SanTan Sunspot Gold
I am not a beer connoisseur. I rarely drink beer, and if I have the option to buy a mixed drink or a beer, 7 times out of 10, I will pick the Arnold Palmer. Obviously, by mixed I mean lemonade, iced tea and no alcohol, but there you have it. If I do decide to go with beer, I will go with the palest one available, namely Corona with a lime. Classless, I know. Thus the idea for a month of brewskis was born so that I could expand my ridiculously lacking horizons. So while I may still focus on lighter colored beers, pale ales, pilsners, fruity beers, etc, I will be forcing as many different kinds upon my ignorant tongue for the good of my experiences.
The first beer I tried was SanTan Brewery’s Sunspot Gold. It was completely unplanned while out to dinner, and it was only available on tap served in a tall Weizen Glass. So my first post is going to be a bit of a fail without a picture of the vessel from whence it came, though I don’t blame myself, I blame the restaurant (which is right across the street from the brewery which produces the beer I tried). Sunspot Gold is “an American take on a traditional Czech Pilsner,” according to the SanTan Brewery website. At first glance, it had very little head in the glass and held almost no distinct smell. It was bright gold in color with barely any carbonation. After a few tentative sips and swishes through my mouth, I came to a few conclusions on the taste: That it was very light in flavor and had a little bit of a citrusy sweetness to it with a subtle bitterness that hung around afterward. While it was lacking in flavor, it was quite smooth, and I found that it caressed the roof of my mouth rather than my tongue, which I can honestly say I’ve never really thought about before while drinking anything.
I made sure to sample it before I ate my meal, so no worries about conflicting flavors there. When I did take sips of the Sunspot Gold between bites of my braised short ribs with potatoes in a cinnamon-peanut sauce and a side of sticky rice, I found that it managed to cleanse my palette in a way; wiping my taste buds clean of the heavy meat and starchy potatoes and leaving my mouth dry and ready for more. I’m not sure if this means that it complimented my meal or not, but it was refreshing to be able to still recognize the citrus in the beer after only two sips between bites.
If I had to pick a season for this particular Pilsner, I would grab a glass at the end of summer (how appropriate, huh?), with something barbecued or a pepperoni pizza and a neighborly conversation in the driveway at dusk. Out here in Arizona, that’s not too difficult, seeing as it’s still hovering around 90º at 7:00 pm…at least I can smell autumn coming, even if I can’t feel it.