BU = ((Alpha Acids AA% x Quantity in oz's) x % Utilization) / 7.25 (International Bitterness Units)
I rarely do any yard work without a beer close at hand. I find it helps me to stave off dehydration and to stay refreshed. I typically try to match the right beer to the type of yardwork needed and the season at hand.
Lest anyone should think I approach this in a cavalier manner, winter wood chopping is best accomplished with a hearty Imperial Stout, fall leaf raking with a flavorful Oktoberfest, and spring and summer lawn mowing with a nice refreshing lager or ale or pale ale.
Since my lawn is growing like a jungle with the recent rain and desperately needs a cut, I thought what better time to profile a few of these tasty refreshing beers. But, rather than just taste and compare them I've also worked out a rather simple, yet elegant equation that will help anyone select the best beer for the exact lawn cutting conditions. While I am no mathematician and did pretty poorly in Junior High Algebra, High School Geometry and College Statistics, the equation is:
GH x T+H\UVSI = BOC - where GH = Grass Height, T = Temperature, H = Humidity, UVSI = Ultraviolet Sunburn Index and BOC = Beer of Choice
So for example, if the grass is 6 inches high, the temperature outside is 78, the humidity is 86% and the UVSI is 8, the beer of choice would be Dale's Pale Ale or expressed numerically:
6 x 78 + 86\8 = Dales Pale Ale
Try it and see how easy it is to use this simple equation to choose the right beer for lawn care.
Today the sun finally came out and I cut the lawn-jungle. In the interest of science and mathematics, I tried 6 different beers while cutting the lawn. As I write this just after finishing the lawn, I can honestly say that 6 beers may have been too much. I think tomorrow will tell when I look at the lawn or when I reread this blog.
The six beers were: Dales Pale Ale, Stella Artois, Yuengling Lager, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Miller MGD and Red Stripe. I also had intended on Budweiser, but for some reason it never came upstairs. I had all of these beers in the beer fridge and thought they would all potentially make a solid lawn care beer. None of them is too heavy or too high in alcohol to make law care a bloated affair or a dangerous activity, unless you try to sample all 6 during one lawn care session.
So, which beer is the best for lawn care? None! After running the equation and comparing my notes (Disclaimer: I don't actually take any notes), at the start of, during and after cutting the lawn, I think each beer has its place. I know that many beer aficionados wont even think of keeping MGD, or PBR or Bud in their beer fridge. That's perfectly fine. Drink what you enjoy and enjoy what you drink. All of these beers suffered as they got warmer, so I'd suggest keeping a small cooler at hand when doing lawn care to heighten the experience. Here are my thoughts on the six beers:
Yuengling Lager - Really good right from the start when it was ice cold, and still pretty damn good at the end when it had warmed up a bit. But a bit filling. I'd suggest grabbing one of these after finishing the yard work and reveling in a chore well done.
Miller MGD, PBR and Red Stripe - I'm linking all of these because they were all absolutely refreshing when ice cold at the start, but only okay when warmed a bit. These are all a great go-to beer when you are feeling a little dehydrated and need something refreshing. I could have easily finished all three of these when they were cold, but then I probably wouldn't have much to write about cutting the lawn. They all remind me of those heady, glory nights growing up in Edison when beers like this were what we all grabbed. And of course, a Red Stripe in some tropical clime with palm trees and light tradewinds is simply nirvana.
Stella Artois - Admittedly not my favorite beer, and definitely not my favorite for the rigors of lawn care, but my wife really likes it so it must be pretty light and appropriate as a lawn care beer. I wouldn't pass one up if someone handed it to me when I was sweaty from cutting the grass, but it definitely isn't my beer of choice.
Dales Pale Ale - This was the first beer I had in a can a few years ago when the canned beer revolution began in full earnest. Its a really nicely hopped Pale Ale with great citrusy tones and is refreshing as hell when cold. It was the beer of choice that my brother grabbed at midnight a few weeks ago after a very long travel day, despite numerous other beer fridge choices. It was by far my favorite beer at the outset of the lawn care experiment. I still really liked how refreshing it was when I was done even when it had warmed up a bit, but it isn't as carbonated as the other beers and suffered a bit from that. I also think at 6.5% alcohol its probably a little on the high side for summer yardwork, but well suited for that "relaxing sense of accomplishment beer" afterwards. If you haven't had Dales Pale yet, give it a try, its really refreshing and delicious.
So, to summarize, don't get dehydrated, its very bad for you. And remember, “It takes beer to make thirst worthwhile.” – German Proverb