Wednesday, 30 September 2015 09:21

Hot Water, Cold Brew: Why you should be enjoying a shower beer

Written by  Nick Manes
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“A shower beer makes me feel very patriotic. After a long shift on your feet or working in the yard, it’s a simple luxury. Piping hot water and a cold one — only in America.”  —Brad Smit, Brewer at Founders Brewing Co. and Grand Rapids Brewing Co. “A shower beer makes me feel very patriotic. After a long shift on your feet or working in the yard, it’s a simple luxury. Piping hot water and a cold one — only in America.” —Brad Smit, Brewer at Founders Brewing Co. and Grand Rapids Brewing Co. Katy Batdorff

This past Labor Day weekend I had the pleasure of spending 24 hours at a woodsy cabin not far from Lake Michigan. Aside from drinking, there was plenty of hiking, swimming, beach play and fireside sitting.

Upon return to my humble abode, only two things sounded good as a method of unwinding: A hot shower and a cold beer. The overwhelmingly obvious solution to this dilemma involved doing both at the same time — it was time for a shower beer.

Simply put, a shower beer is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Whether returning from a rustic cabin, or after a sweaty workout, sometimes the best relaxation is cracking open a cold one inside a steamy tub. When undertaken at the correct moment, it truly does kill two birds with one stone, leaving the timely consumer refreshed, not to mention, clean.

One cannot, however, simply just drink a shower beer at any given moment, nor will just any beer do. There are rules to the perfect shower beer.

First of all, for your safety, canned beer is highly recommended, as glass is often known to break and can potentially cause personal injury. Luckily, the vast majority of domestic macro-beers (think Bud, Miller and Coors as well as many retro throwbacks such as PBR, Old Style and my personal favorite, Stroh’s) are available for aluminum consumption. Increasingly, more Michigan craft brewers are turning to cans as well. Founders, Bell’s, Brewery Vivant and tons of others have turned to cans for packaging.


Totally Accurate Facebook Poll

To assist in this report, I conducted a VERY SCIENTIFIC Facebook poll, asking people their favorite shower beers. The results were fascinating.

The general consensus of the hotly-contested poll, which received more than 50 responses, revealed that people tend to enjoy a combination of easy-drinking lagers such as the above-mentioned macro beers.

But many also appreciated a slightly hoppier IPA. Founders’ increasingly popular All Day IPA (my choice for a recent shower beer, mostly because I had leftovers from my weekend trip) was certainly a crowd favorite. The 4.7 percent alcohol by volume “session ale” offers both a powerful explosion of hops while being refreshing and drinkable enough that one can consume it in the normal amount of time needed for a shower.

On the other end of the spectrum, one commenter expressed a penchant for drinking Bell’s notorious Hopslam, a 10 percent double IPA that hardly holds back on the hop profile. The reason, according to the commenter: “That way I am partially drunk on my way out of the shower.”

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