We have a Labor Day tradition — walk up to the Kensington Labor Day Parade in the morning and then hang out in the backyard biergarten for the rest of the afternoon. This year, Susan, Rich, Elizabeth, and Andrew met us at the parade and then came back for lunch. Rich, the homebrewer of RAW beers, brought some of his recent brews.
Sam Adams Summer Ale was the inspiration for Rich’s “Son of Sam Summer,” so we matched the two in a taste-off. The Sam Summer is a really interesting beer with a lot of flavors from all of the various spices that go into the brew. The Son of Sam Summer had just as many flavors, but with an edgy home brew flair.
We also had a taste-off of Pale Ales: Sam Adams Pale Ale vs. Flying Dog’s Doggy-Style Classic Pale Ale. It was clear to us that the Sam Adams Pale Ale was a solid, well-balanced beer, but we loved the hoppier profile of Flying Dog’s Pale Ale.
Rich also brought some beers he got at Trader Joe’s – Josephs Brau Summer Brew, brewed for Trader Joe’s by Gordon Biersch Brewing Company in California. I had heard that Trader Joe’s beers were a great value, and this Kolsch didn’t disappoint. [begin rant] I need to try more of these reasonably-priced Trader Joe’s beers, but I have to go to Virginia to get them because Maryland annoyingly does not sell beer in grocery stores – how lame! [end rant]