I saw Midas Touch Golden Elixir in a great San Francisco store called City Beer, and I was intrigued. It’s made with barley, Muscat grapes, honey, and saffron, which scared me into thinking it might be a Renaissance Faire–esque mead, all syrupy sweet. Then I did a podcast with Dave McLean of SF’s Magnolia Pub & Brewery (and beer curator at this year’s Slow Food Nation), and he brought some of Dogfish Head’s brew for me to try. It blew my mind! With a sweet start, a dry finish, and a hint of saffron, it was refreshing and extremely drinkable. It would pair well with summer foods, spicy foods, and barbecue foods—that is, as long as you don’t have to drive home afterward, because it’s 9 percent alcohol by volume.

Midas Touch Golden Elixir, $13.99 for four 12-ounce bottles

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