With Memorial Day weekend just around the corner, and the end of the school year in sight, it’s nearly summertime. That means barbecues, trips to the beach and lake, and relaxing by the pool. All of those occasions call for a good summertime beer. There are several great beers to choose from, and one of those is Bombshell Blonde Ale from the gang at Southern Star Brewery.
In the winter it’s good to have a hearty, dark beer, something stout to get you through the cold. Come summertime, though, it’s nice to have something light, but still flavorful, a beer that cools you down.
One of the perfect beers for that is a blonde ale like Bombshell Blonde. Light, creamy, a little bready, with a just a touch of hops to even it out, it’s the summer beer. I love to drink this beer super cold, preferably out of an ice-filled cooler on a boat or by the lake. Wrap it in a koozie, and you’re ready to go.
Bombshell Blonde is a beer you should drink out of the can, and boy is it a fantastic can design. Riding a red, white, and blue bomb Dr. Strangelove-style is a Texas cowgirl—poofy blond hair, boots, hat, and all. It’s reminiscent of the art painted on World War II era bombers. From “Memphis Belle” to “The Dragon and His Tail,” nose art of the Second World War often featured buxom beauties, patriotic symbols, and fearsome animals.
I’m a history buff, and World War II planes are always my favorite to see at museums. The sheer number of different planes in service is awe-inspiring, each with a style that is so much different from today’s sleek, stealthy jets. The art these crewman had on their planes, the names they gave them, exudes excitement and adventure, the courageous acts of America’s airmen.
The history of nose art on airplanes dates all the way back to the First World War with German and Italian pilots. Nose art is used to distinguish the uniformity of military aircraft, inspire the crew, and remind them of home. It reached its height in World War II, partly because of the number of planes in service, but it is still in use today.
Originally, much of the art was designed and painted by the ground crew who took care of the planes. Initially it was simple, but as World War II stretched on it got more elaborate and professional. In fact, a Walt Disney artist created the famous insignia for the P-40 “Flying Tigers.”
Perhaps the most popular nose art is an open shark mouth, which both German and American pilots used in the Second World War, is still in use today on A-10s, and has even been painted on naval ships and submarines.
With the colors, style, and patriotic theme of their Bombshell Blonde can, Southern Star evokes that inspirational, and often quite beautiful, art seen on airplanes throughout history. As a beer guy, it’s one of those cool cans I want to keep on a shelf in my office after finishing it.
I have a favorite lakeside restaurant here in Austin. It’s a locals-only kind of place called Ski Shores. Attached to a boat dock, most of Ski Shores’ tables are right next to the water. Boats whizz by towing skiers, or kids on inner tubes, as fish, turtles, and birds fight for any morsels that might fall from your plate into the lake. Whenever I’m there—and trust me, during the summer it’s frequent—I order a Bombshell Blonde Ale. You crack open the ice-cold can, sit back, relax, and enjoy a good, refreshing beer.
Summertime is here. Drink up.