“Lawn Mower Beer” is a description of a beer that I don’t mind using, especially when the description stems directly from an experience, a moment in time, an activity. I also understand that one person’s lawn mower beer may be someone else’s golfing beer or hammock beer and they can call it whatever they like.
To me a “lawn mower beer” is a beer that falls into two different categories:
A. Easy drinking, refreshing, thirst quenching beers that are lower in ABV but not necessarily lacking in flavor, some would classify these as “crushable.” A beer to slake one’s thirst after pushing the lawn mower around.
B. Requiring considerably less effort, any beer that lands in the cup holder of a riding lawnmower is by default a “lawn mower beer.” I still generally consider these to be the same “crushable” beer as category A, but I suppose that depends on the rider.
I don’t own a riding lawn mower or a functioning push mower, which is pretty evident by the excessively long grass in the back yard, so to remedy this I purchased a new push mower and set out to define a third category of lawn mower beer:
C. Any beer you choose to consume while assembling a newly purchased lawn mower.
I probably could have picked up a pre-assembled mower but I’m a sucker for a project and in my mind an afternoon of turning wrenches and drinking beer sounded like a good time, I had no idea.
I opened the fridge and picked my Category C lawn mower beer, one that fits comfortably in Category A as a refreshing, easy drinking beer, Rising Tide’s Maine Island Trail Ale. MITA is a crisp refreshing beer with a pleasant hop flavor and aroma, as a bonus it comes in 16oz cans making is safer to have around while I’m using tools, which usually results in busted knuckles and things being thrown, since can’s don’t shatter if things go horribly wrong and I pitch an empty, it won’t look like a scene from Roadhouse.
Having never built a lawn mower before I didn’t realize that this would be a one beer project, the most difficult part of which may have been opening the box. Five screws for the handle, attach the grass bag, add some fuel and oil and the new mower fired up on the first pull. There was more “assembly required” with the furniture I bought from IKEA last fall but I probably should have guessed this would be the case with a piece of equipment involving a small engine and sharp spinning blades.
This was an instance where a lawn mower beer didn’t necessarily equate to hard work, instead I found a good reason to get outside and enjoy a fine craft beverage. The project wasn’t difficult but I still ended up smelling like gasoline, motor oil and hops without breaking a sweat, which I’m fine with because the next time I crush a Maine Island Trail Ale will most likely be after I put the new mower to use.