night, I hadn’t even considered making this blog so woops, my bad.

ANYWHO, as a former Philly-area kid, I am more than familiar with the “With Love, Philadelphia XOXO” campaign, and it’s one of my favorite things about returning to the city of brotherly love. I love to see what they do with it every time.  For example, one classic:

Dear Jersey Shore: Ben Franklin was the original “Situation”. PS Come see him. With Love, Philadelphia XOXO

"Say WHAT?! Franklin had NONE of this..."

So when I spotted this beer, a collaboration with the campaign and one of my favorites, Victory Brewing Company, at the Southern Season sale, I jumped at the chance to try it all the way down here in NC.

I’ll admit, I’m normally a big fan of summer ales (and most seasonal beers in general, with winter being the exception) so I knew I was setting myself up for a winner. When I cracked that bottle open and took a whiff, though, I couldn’t resist grinning that doofy grin I get when I know I’m going to like it just from the scent. The smell reminded me of citrus and (shock shock) summer, like a refreshing lemonade, fresh squeezed. It was reasonably hoppy, which is right up my alley, with a nice amount of carbonation that reminded me a little bit of lemon seltzer, and as far as drinkability goes, I could DEFINITELY see this one by my side at the pool this summer.

We had red beans and rice with this, but I wish I’d had made a blackened mahi mahi or some other light fish dish to pair with this beer.