Challenging Our Preconceptions
A Review of Summer Love Ale by Victory Brewing Co.
Posted on 6/6/2011 by Chops
                   
Delicious
Coming off of BrewChief's Victory Round Table, I can help but be attracted to Victory brews now. So here I am, chilling with my co-founder at a local watering hole, chatting about life and the pursuit of happiness (beer). And what do they have special on tap? Victory's Summer Love Ale. It's almost like the mighty beer gods are guiding our menu selections these days. Why yes, my peppy little waitress, I shall have a Summer Love.

She promptly returns with two delightful looking blonde ales. And considering the heat wave barreling through the city, they looked especially delicious. My helpful pic makes it look more like a straw coloration, but it actually has a light golden hue similar to apple juice. I would have loved to have overheard the conversation at the table next to us when we began picking out smells. We spent a good several minutes with our noses deep in our glasses trying to pick out a familiar undertone smell. We never did quite nail it down, but we found lots of mild fruity aromas in pursuit. It's very light on the nose, so you don't get a good taste expectation before that first sip.

The first sip really threw me for a loop. You generally expect blonde ales to be light, easy drinkers. Summer Love immediately comes across like a weak IPA or a straight pale ale. There is a tangy hop profile right up front, which I think adds some much needed character to the style. The middle ground settles down into a warmer hop profile, much like you would expect from a pale ale. The hops stick around for a while, so it's very much like having a summer version of a hoppy style brew. They disappear on the finish though, resulting in a quality lager feel with no significant aftertaste. Summer Love is definitely not something you come across everyday, so it took a few sips to get used to. But once you do, you start to realize that easy drinkers can in fact have some bite.

Overall, Summer Love was an unexpected delight. I typically stay away from lighter brews because most of them don't have enough body or flavor to be worth a damn. But beers like Summer Love and Victory Lager are showing us that lighter beers don't have to disappoint. Victory is mercilessly dismantling all those preconceptions forced upon us by the big beer companies. ''See! Lighter beers don't have to taste like corroded toilet water.''

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Summer Love Ale by Victory Brewing Co.
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