In North Carolina, autumn can sometimes look a lot like summer, with hot sunny days existing side-by-side with frosty mornings. Bell’s Oberon Ale serves as a refreshing reminder of those hotter months – leaving behind all the seasonal spices and dark, heavy beers that mark the colder times ahead in favor of crisp, simple flavor.
Of course, pumpkin beers and spiced brews have a special place in our seasonal beverage hearts, and a good porter is a fantastic choice for quaffing in summer months. There’s a lot to be said for a beer that’s simply a beer, however. With subtle fruity notes coming from hops and Bell’s “signature house ale yeast,” Oberon is a smooth-drinking wheat ale with only six ingredients. It’s a summer seasonal from Bell’s, so it can be a little hard to find when winter whites and autumn browns are more in style, but a shelf life of six months and an easy-drinking 5.8 percent ABV makes for the kind of beer you can put in the back of your cooler and break out when your crisp autumn days start creeping back up into the high seventies. On days like today, for example.
The seasonal and summer-forward nature of Oberon is what made it so unexpected a choice on the in-store bar menu at Southern Season today, even as part of the $1 stock-clearing options. A local fixture, Southern Season is obviously more than just an upscale grocery store. It reads as the kind of place you go to plan a party or assemble your ideal kitchen/pantry, and a healthy selection of specialty food items along with a robust selection of fresh coffees and teas doesn’t hurt when it comes to bringing customers back on a more regular basis.
Tucked in the back of the store, right beneath the stairs to where you’d take cooking classes if you were so inclined, is a small bar where you can order wine by the glass and beer by the pint. With a rotating selection on draft, it’s nice to have the option for a pint of draft beer while you stroll around trying to decide what exactly is going on your cheese and charcuterie platter.
Expect to hear more about dark beers and warm cocktails in the coming months, but for now it’s nice to have a short reminder of the season we’re leaving behind. What are you drinking on this particular #thirstythursday? Do you have any favorites, or places you’d like us to check out? Send a tweet, leave a comment, and we’ll see you next week.