By OWEN MORRIS
There's no concrete definition on what a good summer beer is, just that it should be light and refreshing, usually with a touch of citrus.
Last night, Gordon Biersch threw a tapping party (its second of the year) to debut its new summer brew. Power & Light District brewery's attempt is an excellent, very drinkable offering most noticeable for what it lacks: the sweetness commonly associated with summer beers.
You can actually taste the flavors in Gordon Biersch's version. My fellow bar patron Mike Downey likened the crispness of the finish to that of "biting a stick of celery." He meant it in a good way. We tasted plenty of hops, but would have welcomed more citrus. Any lemon flavors that might have been in the beer were lost amongst the stronger hops. This was easily remedied by just adding a lemon, which I noticed several people doing.
On the way home, I picked up some bottles of Samuel Adams' Summer Ale, a beer I remember being impressed with. Compared to the Gordon Biersch, it tastes flat and can’t match the freshness of the Biersch.
The tapping party itself was outside, laid back and friendly, matching the attitude that summer brews are supposed to create. One partier, a Rockhurst University student named Sarah Ratzsky, gave the event high accolades: “I feel like it’s one of those impromptu barbecues.”