Season 2, Episode 18: When it’s 115 degrees outside in Las Vegas, you have to search for great seasonal craft beers to combat the heat. With summer in mind, we started out tasting the Little Sumpin’ sumpin’ from Lagunitas Brewing Company, followed by Jolly Pumpkin Bam Biere Farmhouse Ale, and finished up the show with an interesting selection from Prarie Brewing out of Krebs, Oklahoma. We were lucky to be joined by the lead singer of the band “When I Grow Up” who not only can belt out a tune on stage, but also is a craft beer lover too!

When you start an evening off with any craft beer from Lagunitas, you know you’re in for a great tasting craft beer experience. We’ve been familiar with Lagunitas for quite some time now, and must say their beers are always stellar in quality. But even so, their Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale was even better than expected! Brewed with 50% wheat malt and all the “C” hops, Little Sumpin’ comes in at 7.5% alcohol and is a top selection for a semi-sessionable craft beer that’ll keep you asking for more.

lagunitaslittlesumThe beer pours golden orange with lots of lacing and gave off an immediate aroma of wheat, floral, citrus, and bready notes. Then the taste hits you: earthy, herbal, piney hoppiness fades into a smooth wheat back-end and you definitely can taste the hints of citrus and grapefruit along the way to a dry refreshing finish and a pretty full bodied wheat ale that packs a punch that many wheat beers normally lack. We must say, this is a definate winner and we suggest you pick this up quickly when you see it on the shelf at your local craft beer dealer.

We also thought The Bam Biere was a pretty good summer craft beer selection as well. Brewed by Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales in Michigan, this farmhouse ale saison came in at a 4.5% alcohol content, meaning it not only makes for a good summer drinking beer, but also a sessionable craft beer as well. This beer ranks highly on just about every beer taste test, and when we drank it on the show, we detected a straw colored eggwhite head with a very fruity smell and some slight funk. The taste of the beer is where it gets complex, with a pear and cider apple taste with the funk very prevalent on the back end, resulting in somewhat of a champaign type quality. The beer left us with a light to medium bodied mouthfeel with a very dry finish, making the beer very drinkable and refreshing. For the price and availability, this is a great saison to start with when you’re experimenting with summer farmhouse ales. And the dog on the label looks familiar!

Because we heard so much positive news from this selection, we had to move on to Prarie Artisan Ale’s “Praire Ale” brewed by the Krebs brewing company in Krebs, Oklahoma. And talk about a great tasting saison with a 7% alcohol punch! This farmhouse ale poured a light yellow color with a huge fizzy white head just like what you would expect from a great saison. We detected an effervescent aroma of clove, coriander, pepper, and lemongrass and the taste definitely followed the nose on this one. Light on the palate and very carbonated with a great tasty finish made this craft beer another winner on the show. It’s no wonder this beer rates consistently near 100% for just about every beer rater!

Karen made for a great guest on the show and will hopefully soon be appearing with her band at Cheers Bar in the future. We hope to do a beer-show/concert at a still undetermined date. That’s why it’s a must that you text BEER to 69302 to get mobile updates when shows are scheduled. And if you think Karen can’t rock, you better watch this video shot at Palace Station in Las Vegas about an hour after tonight’s “I Love Beer” show ended as “Nuff Said” rocked the crowd at Jack’s Irish Pub with their version of “Mustang Sally”.

Put great tasting craft beers together with some awesome music and you’re guaranteed a winner of a night! Ride Sally Ride!!