Brewery: Bell’s Brewery [Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA]
Style: American Pale Wheat Ale
Back in my college heyday, I would drink anything and everything. I was young and wanted to experience it all, for better or for worse. Since I was also majorly broke for those four years, I drank a lot of shit beer. Busch Light, Milwaukees Best, PBR, Miller High Life, Coors Light. If it was cheap, it was usually in our apartment. Every once in a while my roommate and I would pick up something different, usually a less popular — but still cheap — six pack. There was one beer in particular that I fell in love with back then that helped launch my interest into craft brews, and eventually led me to vow to never drink shit beer again. That beer was Oberon, and for that very reason I will always hold a soft spot in my heart for this summer brew.
When I lived in Michigan, the annual release of Oberon meant that spring was finally here and that summer was just around the bend. Oberon was always a safe bet for everyone at the time; beer connoisseurs and non-drinkers alike could usually agree on Oberon when common ground was needed. This isn’t much of a surprise because this is easily one of Bell’s most accessible brews.
As an American wheat ale, Oberon is both light and refreshing. It is perfect for hot summer days, especially when you are trapped inside a non-air conditioned apartment in 97 degree weather. Ahem. Upon revisiting this beer, I noticed milder citrus notes this time, not quite as prominent as I remembered. Orange is most noticeable, although it is still fairly subtle. There are also hints of spicy hops that give this more character. This is an incredibly smooth beer, and it packs a decent amount of punch with its somewhat surprising 5.8% ABV.
Oberon will always remain a sentimental favorite of mine, but I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed it again this summer. This is easily one of my favorite summer beers, and I will have to keep some close at hand for future Midwestern heatwaves.