In response to an October 2007 post about ale, several readers told me I should try Bell's, Boulevard, and Fat Tire. So I did.
Bell's Oberon Ale (Bell's Brewing, Kalamazoo and Comstock, Michigan): This is a wheat ale that the brewery labels a Summer ale. I don't pretend to know what distinguishes a summer ale from any other seasonal brew (or brew-of-the-month or a Thursday brew, for that matter). Maybe I should wait until a really hot day in August to give this ale a fair shot. Anyway, It's just OK. A bit too light and citrus-y for my taste. Bell's has a huge lineup of ales, porters, lagers, and other stuff (eighteen, to be exact), so it would take me a year or so to sample all their varieties. Sounds like a worthy resolution!
Boulevard Lunar Ale (Boulevard Brewing, Kansas City, Missouri): A very nice medium-dark ale. Looks good in the glass. Hearty without being heavy. They use a little chocolate malt in the recipe, which helps give it some color and some body. Boulevard's pale ale is quite nice, too.
Fat Tire Amber Ale (New Belgium Brewing Company, Fort Collins, Colorado): This is very good. Caramelly. Smooth. I recall reading that Fat Tire uses a bottle-fermentation process that closely approximates the cask-conditioning used in what Rob Hardy calls "real" ales. Whatever. Fat Tire costs a little more, but its superior taste justifies the small price difference. Cute label, too.
Any other reactions, reviews, or recommendations?