Saturday, June 21, 2014

June 21st, 2014 - A Summer Helles By The Numbers... or... "However Much I Booze" With Summer Helles

Cheers and happy summer my friends!  With summer now officially upon us, I thought I would go with a Summer Helles from New Belgium Brewing Company and The Who's "The Who By Numbers" (which has always reminded me of summer for some odd reason)! 

"The Who By Numbers" is the 7th studio album by powerhouse English rockers The Who and was released on October 3rd, 1975.  It was recorded between April and June of 1975 at the mobile studio of the late Ronnie Lane (Small Faces, The Faces).  The album cover, depicting a dot-to-dot cartoon of the band was created and drawn by bassist John Entwistle.  Entwistle also provide the bass and brass on the album along with backing vocals and joint lead vocal on the song "Success Story".  Roger Daltrey provided lead vocals and percussion.  Keith Moon provided drums and percussion.  And Pete Townshend provided guitars, keyboards, ukulele, accordion, banjo, percussion, backing vocals, and lead vocals on both "However Much I Booze" and "Blue, Red and Grey".  Guest musician Nicky Hopkins provided piano on "Slip Kid", "Imagine a Man", "Success Story", "They Are All in Love", "How Many Friends", and "In a Hand or a Face".  Musically, the album has an almost poppier, happier sound than other The Who works in my opinion.  (Maybe that's why it makes me think of summer?)  Not as popular as previous and later albums, "The Who By Numbers" produced two hits, "Slip Kid" and "Squeeze Box".  Although not as commercially successful or popular, this is one of my favorite The Who albums.  It is very solid, very rock and roll, a very enjoyable listen!

The Summer Helles from New Belgium Brewing Company is Munich Helles-style lager, a beer made popular in Germany in the mid-1800's.  ("Helles" is German for "bright" by the way.)  The Munich Helles style was developed by München brewers as an answer to the highly popular Czech Pils that were flooding the German market at the time.  Summer Helles from New Belgium Brewing Company pours a lovely pale, clear, straw-gold with a thin white head.  The nose is mellow with notes of biscuit, subtle herbs and bitter grass.  Light bodied and highly carbonated, the mouthfeel is crisp and refreshing and slightly sharp.  Brewed with German malts and yeast along with a blend of 3 types of hops, the flavor of the Summer Helles is characterized by crackery/biscuity malt notes, grassy hops, and a hint of lemon zest.  Like "The Who By Numbers", it goes down easy with a nice, clean finish. 


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