Pack spring break cooler with variety of beer

Adam Pennavaria, Beer Columnist

Adam Pennavaria

Ahoy, beer fans! I hope everyone is gearing up for next week’s inevitable debauchery and sunshine, because spring break is right around the corner. 

Next week, many of us will travel to sandy beaches or bustling cities for a mental break from our studies, turning our attention to beach bods and beer bongs. So, this week I’m here to fill you in on some exceptional beers to sample while you’re on vacation.

If the Sunshine State is your destination, check out Gainesville, Florida’s Swamp Head Big Nose IPA (7.3%). This Floridian pale ale is heavy in citrus and grapefruit notes. 

It’s also light enough to put back plenty and not feel full. The mouthfeel is soft and alluring, unlike many IPAs which have a harsh feel. The smell and taste have both blown my mind in the past. This brew will be delicious for IPA lovers and haters alike.

If you’re traveling south of the border, turn your gaze from the dull Corona and choose a Modelo Especial (4.4%) (or the darker Negra variety). Modelo is the far superior Mexican lager. It is a characteristic lager, in that it pours a gentle yellow with a small white head. Its taste is reminiscent of corn, grains and faint hops. To be honest, this is a mass produced beer, but it’s an alternative to the bottled sewage that passes as Corona. 

The Negra Modelo (5.2%) is the heavier sibling, characterized by caramel and brown sugar tones. This is an exceptional option, especially when paired with Mexican cuisine. 

For those of you heading to Texas for South Padre Island’s week of insanity, do yourself a favor and sample the Yellow Rose IPA (6.8%) from Lone Pint Brewery while you’re there. A distinct fruity and earthy profile makes this beer a real treat. The smell is hoppy, but not overpowering, as it is coupled with mango and pineapple. It’s creamy and smooth, making it unique in the IPA game.

If you’ve decided to stay in Lexington for the week, now is an excellent time to check out Ethereal’s collaboration with Blue Stallion and Country Boy, a Belgian Pale Ale called Roundball (6.5%). I confess that I haven’t tried this beer yet and can’t find any information about it on the Internet, but based on my previous experiences with Belgian pale ales, this is probably a glorious marriage of sweet and bitter. 

Plus, those three breweries are all exceptional, so you really don’t have anything to lose.

Finally, if nice beer just isn’t your thing, there’s nothing wrong with guzzling a few 12-packs of PBR (4.7%) or Natty Light (4.2%) this week. Regardless of quality, at least you’re still drinking the best beverage on the planet.

Everyone be safe, wear sunscreen, use the buddy system and remember to hydrate (with water). Cheers.

Adam Pennavaria is the beer columnist of the Kentucky Kernel.

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