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Yuengling Summer Wheat

There are beer drinkers.

And then — way up there, somewhere in that white shiny tower — there are Yuengling drinkers.

I’m not saying Yuengling drinkers think they’re better than you. I am saying that they definitely think their beer is better than yours.

So I bought a six-pack of Summer Wheat with reluctance. Yuengling, to me, always tasted like it’d been stirred too long with pine branches. Not a bad drink, just not my favorite.

Summer Wheat breaks the mold.

This blend takes a left turn from the distinctive flavor of the Black & Tan, Porter and Light varieties. Even the aftertaste was good — a sweet flavor, but still closer to Skoal Vanilla than Vanilla Coke.

Summer Wheat is a good beer, and undoubtedly Yuengling.

Only much, much less pine.

Dortmunder Gold

Michelob Ultra TV ad campaigns show extreme bicyclists pedaling through shimmering-hot badlands.

If Dortmunder Gold had a TV ad campaign, it’d probably be the dudes from your family Thanksgiving watching football and chomping on sourdough pretzels.

This is a meat-and-potatoes beer, full-bodied and clean-tasting. The formula is fairly simple: water, yeast, barley and hops. “No chemicals or preservatives,” the maker, Great Lakes Brewing Co., claims.

No real complains about this one. I’ll even forgive it was made in Cleveland. Actually tastes like a first cousin to Straub Amber.

So if you’re looking for an off-brand adventure, grab yourself a six-pack. Just don’t think you’ll do any extreme desert cycling afterward.

PABST BLUE RIBBON

A friend and colleague calls it “the non-celebratory beer.” The kind of can you’re more likely to crack after baling hay than after receiving a life-altering accolade.

Has there ever been a beer more proletariat than PBR? Long heritage, simplistic design and virtually no marketing.

I’ve been told — by a different friend, this one in Pittsburgh — that PBR is a “hipster” beer. But I have no idea what a hipster is. I kind of like Pabst. Maybe I’m a hipster.

Yeah, you could use some different words to describe this brew. I’ve settled on “beer.” PBR is beer — a beer that tastes like beer. For some of us, that’s good enough.

SHOCK TOP- Belgian White

Just because it’s summer, do we have to fruit the beer?

Actually, we don’t. Still, if you’re going to review a beer, you’d better stay off the beaten path. Safe bet that you people in the beer-review-reading crowd don’t need an education on the taste of Coors Light.

Shock Top is a Belgian-style wheat beer. In English, that means a thicker, tangier brew with just a hint of seltzer-water.  Not often do you drink something that comes with instructions. On the label of this bottle is a set of very specific directives: Pour most of it into a glass, swirl the remaining half-inch to mix the spices, then add it to the glass as well.

The result is somewhat foamier and tastier beer. Still, I didn’t catch until these instructions until my first one was halfway drained.

It was definitely a better beverage after following each step.

Still, my biggest beef here is the required reading. If there’s one thing that shouldn’t require instructions, it’s beer drinkin’.