Thursday, June 2, 2016

Summer Brew

Well, Memorial Day has come and gone, meaning that summer is officially here. The U.S. stock market has inched up very modestly year to date, while interest rates on U.S. bonds have crept modestly lower. After January’s stock market sell-off, global markets have stabilized. And the U.S. Federal Reserve has signaled it will probably raise rates later this year. What’s an investor to do? Yawn, head to the beach, the mountains, the golf course, and enjoy the best of summer and its libations.

While warmer weather usually cries out for rosé wine, I have found myself gravitating toward fruit-infused beer. Yes, fruit-infused beer! Don’t get me wrong—I have been enjoying a nice dry rosé from California, Vin Gris de Cigare from Bonny Doon Vineyard, but to really quench your thirst, try one of these beers.

Many moons ago, Blue Moon, the not-so-crafty craft beer, owned by Coors Brewing, introduced us to Belgian-style wheat beer. Wheat beers can be brewed with herbs, spices, and fruit and tend to be lighter in alcohol content. Blue Moon gained popularity because it was served on tap with a slice of orange. The beer is brewed with Valencia oranges, and the orange slice on top really opens up the flavor and makes it easy to drink.

This past weekend I did a lot of yard work, the type of backbreaking labor where you build up quite a thirst. A heavy beer like an IPA or ale won’t suffice when you are looking to put out the fire in your throat. You want something that is cold, bubbly, alcoholic, and a little bit fruity. My favorite of all the fruit beers is Shiner Ruby Redbird. Brewed by Shiner Brewery in Texas, this beer combines the tartness of ruby red grapefruit and a kick of ginger, perfect for a hot day or hot night sitting around the fire pit. This beer is easy to quaff, and the alcoholic content is a low 4%. I also really enjoyed IPA Citradelic from New Belgium Brewery in Colorado. This IPA is brewed with tangerine peels that cut down on the bitterness of the hops. While you can taste the tangerine, it is not sweet or overpowering.

Two other fruit beers that I have also enjoyed are Grapefruit Sculpin from Ballast Point Brewing in California and Magic Hat #9 from Magic Hat Brewing in Vermont. While hard (alcoholic) cider is not beer, I have been enjoying them as well recently. Prior to my life as an investment advisor, I imported wine and hard cider from France. I must have been ahead of my time because 17 years ago no one was interested in alcoholic cider; today it is one of the fastest-growing beverages in the country. My favorite, Nine Pin Cider, comes from Albany, NY. All of the apples are sourced from the Albany region and Hudson Valley. Nine Pin Cider Works’s signature cider, also available in cans, is well balanced between sweet and tart while still being dry. Cider is the perfect beverage with smoked ribs or grilled sausage. If you come across any other fruit beers or hard ciders you enjoy this summer, please pass along. I am always up to try something new!

Enjoy the summer, relax, and have some fun. With the presidential elections on the horizon this fall, it looks like we could be in for nasty weather!

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