Seeing that it was 81 degrees out when DFTB trekked to the local tap house last week, a warm weather beer seemed in order. Time to ring in the early arrival of summer! Of course, the vagaries of Colorado weather mean it has snowed here in the interim, but it was hot the other day. Summer or bust!
For me, that means something a little lighter on the hops with a little brighter, more lively taste that your standard IPA. Don’t get me wrong, I love all things hops. My favorite beers are IPAs, and I do drink them year round. I don’t like them quite as much when it’s hot, though. A good saison, heffeweiss, pilsner, or wit, is much more in keeping with my idea of a summer beer. They cool you off without weighing you down.
Fortunately, Romero’s had just the thing on tap to hit the spot. Bell’s Oberon is, simply, a great summer beer. It’s an American wheat beer, which used to always give me pause. In the past, a lot of American wheat beers were boring, drab efforts which made me wish I was drinking something German or Belgian. That’s not the case at all with Oberon.
Even the look of the beer screams summer. It pours a cheerfully hazy yellow-orange that can’t help to remind you that snow is behind us for the year. Or the week. Or the weekend. Anyway—summer is on the way.
The aroma is an intriguing blend of citrus and spice, with just a hint of the yeast coming through. The yeast also hits you with a pleasant hint of the bubblegum you’d expect from a wheat beer. The flavor then moves through citrus and spice before finishing with a crisp note of hops. It’s almost a cliché to say it these days, but Oberon is perfectly balanced. All the flavors play together well and finish very clean, setting the stage perfectly for the next sip. It is a very drinkable beer and a great gateway to summer.