Today is the official first day of Spring, however, to many people, Spring begins at the first tapping of Oberon (American summer wheat, 5.8% ABV). There is even a countdown clock at the brewery website, and as I write this blog post, there are 3 days, 5 hours, 31 minutes, and 12 seconds to go.
I was introduced to this beer while in college when it went by the name Solsun, and it only came in 22 oz. bombers. However, due to some legal action by Mexican brewing company Cerveceria Cuauhtemoc Moctezuma, makers of a beer with a similar name: El Sol (The Sun), Bell’s changed the name to Oberon in 1998. Since then, it has been marketed in 12 oz. bottle six packs, 5 liter mini-kegs, and this year for the first time, four packs of 16 oz. cans.
Many pubs in Michigan from St. Joseph to Detroit, from Kalamazoo to Marquette will stay open until midnight Sunday in order to tap Oberon. Two local pubs in Indiana will also do the same: Main Street Pub in South Bend, and Bar Louie in the University Park Mall in Mishawaka.
If you are excited about your first taste of Oberon for the season, but like me can’t stay up until midnight, here are some other options. Belmont Beverage and Chalet Party Shoppes, along with the Martin’s supermarket in Goshen, will be receiving their first shipment Monday afternoon. Kegs for draft will be arriving later in the week at the Constant Spring, Paradigm Brewing, Chubby Trout, Fat Tomato, Flippin’ Cow, Miles Lab, and probably more.
So here’s to Spring, and here’s to Oberon!