Refreshing Would Be an Understatement
A Review of Samuel Adams Porch Rocker by Boston Beer Co. / Samuel Adams
Posted on 9/15/2012 by Chops
                   
Great
In the wonderful world of craft beer, few distinct lines can be drawn. With so much diversity, it's nearly impossible to lump breweries into a handful of categories. That being said, there is one critical divide that I have come to respect: trailblazers vs. foundations. The trailblazers are those breweries who love nothing more than to create wild new interpretive brews that challenge palates and plow through stylistic boundaries like drunken juggernauts. But, trailblazers can only do what they do because of the blood, sweat and tears of foundation breweries. These are the solid and dependable breweries that gain something every brewer wants, but very few acquire: staying power. The Boston Beer Company found that rare quality with their Samuel Adams line of beers. I recently had the pleasure of sampling the Samuel Adams Porch Rocker Summer Ale.

Right off the bat, you can tell that Porch Rocker is a very unique brew. Per Boston Beer, ''Porch Rocker was inspired by traditional Bavarian Radlers that mix beer with German-style lemonade. Our bright and citrusy Radler is a Helles beer with a fresh-squeezed lemon taste, effervescent sweetness, and slightly tart, refreshing finish. A light malt character and hint of hops balance out this satisfying summer brew.''

In the glass, this beer has a standard straw coloration that leans more towards apple juice. It comes with a sudsy white head that dissipates quickly. On the nose, a strong lemon zest rests upon a grassy base. That was pretty much it, just a no-frills summer ale with plenty of lemon character. Going into that first sip, I expected little more than an easy drinking lawnmower beer.

The mouthfeel is what catches your attention right off the bat. Porch Rocker is incredibly smooth and very easy to drink. Duh, I know, but I highlight that even with the understanding that ''easy drinking'' is pretty much of the point of summer brews. This one takes it to a whole new level. You can definitely hone in on the lemonade blend, which makes it come across as more of a wine cooler hybrid. But, I say that not disparagingly because it's amazingly refreshing. I found lots of citrusy sweetness with random notes of lemony tartness. It also has a faint nondescript herbal quality swirling around. The hop profile is very mild and has almost no part to play. The beer finishes with a sweet tartness much like a glass of fresh lemonade. I should also note that the beer gains a rich buttery character as it warms, so try and take your time with it.

Overall, the Samuel Adams Porch Rocker is a delightful summer brew. It's obviously not something I could grade as a quality base beer, but that's not really the point. The concept is uniquely interesting and it certainly works very well for summer. I wouldn't call it a beer that I would regularly seek out, but it's definitely a no-thinker for a hot summer day. Pick some up on the way to a barbeque or tailgating. You can drink them all day long and never grow tired of them. To say this beer is refreshing would be an understatement. Porch Rocker needs its very own faucet.

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Samuel Adams Porch Rocker by Boston Beer Co. / Samuel Adams
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