The proper reward for lawnmower labor

At the time this post was written, Saturday was still somewhere in the not-too-distant future, a shiny beacon of glorious weekendiness winking at us all from the end of work week.sun

At least, that’s the theory.  Unfortunately, as it turns out, Saturday often comes with its own set of labors and assignments.  This coming Saturday, in particular, being smack dab in the middle of a very pleasant spring and with the expectation that the Greater Cincinnati area will benefit from warm, clear, almost San Diego-ian weather, is almost certainly destined to give rise to a flurry of outdoorsy-gardeny-yardy activity.

Now, I’m going to be honest with you.  Straight-up: I do not much care for the gardeny/yardy bits.  I was born with the blackest thumb this side of Cybertron, so nothing I plant ever grows.  I can’t even coax half a potato, toothpicked over a Solo cup of water, to sprout a few greenish fingers.  Flowers wither and die beneath my gaze, my lawn has more patchy spots than the hair on my head, and I constantly seem about a week away from losing the never-ending Battle of The Weeds in my mulch beds.

Alas, I’m a tech and word geek, meaning my natural habit is typically indoors and runs about 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

Still, none of that stops me from the occasional foray into the land of yard work.  Because, ultimately, someone has to do it.

And my kids are still all too young.

If I’m going to do it, though, you can be pretty darned sure there will be a reward at the end of it, something to look forward do as the sun beats down on my under-protected scalp.

In my case, that obviously that means a cold, refreshing reward made from yeast, water, hops and malted barley.

Indeed, there are few things more satisfying than coming in from the heat, still covered in a sheen of perspiration, and hearing the familiar pop-fizz that announces the opening of a chilled bottle of your favorite hot-weather brew.  The sound triggers a Pavlovian response, and seconds later I usually have to force myself not to guzzle its contents down without at least pausing to take a breath.

When it comes to that brisk, refreshing reward, the options are nearly limitless.  Obviously, kolsch is probably the poster child style for the lawnmower beer, and I’ll admit to a past preference for Goose Island’s Summertime brew.  Pre-mixed and bottled Shandys (Shandies?) are all the rage these days, to the point that you can’t hardly swing a dead cat* in a beer store without hitting a 12-pack of them.  Admittedly, I’m not sold on them as opposed to mixing them myself, but I’d bet it’s Leinenkugel’s number one selling beer around these parts**.  Hazy, unfiltered wheat beers have their own set of loyal followers, too, to the point you’d think that some kind of holiday should accompany the first shipment of Bell’s Oberon.

Personally, I enjoy a well-balanced pale ale after toiling away beneath the sun.  The balance is the key, though. A malt-heavy pale can be too sweet and sugary and a hop-heavy one can be a little to grassy for someone who just finished cutting the grass.  Let’s be honest, you’re probably already tasting grass anyway.  IPAs can be a little much for the same reason, but with such a breadth of variety available with the style, I bet there’s one somewhere that would be perfectly refreshing.

So what’s your favorite lawnmower beer?  A hefeweizen, maybe?  A clean helles lager?  Or perhaps you’re a contrarian?  Do you reach from something big and malty when you’re all hot and sweaty?  Or do you maybe go the other way?  A porter or stout wouldn’t be my first pick, but this is all about personal preference, right?

Whatever you like, leave a comment about it below.  Let’s discuss your palate’s preferred pick when perspiring.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m pretty sure I have to mow my lawn.

You know, before it goes all Little Shop of Horrors.


Update: Because I’m ultimately pretty lazy, I figured why not use topic as this week’s Saturday Debate on my personal blog, Puddintopia.  I created a poll over there to let you pick your favorite lawnmower libation.  Why not swing by and cast a vote?

*It’s a Southern expression

**Sales claims based on the scientific accumulation of data by, um, personal observation, intuition, and bald-faced guessing.