Senior Editor – John Fahrner @
Here in the state of Michigan we endure a lot with out winters. Frigid temperatures, snow storms, the Detroit Lions, horrid road conditions and all kinds of other annoyances that encompass our winters. Lucky for us there is no shortage of amazing stouts and ales to help keep us warm through the winter the as we trudge on until just after St, Patrick’s day for one of the most festive days in Michigan, Oberon day! Oberon of course is the seasonal pale wheat ale that has turned Bell’s into one of the powerhouses of the beer world. Although Oberon is not available in every state yet, in Michigan there’s hardly a bar that doesn’t feature this annual hype machine. Love it or hate it Oberon is here, and it’s popularity is growing every year, complete with an orange wedge floated in a pint this brew perennially comes back and demands that you let summer flow!
As mentioned earlier Oberon is a pale wheat ale that is brewed with a ton of citrus and intended to be a refreshing brew that you can enjoy through all your various summer activities. It pairs pretty well at a Bar-B-Que and can be down right enjoyable at a baseball game under the summer sun. It’s a favorite to enjoy floating around on a boat in the middle of a lake or after a few hours sweating it out in the yard mowing the lawn. Oberon has changed plenty over the years but still is one of the first things that I think of when I think of summer. The beer itself is available in pretty much every way you can sell a beer, bottle, can, mini keg, draft they’re all covered. Oberon is unique in that the beer pours a bit different from glass to glass, the beer itself can range anywhere from a lighter golden color and has ranged almost all the way to a vibrant orange color and has consistently been one of the more hazy beers that you can pour. The beer holds up well if you want to drink straight from the bottle or can too, which is valuable considering the many venues one might want to enjoy this beer at. Oberon is crisp and smooth, light and easy to drink while managing to keep a persistent pop of citrus which is really what makes this beer so refreshing.
So why did I say that Oberon is a beer that is debated so much? Well I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that as much as I enjoy and look forward to Oberon every year I have to deal with the fact that Oberon will never be the beer that it once was. The beer that is now hazy was once a deep viscous pool or citrus immersion that was so unique and delicious it completely changed what I thought beer was or could be. The beer was stronger in every aspect possible and it was a brew so full of flavor that it was almost impossible not to polish off a 6 pack in an afternoon because it just kept getting better. However, the overall mellowing out of Oberon, although not what I fancy, really is overall a good thing for Bell’s and the beer industry as a whole. It’s not at all uncommon for me to hear someone say “I don’t really like beer but I love Oberon!” To those of us who are out there searching for every weird instance of flavor combinations in beer possible this statement sounds crazy, and is probably one of the reasons people accuse Bells of selling out. Personally I don’t think this could be further from the truth. Bottom line is that without Oberon to pad Bell’s bottom line they might not be willing to do more eccentric things like their Planet Series that they have been producing over the last few months. Even more important than that if Bells can take a coors light out of someones hand and replace it with an Oberon from March until September-ish that’s a victory for craft beers. And maybe Oberon can be a door into other craft brews out there, it certainly was for me.
Over the course of my adult life I have shared countless memories over an Oberon, it’s been a beer that has helped facilitate a bonding with friends and been around for my formidable years as a craft beer novice and is still, to this day, a beer that I recommend to people who are willing to venture out into the world of better beer. No I can’t honestly say I love this beer like I did when I was in my early 20’s but I can say that I can’t imagine my summers without it.
Overall beer rateing: 3.5/5 stars
ABV 5.8 %
John Fahrner Bio:
John resides in Wolverine Lake, MI and is interested in craft beer, the Detroit Red Wings and MSU.
Twitter Bio @
#craftbeer #beer #MSU #redwings #sommbeer #oberon #bellsbrewery #beerreview
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