The temperatures are rising, what little snow we had has disappeared, and many of us are waking after a long winter slumber, finding our way outdoors. The other change occurring is on the beer shelves as many spring-themed beers are available.
While winter is reserved for dark, heavy, high ABV beers to help keep us warm on frigid nights and summer is the champion of light refreshing lower ABV beers, where does that leave spring? This is a season that offers a wider variety of beer styles as a seasonal offering.
The spring season is a bridge between cold and hot and beers that help bridge the divide are typically the most favorite. Beers that offer a bit of heft but have some lighter qualities are perfect.
Here is a short list of some great beers to have on hand this spring to help you get over winter or prepare for the summer, depends on how you view the season.
New Belgium Brewing Company’s Citradelic: This is a new offering from New Belgium first released in January. This American IPA features the much beloved Citra hops with the addition of tart tangerine peels. The aroma is bright and refreshing with notes of citrus, pineapple and pine. The sweet caramel malts provide great balance and make this an extremely easy drinking IPA that will help shake off the doldrums of the dark, cold winter.
Brewery Ommegang’s Hennepin: This Saison truly defines the popular Belgian style to many American palates and has long been a favorite for many craft beer drinkers. It acts as a gateway beer for many getting into craft beer. The Saison style is a perfect style for spring with its lightly fruity aromas and taste, but the 7.7 percent ABV is a great accompaniment for the chilly spring evenings. The bright qualities and moderate malt forward mouthfeel make Hennepin a great beer that perfectly bridges the gap between heavy winter beers and light summer beers. This beer is not new, but is always a must have in any great beer fridge.
Founders Brewing Co’s Founders KBS: There is not much that can be said about this world class beer that has not already been stated. It is extremely sought after, making it the most difficult beer to find on this list. If you are lucky enough to procure some for yourself you will be rewarded with the rich flavors of coffee, chocolate and bourbon melting together into an incredible beer that weighs in at 11.2 percent ABV. Early April is when many retailers start to receive shipments, but hunt nicely and don’t be that guy who buys them all and hoards, this is a great beer to share with friends.
Firestone Walker’s Easy Jack: This simple straight forward sessionable IPA is a must have any time of year, but is perfect during the spring months. We need a beer that packs a lot of flavor, but allows us to focus on getting some chores done inside and out without risking any bodily harm. Easy Jack has a huge citrus and tropical balance within a solid malt backbone that gives the beer an extremely high drinkability factor. Add in the very moderate 4.5 percent ABV and you have an IPA you can enjoy all day long without risk of burnout.
Victory Brewing Company’s Prima Pils: A spring beer list would not be complete with a Pilsner beer and Prima Pils is definitely one of the best. This 5.3 percent ABV German Pils offers a refreshingly crisp hop bite perfect for a mild spring day. This is a phenomenal beer to have on hand for any outdoor event. It’s also one of the best beers to have with pizza. Prima Pils is most definitely a get together beer required for any gathering of friends and family whether it be around a board game, a movie night or just a backyard bonfire.
No matter what your favorite beer style is there is a great beer you can enjoy this spring season. This list is just a small sampling of some of the beers available. The spring season is the perfect excuse to be adventurous and try some new craft beers.
Get out there and get sampling.
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.