Drink of the Week: South of North’s Explorer Cream Ale
In our Drink of the Week segment, we’ll showcase one unique type of beer, wine, cocktail — you name it — to try at one of the countless breweries, bars and restaurants from around the basin.
Word on the street is that a Spanish explorer brought vanilla back to Spain after attending a shindig of Aztec ruler, Montezuma. From that point on, it blew up like a viral video of a sneezing baby panda and the rest, shall we say, is history. I only mention that because how fitting a cream ale is named “Explorer.”
If me saying the word vanilla worries you as a beer drinker, this is not a vanilla beer. Yes, vanilla is there and at first sniff it throws you into a time warp when A & W cream soda was as hot as a habanero in a jalapeno’s armpit, but it doesn’t hit crazy hard.
It is indeed creamy like a cream soda, but more in a frothy beer sort of way. They brew with their house-made yeast and for all you lactose intolerant people out there, it also includes lactose. So, if you’re up for the Montezuma’s revenge party, cool. I can’t say that all will be roses and clovers, but it just might be good enough to throw caution to the wind.
The golden brown color is everything you want the outside of the perfect grilled cheese to look like. Only here, you get to drink it in all its 4.7% ABV glory.
The drinkability is super easy going. While most ales aren’t going to bear hug you to death like their rowdy uncle IPA, it still drinks lighter than most ales. Very refreshing, very crisp — like a morning walk along the riverbank.
The aftertaste does some Harry Houdini stuff because it essentially just disappears. It’s as relaxed on the palette as Matthew McConaughey in a hammock on the beach. And that makes this beer a perfect fit for the summer. Alright, alright, alright.
South of North Brewing is located at 932 Stateline Avenue in South Lake Tahoe. For more information visit them online at southofnorthbeer.com or by phone at 530-494-9805.
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