Readers loved our Spring Beer Review so much that we decided to pop another six for you! It was hard work but we survived. Here’s to Spring!
1809 is a re-creation of the unusual Berliner-Weisse style — a refreshing, light-bodied, German wheat ale characterized by a lactic tartness. In fact the recipe includes Lactobacillus, the same bacterial culture used to make yogurt. Berliner Weisse known as a summer treat in many places, but we can’t wait that long.
Pour this hazy straw-colored ale into a tall glass. You’ll find ripe Meyer lemon, hay and fresh grass in the nose. It drinks like a light hefeweizen but with a zingy, lemon yogurt tartness. There’s a subtle creaminess in the mouthfeel that fans of this style find irresistibly satisfying. The wheat body provides soft backing notes of fruit and grain. A great refresher all spring and summer long, especially since this style tends to clock in between three and five percent!
(Pro tip: Can’t find it? Look for White Birch Brewing’s Berliner Weisse in a yellow can! Excellent American version of this brew.)
Freising, GER, 5%
Anchor Steam Beer
Anchor Brewing’s Steam Beer is the defining example of Steam Beer, one of the only brews with American roots. First brewed in Gold Rush-era San Francisco, this approachable amber lager has the characteristics of an ale. Think of it as the mellow west coast cousin of Sam Adams Boston Lager. Northern Brewer hops, known for their herbal and woody aromas, provide a somewhat gritty but moderate hop profile. Pale and Caramel Malts balance the brew with a toffee sweetness. A strong carbonation keeps this medium-bodied beer light on its toes.
The nose presents hints of caramel and pine but ultimately this is a beer that simply smells like, well, beer! Rightly so. A less sophisticated style than most modern craft brews, Steam Beer was first produced to slake the thirst of tired miners and sailors. Do your part and pop one in the park. A great beer for any Opening Day!
San Francisco, CA, 4.9%
Brasserie de la Senne Taras Boulba
A gorgeously dry Belgian pale ale. This beer is hopped like an American pale but unmistakably refined like a true Belgian. The nose is fresh, damp, earthy and faintly floral, somewhere between jasmine flowers and roses. The sip is dry, bitter, almost champagne-y. Slight notes of orange peel and wheat flit by. The finish is tightly bitter, with traces of yeast and jasmine flower.
This would make an excellent alternative to some bubbly on a picnic, especially paired with roast chicken or pan-fried fish!
Brussels, BEL, 4.5%
Lord Hobo Brewing Hobo Life Session IPA
Fresh like fiddleheads. Dank notes of raw sourdough consort with herbal and citrus hop aromas in the nose. A Citra dry-hop session provides juicy notes of grapefruit and key lime that pop on the palate, yet the brew remains light and effervescent. A pale biscuit maltiness with tinges of toasted caramel rounds out the sip. The flavor lightens towards the end, finishing clean. Definitely a session IPA but with more flavor than usual, because why not? Another great one for working up to full IPA hoppiness in weeks to come.
Woburn, MA, 4.5%
Alpine Brewing Duet IPA
Speaking of which, here is an IPA to hit your stride with as the days get warmer. Big aromas of tropical fruits and flowers rise from the glass when you pour this purebred west coast IPA. Bursts of fresh-squeezed tropical fruit (we got grapefruit, mango, sour cherry and green apple!), spruce and even skunky cannabis greet the palate. A caramel malt backbone and bright lemony notes frame the sipping experience. Despite a full orchestra of flavors, this brew still finishes light and clean. All around a graceful and gratifying west coast IPA. Hell yeah.
Alpine, CA, 7%
Stone Enjoy By 4.20.16
Call it art, call it hubris, call it an affront to science. Whatever you call it, Stone’s Enjoy By series is always fun. Each release is a one-time brew of intense magnitude, “brewed specifically NOT to last,” according to Stone. Every super-hopped batch must be enjoyed fresh, hence its name. Enjoy By 4.20.16 is a “devastatingly dank” double IPA brewed with ten strains of luscious hops! Huge waves of ripe tropical fruit are peppered with a piney spice. The palate reels in ecstasy. A broad, honey-sweet malt body manages to balance the load. The brew remains just crisp and dry enough to be way more more drinkable than an Imperial IPA ought to be! Definitely a far out tribute to an already groovy day of the year. Cheers!
Escondido, CA, 9.4%