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Beers, Reggae, Your Beach (Real or Imagined)

May 27, 2017

By Eno Sarris, May 27, 2017

"Soon come!" was the refrain I heard often growing up in Jamaica. Back then, it was sometimes frustrating to my parents as they tried to run a restaurant on the island. To me? I just loved what it suggested, that everything was okay, nothing was a big deal, and you might as well put your feet up and enjoy yourself.

This weekend? Time to put your feet up and say 'soon come' to the rest of the world. 

It doesn't even matter if you're at an actual beach. If you drink these widely available easy drinkers, and put on this reggae playlist full of legendary artists, you'll find your inner beach and you won't worry a second about 'dem big man tings.' 

AleSmith X
Like with Beres Hammond, the honey-throated tenor behind Buju Banton's gravely bass, AleSmith X is the secret strength to the classic San Diego brewery's offerings. Yes, Speedway Stout and its variants are smooth and sultry, but this crispy American Pale Ale is the reason to love them on a daily basis. You get enough orange and citrus, and even a little earthiness, so that you don't think this is a nothingburger. But you also get an easy drinker for your dollar. 

Firestone Walker Easy Jack  
Anyone who has been in a chat of mine (every Thursday I do baseball, beer, and music over at FanGraphs) knows I love this beer. It might even be my desert island beer. Some session beers make the mistake of trying to be as bitter as a regular IPA, Easy Jack stays in its lane by reducing the bitter enough so that the stone fruit comes through both on the nose and the body. In the end, though, you'll find a refreshing finish that makes it easy as hell to crack open the next one. 

10 Barrel Cucumber Crush
This is the most recent beer that I had for the first time and considering eloping with. It's nearly perfect, and I submit even your anti-sour friends will like this light cucumber sour. An award winning Berliner Weiss, Crush pours a pale, light-bodied yellow, but the taste is bigger than the 5% bite. Because the 'fruit' in this sour is a cucumber, it doesn't get too sweet. The cucumber also delivers some thickness to the body before you finish with a tart but not puckering finish. Super easy, super all-day. 

Boulevard Tank 7 
At 8.5% alcohol by volume, this is the strongest beer of our six pack. But it's only 38 IBU, so you won't blow out your palate. Sometimes a reggae bassline is even heavier than you suspect, and it still fits life on the beach. The pepper finish is what will bring you back to the grapefruit and melon middle, but don't let all these fancy words fool you. You can take Tank 7 with you to your desert island, particularly if you have a Belgian slant to your ideal beer list. Saisons are for summer. 

Ballast Point Grunion
How often can you drink a 5.5% pale ale that gives you citrus and pine on the nose, herbs and dankness in the middle, and then a easy bitter finish like this? It's like a West Coast IPA dialed down to five. Make sure the bottle isn't dusty, and if you don't get that pine on the nose, you don't have a fresh one, but this bottle, fresh, is absolutely an all day on the beach kind of beer. Appropriately, a grunion is a tiny fish that sometimes likes to hang out on the beach late at night. 

Victory Prima Pils
This might not be the most traditional pilsner ever, but our palates may not be the same as they were when they were first brewed in 1295, maybe. Victory's version comes with some lemony sweetness that might pack more punch than those pilsners of yore. That's fine, they turned up the hoppy grassiness at the end to finish the taste, and the whole thing is very well balanced between sweet and bitter. At 5.3%, it's yet another low-calorie low-alcohol beer for your beach, real or imagined. 

Plus One: Kona Lemongras Luau
It may not be available everywhere, but this 5% ABV lemongrass blond deserves mention. There's a little bit of pineapple, bread, and ginger in this thing, but it's still refreshing and light in sum. 

ZX Ventures, a division within AB InBev, is an investor in October
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