I like my summertime brews to be fruity, light, crisp, and refreshing. But they shouldn’t be boring either, there is still a pretty high bar for what passes as a good summer beer (that bar is probably a Mexican lager with lime, but I digress). Enter Asheville-based Archetype Brewing’s Cowboy Poet, an “American Lite Lager” that rises above the cheap domestic swill with some careful attention to detail.
It starts before I even crack the can, admiring the excellent art on the label that features a colorful desert landscape and our cowboy poet enjoying a beverage. The beer pours about as yellow as the desert on the can, with pinprick bubbles wandering to the top of the glass. It smells like the corn it is brewed with, but with some spicy citrus from the Cascade dry hops.
Archetype says Cowboy Poet is made for the everyman, listing the lager’s flavor profile as simply “crisp.” I couldn’t agree more. It’s clean and refreshing, with the sweetness of the corn swirling together with the spicy bitterness of the hops and hits of grassiness and lemon. The citrus in the taste is different from the aroma, more bright and floral than pithy and bitter. Cowboy Poet cleans up after itself too, leaving no lingering flavor to speak of at all—a must-have on a summer day.
Cowboy Poet is imminently drinkable and delightfully refreshing. It’s a beer I’ll gladly beat the heat with. Plus, while there is nothing here to scare away a craft beer novice, there is plenty to keep an avid beer drinker interested.