There’s a reason you don’t hear about Southern craft-brewed IPAs in the summer—it’s hot. Just as people in the Northeast joke you can’t go outside for several months due to snow, summer in the South can be a neverending journey from home AC to car AC and on to wherever’s next (so long as it has… AC). Drinking even one beer with an ABV above 6% simply doesn’t compliment the surroundings well. It’s why you see so many lighter seasonals, like the variety of fruit-oriented beers from Abita.
Mississippi’s Lazy Magnolia clearly had this in mind when creating its newest, limited release seasonal. But rather than create another wheat or fruit-oriented brew to possibly get lost in a sea of similarity, their new Song of the South is a Berliner Weisse—essentially a summer sour. (We don’t believe the name is in anyway connected to the not-so-secretly racist Disney film.)
A sweet citrus smell greets anyone lucky enough to find Song of the South, but it’s setting you up for the surprise of the first sip. If the heat has you falling asleep on a porch chair, the initial rush of sour that’s vaguely pear and green apple will perk you up. It’s intriguing and tart. The taste lingers on the tongue a bit, though not in an unpleasant way. You’re thirsty for another sip.
Soon the bottle’s empty, and Song of the South has provided all the refreshing aspects of a lemonade-style summer beer without the sugary coating and overbearing after taste (attribute that to a nice dryness that keeps the tartness in check). Perhaps best of all, this was a light experience. Song of the South is only 3.2% ABV. So even though it’s hot, and even though you’re thirsty, and even though you gave in and had a beer… you can have another. It’ll still be refreshing. Song of the South is truly a sessionable seasonal; it’ll help cool you off.
Brewery: Lazy Magnolia
City: Kiln, Miss.
Style: Berliner Weisse, using German Pilsen and Wheat grains combined with Hallertauer hops
Availability: Seasonal, limited release