So yesterday was the official end of summer, at least in my book.
Why? Because I had my last Oberon of 2011. The last couple of years I've bought a couple of cases in August and when I have the last one in September I officially call it the end of summer. So I thought that a review of a beer that never disappoints and always makes summer more enjoyable, needed a review.
According the to Bell's website:
Bell's Oberon is a wheat ale fermented with Bell's signature house ale yeast, mixing a spicy hop character with mildly fruity aromas. The addition of wheat malt lends a smooth mouthfeel, making it a classic summer beer.
MY REVIEW:I first discovered Oberon in 2004 in Urbana, Illinois, a friend and I would frequently walk to the nearby "hole-in-the-wall" that had $1 pints and free pool from 3-6pm but was never busy-- easy to say we took advantage. One day they had just gotten a keg of Oberon from their distributor for the same price as a keg of High Life (what we had been drinking), so we enjoyed that keg for a couple of weeks since none of the other regular barflys even touched anything not named Miller. From that point on I always checked to see if Oberon was on tap and started my affair with Michigan brews.
Bell's Oberon is best enjoyed in a glass, since the pour allows one to appreciate the cloudy golden/orange hue and considerable carbonation that leaves a fluffly white two finger head combined with wonderful lacing and hints of sediment. But that's just the presentation, the real joy is in the taste.
At first sip one notices the sweetness of citrus and wheat, but those first flavors are then nicely blended with noticeable hops and more complex fruit tones. I've always tasted some grapefruit after a few drinks, but it is the slight hop tones that produce a slight sourness that becomes noticeable about half-way through the pint and is a main reason why this beer is stable of summer in my fridge. It's refreshing for a wheat beer to not be overly sweet with the citrus and wheat tones, but to be complex in its flavors and mouthfeel.
This beer is easy to drink, completely refreshing and the best beer to drink outside on a summer day. Oberon should be easy to find since Bells has a wide distribution network, but you'll have to wait until next summer to find it since its only brewed during the summer.
Remember - Support Michigan's Struggling Economy: Drink Michigan Beer!
For more information and reviews on Bell's Oberon check out the following:
- BeerAdvocate.com page on Oberon
- Pintley's Oberon Page - you can search for MichiganGoat on their and see some of my other reviews
- Great Lakes Guru has a nice comparison of two Michigan Wheat Beers Bell's Oberon vs. Arcadia's Whitsun
- A character study of Oberon in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Nights Dream
- A little history on the Fairy King Oberon