Ahhh, Spring. It’s a season of sunshine, blooming flowers and long, leisurely deck sessions after a hike, bike, paddle or stroll. After all, you deserve it after a Winter of polar vortexes.
Unless you live in the mountains, that is. It’s still snowing in the mountains.
But that’s no matter. There’s an easy way to get into the spirit of Spring, even if the weather isn’t cooperating: Pop open a Spring beer.
The folks at the country’s best breweries are coping with the same Spring fever that we are, but instead of moaning about muddy trails and a lack of sandy white beaches, they’re concocting gorgeous brews that are perfect for sunny days that will come… eventually.
So leave behind your porters and stouts and get sipping on some of these fine Spring beers.
Springtime is the perfect season for saisons, a refreshing style of ale traditionally brewed by farmers. Crisp and a bit spicy, a saison is (usually) a sessionable beer that should be enjoyed after tilling the back 40 (or walking the back 9).
Three to Try:
Saison de Lente, The Bruery
From the brewers: “Light blonde in color with a fresh hoppiness and a wild and rustic Brettanomyces character. The wild yeast in Saison de Lente will continue to dry it out over time, giving a slightly more mature character to vintage bottles.”
Translation: Be immature. Drink it now.
Glimmerglass, Brewery Ommegang
Cooperstown, New York
From the brewers: “Deep straw to light amber in color with a thick, pure white head. Taste is very clean, with pronounced fruit flavors, delicate bready malt followed by welcomed spicing.”
Translation: Glimmerglass was the name given to Otsego Lake in The Leatherstocking Tales. Go Natty Bumpo on this beer.
La Petite Saison, Twisted Pine Brewing Company
From the brewers: “Crisp, clean, golden malts are seduced by funky Belgian yeast in this crowd-pleasing champagne of beers”
Translation: Move over, Miller High Life: La Petite Saison took your title.
With the growing popularity of IPAs (Indian Pale Ales, for those of you living in a dry county for the past five years), it’s not necessary to wait for Spring to break out these heavy-hitting hoppy numbers. However, the first blush of warm weather does inspire lighter IPAs with fruity notes and hints of citrus.
Three to Try:
Fresh Squeezed IPA, Deschutes Brewery
From the brewers: “This mouthwateringly delicious IPA gets its flavor from a heavy helping of citra and mosaic hops. Don’t worry, no fruit was harmed in the making of this beer.”
Translation: It’s fresh, not fruity. Drink without embarrassment.
Runoff, ODell Brewing Co
Fort Collins, Colorado
From the brewers: “Runoff boasts a hearty backbone and a ruby hue. The brew is dry-hopped with a generous amount of American hops, giving the beer a fruity citrus aroma and a kick of grapefruit and pine hop character.”
Translation: Have you ever licked a tree? It’s like that, but tastier. And without the sap.
Road Warrior, Green Flash Brewing Co.
San Diego, California
From the brewers: “Columbus and Mosaic hops, rich crystal malts and a touch of spicy rye malt build a mildly sweet, tannic base for Mosaic and Amarillo dry hopping. With layers of hop flavor and aroma, Road Warrior offers an amazing hop fruitiness that lends to the beer’s overall drinkability.”
Translation: At 9% ABV, please do not operate heavy machinery (i.e., your lawnmower) while drinking this beer.
Belgium is a beautiful country in the Springtime, what with the atmospheric monasteries brimming with monks and beer. No plans to visit Belgium this spring? It’s okay—you can still pretend. Spring ushers in Belgian-style beers that may be lighter in color, but still rack up the higher ABVs that you’ve come to expect.
Three to Try:
Spring Blonde, New Belgium Brewery
Fort Collins, Colorado
The brewers say: “Brewed with pale and Munich malts, this golden ale pours bright copper and holds a strong, white head aloft. A nose of lemon peel, pepper, and fresh baked bread entice a sipping. Spring Blonde drinks malty, sweet and wonderful and the easy Nugget hopping pedals towards a dry, lightly bitter finish.”
Translation: Save the airfare and taste a bit of Belgium in the privacy of your own home.
Orabelle, Great Divide Brewing Company
From the brewers: “This Belgian-Style Tripel is a golden beauty. Its two yeast strains, orange peel and dash of coriander impart surprising complexity and richness to this delicate ale.”
Translation: Like many women, this beer will smoothly knock your socks off.
Infidel, Selkirk Abbey Brewing Company
Post Falls, Idaho
From the brewers: “The assertive, citrus hoppiness of an American IPA unites with the traditional spicy notes of a Belgian-style pale ale to create a bold, beautiful, palate-pleasing brew.”
Translation: Being indecisive can pay off in a big way.
And one more for the road…
For those who read the above descriptions and are thinking, “I just want a simple lager,” here’s your beer.
Vienna Lager, Full Sail Brewing Company
Hood River, Oregon
From the brewers: “For those who love amber ales, here’s a Limited Edition Lager that is so crazy good, you might convert to lagerism. This copper colored lager is refreshingly smooth, with a hint of dark roast and a clean hoppy finish.”
Translation: With this beer, you can drink a lager and still retain your street cred.
Hero Image Photo Credit- themoderngladiator.com