- By Marsha Bryant
Are you ready to go back to school?
Are you ready to follow the rules?
Fall semester draws near—
Why not reach for a beer
To ease into your schedule? Stay cool!
Whether teacher or parent or student-
of-age, don’t you’d think ‘twould be prudent
To stock beer in your fridge
That can serve as a bridge
As your summer pursuits are concludent?
Here’s a 4-pack to help you transition
To grading, reminding, cognition.
There’s variety here
That can bring you some cheer.
Try these recs from an academician.
You won’t be just a brick in the wall
With this Bellaire Brown ale, for it’s mal-
ty, yet robustly so:
Chocolate forward, then slow-
ly the roasty prevails over all.
Like a mango mimosa, but beer,
Here’s a fruited wheat ale to revere.
Mango Cart’s yellow glow
Will refresh as you go
Back to school. Pours more hazy than clear.
So candy’s for kiddies, you say?
Some drinkers prefer beer that way.
Do you love tart and sweet
But lack Skittles to eat?
Drink some pink Tiny Esses today!
This bracingly bitter foray
Into piney West Coast IPA
Is a hop-lover’s dream:
Bitter tastes reign supreme.
O Galactica, take me away!
Tasting Notes for this 4-pack*
Bellaire Brown Ale. Short’s Brewing Company. Elk Rapids, MI. 7% ABV. The red-brick building on the can evokes this molasses-hued brew’s classic tastes. Its silky chocolate approach yields to a roastiness that’s malty without being too sweet. Richly flavored for the light mouthfeel, this beer’s tastes play out on your mid-tongue.
Mango Cart Mango Wheat Ale. Golden Road Brewing. Los Angeles, CA. 4% ABV. Lightly juicy but not too sweet, this mango-forward ale pours hazy yellow with tiny white bubbles. It tastes like a champagne mango and would make a good shower beer.
Tiny Esses Sour Ale. Prairie Artisan Ales, McAlester, OK. 5.9% ABV. What if Red Bull and grapefruit juice joined forces in a beer with flakes of candy? Tartly refreshing with a sweet finish, this frothy pink concoction pours with a pale peach head.
Galactica West Coast IPA. Clown Shoes Beer. Boston, MA. 8% ABV. This bitter-forward, bitter-finishing IPA enhances its 9-hop profile with a delicious piney taste that rises to your palate. Pours translucently topaz with a robustly foamy head. Galactica will vanquish any juicy, hazy IPA that dares to enter its swath of the beer galaxy.
* Not recommended as a flight
Another Back2School beer Marsha recommends is Hops 4 Teacher, featured in a previous review.
Acknowledgment: I’m grateful to CB Bottle Shoppe for nudging me to try Tiny Esses.
MARSHA BRYANT writes about poetry, modernism, pedagogy, and craft beer. Her recent essays appear in The Bloomsbury Handbook to Sylvia Plath, the online journal Humanities, and the textbook Impact of Materials on Society. Bryant is Associate Editor of Contemporary Women's Writing, and Professor of English & Distinguished Teaching Scholar at the University of Florida.