Wednesday, June 6, 2012

516. Victory Summer Love

Oh, Victory Summer Love, we’ve only just met, but I know we’ve found something special. You, you’re the edgy working class dance instructor at the summer resort my family frequents, and me, I’m the doe-eyed city girl naive to the ways of the world. We can make it work, though, can’t we Summer Love? I don’t care what my family thinks—I’ll give it all up for you and the soft siren call of your gyrating loins. Dance for me, Summer Love, dance the forbidden dance that will make us forget the foolish social norms that keep us apart. But remember, Summer Love, nobody puts Baby in a corner. Previous illicit summer liaisons with Victory include Headwaters Pale AleYakima Twilight (now Yakima Glory), Saison du Buff (the collabo with Stone and Dogfish Head), plus Prima Pils, Baltic Thunder, HopDevil, and WildDevil.

Summer Love bursts from the bottle in rich cascades of loving clear gold that are capped with a lustrous white head; the nose is redolent with crystal and pilsen malt (although that could just be the Saaz telling me what I want to hear) and earthy and spicy hops—it’s got a faux-lager thing going on for the fresh loving rays to rock out on. The front is slightly sweet—more crystal malt than caramel, but not quite candy bright—with earthy and (this is for Fortney) maybe even some loamy hop flavor. The middle is bitterness; light, clean, and even to balance with the sassy light body still carrying a twang of spiciness, while the finish is where the faux-lager smell struts its stuff in flavor form. Touches of both the earthy and spicy hops continue into the final third of the beer, followed by the well-nigh classic lager finish: a clean, bracing bitterness that is crisp, light, and all summer long. The mouthfeel and medium body points to the actual ale pedigree of the beer; while the carbonation, hop profile, and even malt contribute to the faux-lager feel, the body is not as clean and bright on the tongue as it needs to be, although it is still tasty.Plus, it does say “ale” on the label. Let’s just say that Victory’s dyed its roots for the summer having heard somewhere that for summer makeovers, blondes have more fun. I’m pretty certain that the usual minions will be queuing up to call this a gateway beer made for the average drinker, but I’m gonna have to snap back that this is just how Summer Love tastes in the land of Victory. Can I get an amen? Who don’t?

From the bottle: “All this talk about peanuts and crackerjacks can really make you thirsty. Especially in a town like Philadelphia where we flock to the ballpark like birds coming home from winter vacation. There’s no better place to sip a Victory Summer Love, our refreshing ale brewed in Downington, just outside of Philadelphia, than in the warm summer sun, waiting to catch a glimpse of greatness (or a foul ball). Whether you’re reading this label behind home plate or under a shady tree by the river, we hope that these pale malts and German hops help connect you to the magic that is Summer Love.”

From the Victory website: “With the sublime, earthy familiarity of noble, American and German hops backed up by fresh and clean German malts, Summer Love Ale® ends with a surprising burst of lemony refreshment from fistfuls of American whole flower hops. Love Summer, now.”

ABV: 5.2%

Extra credit for the first person to correctly identify the mixed metaphor in the label description. And no, I’m not referring the gender-shifting I do between the first two paragraphs (you can figure that one out on your own). I’d call this a contest, but as no one has ever bothered to respond to any contest I’ve ever done in the past, we’ll kick that kiss of death to the curb.



  1. Victory over those peaceful hippies!

    1. Get your head in the game, McElfresh--that ain't a mixed metaphor!