Photo: Maartje van Caspel, Getty Images.
Spring has sprung. Well, at least it’s officially spring according to the calendar. Many people across the country are still digging out from one of the recent snow storms, but that shouldn’t stop us from drinking spring beers. Since it’s still fairly cold out in most of the country, we aren’t ready for yellow, fizzy water just yet. We need something to bridge the gap between the dark stouts and porters of winter and the light summer brews. So here’s the best beers for Spring:
This 5.4% ABV saison is only available for a limited time. Buying a bottle is like the unofficial start of spring because it’s only available every spring. This yeasty brew is full of citrus, apple, and floral character but it’s not one-dimensional. This balanced ale also has a strong malt presence and ends with the banana-like yeast flavor saison drinkers have learned to expect.
Cigar City is one of the most beloved craft breweries in the country and Belgian-style white ales are the perfect beer for spring. Their brew, Florida Cracker, is a really good one. It’s made with un-malted wheat, coriander, and orange peel to create a truly complex wheat beer that is also fermented with Belgian yeast. The result is floral, citrus, with just a hint of spice.
This 6.2% Northwest Pale Ale is only available from January until April so you better grab a few bottles while you still can. They tout the beer as being similar to an IPA but without the bitter hop backbone. It’s also a fairly malty beer, getting its flavor from multiple European as well as American malts. It’s a spring beer for IPA fans who enjoy their beer with a little more character.
The brewery refers to Whizbang as “a hoppy blonde ale”. Everyone likes a blonde, right? This blonde is 5.7% alcohol and chocked full of hops (Nugget, Simcoe, UK Admiral, Mosaic, Centennial) and malts (Pale, Caramel 80, Munich). The flavor is a mix of sweet, sour and a subtle malt finish.
It might seem like a weird combination, but bear with me. Oskar Blues made an IPA that was infused with coffee. Yes, that’s right, coffee. This Simcoe-based IPA is infused with Hotbox Roasters’s Ethiopian coffee beans. This is definitely not a beer that you’ll want to drink right before bed. Maybe this should be the first beer you drink that evening or as a tailgate breakfast beer. At 7.2% alcohol, you also won’t need to drink a lot of these bad boys to catch a buzz (from caffeine or alcohol).
You’ll know spring is on the way when Genny Bock starts hitting the shelves. This delightfully balanced bock beer comes in a can adorned by an adorable cartoon goat. This German-style brew is the perfect way to kick off the spring season. Since it’s only available for a limited time you should probably stock up so you can enjoy it all summer long.