Tap This: Spring beer has sprung: Beer for the backyard, friendly gathering
As spring has finally arrived and the snow has fully disappeared from the landscape many shelves are starting to be lined with spring seasonal beers. The move from winter to spring is not only a transition into more light from the sun but also lightness in our beers.
Winter is a time when beer lovers move toward drinking stouts and porters and leave behind the light, airy beers of summer. As the change from winter to spring occurs, the dark beers tend to be left with the cold and brighter beer styles such as IPAs, pale ales, wheat beers and saisons become popular.
There’s no shortage of fantastic beers to enjoy while celebrating the spring season’s arrival. Here is a short list of phenomenal beers to enjoy as we toast to the end of what felt like the winter that would not end:
Anchor Brewing Company — Anchor Steam: Anchor Brewing is widely recognized as the brewery that helped bring forth the current craft beer revolution. Anchor brought many great beers to the market over its long history, but Anchor Steam is the beer that led the way. Crisp lager qualities make this a beer even those who claim to not love craft beer can enjoy. It is light and refreshing yet smooth and full bodied, perfect for a night out with friends.
Dogfish Head — Namaste: This 4.8% witbier has a bevy of flavors that work together in wonderful harmony for a beer that invigorating. Notes of oranges, lemongrass, coriander and Belgian-style yeast work well with one another. The flavors come across the palate in waves so each distinct flavors is experienced. Light ABV makes for a beer that can be enjoyed in quantity, making it a great beer to enjoy while playing lawn darts, bocce ball or corn hole outside with friends and family.
Green Flash — Palate Wrecker: Palate Wrecker is known for being a beer for those who worship at the altar of hops. Hop aromas and tastes abound within this 9.5% ABV DIPA with strong notes of grapefruit, pine, resin, and an overall hop dankness that make it a beer to drool over. Highly drinkable with a textbook dry finish, this beer goes quickly once it is unleashed, so get it while you still can find it.
Sierra Nevada — Pale Ale: Sierra Nevada has crossed the line into legendary brand category. Their Pale Ale is one of the most recognized beers in today’s market, craft beer or otherwise. It has been a staple beer for craft lovers and has served for many as the beer that got them into craft. It remains one of the best pale ales available. The hop flavor and aroma are not dominating and are perfectly balanced against the full malt body that brings wonderful aromatics. This beer pairs with nearly any dish.
Brewery Ommegang — Hennepin: The saison style is absolutely perfect for warmer months and Hennepin is a perfect transition beer as it has a bit more heft than some other saison beers. With a strong Belgian-yeast presence, Hennepin has fruit like notes with bright aromatics of orange peel, coriander, spices and bready malts. High carbonation makes for a lively drinking experience that is great for a weekend afternoon but is exceptional for unwinding on a weekend evening with friends gathered around the fire pit.
Great Divide Brewing Company — Hop Disciples Idaho 7: Great Divide has long held a stellar reputation for great beers regardless of style. With the Hop Disciples line, the brewery is experimenting with hops, and in this iteration the Idaho 7 hop is featured. A smooth semi-sweet malt body is match against strong orange zest, stone fruit, pineapple and floral hop notes for a rounded drinking experience that is surprisingly complex yet highly drinkable.
Derek Warren is a beer fanatic, avid homebrewer and beer historian. Derek can be heard weekly on the Beer Geeks Radio Hour at noon on Sundays on WILK 103.1 FM with past episodes available on iTunes.