Chill July/August 2011 : Page 63

Winter gets hockey, but summer gets baseball, a pillar of summer in the Great White North. With summer softball leagues stretching from Victoria to Charlottetown, summer leagues welcome Canadians outdoors for inside-the-park homeruns and botched double plays. But, athletes on these diamonds compete in two sports: baseball and beer-drinking. The trick here is to pace yourself so it doesn’t look like you’re swatting fl ies when you’re really hoping to bat in a run. Being a sport that isn’t hockey, sluggers need to incorporate some Canada into each inning. So bring your favourite cooler stuffed with Canadian Lagers. The clean crisp taste perfected by Canadians provides the classic refreshing taste we’ve come to expect. Brewed near sub-zero temperatures this drink was born to be cold and what better time to get to know them but during the seventh-inning stretch in sweltering conditions. If you’re not playing in a league, it’s time to sign up, because lagers are tired of being pigeon-holed as a simple beer. With a variety of microbreweries competing for customers, your team will be sure to fi nd the perfect brew to put the beer back in beer league. The typical Canadian barbecue consists of three key ingredients: meat, marinades and more-meat. Once you’ve got your grill running, it’s time to crack the brew that’ll complement your full-bodied feast. Shall I suggest full-bodied ale? Amber or Red Ales are your best bet for a backyard grilling bonanza. The full-bodied robust brew carries a wide variety of fruit and malt aromas and each pint is a product of top-fermentation, meaning the yeast is brewed at higher temperatures. Therefore the yeast rises to the top creating a thick rich head. That’s what gives the ale its special character and complex fl avour. Whether you’re chomping on your bacon cheeseburger or gorging a rack of baby-backs, the reds and ambers will complement any spicy-fl avours and still keep you refreshed as you head for seconds, or thirds. Whether it’s the middle of the afternoon or in the evening when the sun throws in the towel, there’s always time to hit the patio. Whether it’s in your own backyard or your favourite watering hole, patio time is the backyard hockey rink of summer. The patio is the place to discuss business after 18-holes, close deals at lunch or hit up after work for some post-game pints. Chances are you’re either winding down from a long day or kicking off the evening to forget about the long day. Lucky for us, there’s a delicious beer that has both cases covered. Wheat, white, wissbier, whatever you want to call it. The light golden-coloured brew has aromas of citrus and spice fi nished off with and a cloudy body and frothy, pale white head. A great pick for the patio. Don’t let the orange slice deter you, it’s not there for you, it’s there for the beer. When you’re basking in the sun, be sure to have an ice cold bottle of beer by your side. Obvious right? Just make sure it’s got the added bonus of lime, that’s the kicker. In most lime beer brewing processes, lime zest is added in the fermentation process of a lager or basic ale. Brewers stick to the simple recipes and add lime to the mix to create that unique lime taste. Even if you’re one of those people living in denial of their love for lime beer, don’t be too quick to criticize. There’s a reason lime beers are top sellers in Canada, because patrons know the simplicity of adding lime fl avour to a beer adds to the mood and the character of the drink. Not only will it keep you hydrated in the sun, the sour kick will keep you awake and prevent you from turning into a raisin.

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