Photo: northwestbeerguide, Flickr
Firestone Walker Solace:
This April marks the first time that the Paso Robles, California, brewery has bottled its spring seasonal. It's worth the wait: The unfiltered Solace combines elements of the German hefeweizen and Belgian saison, creating a tangy refreshment with hints of banana.
Ithaca Ground Break Saison:
Hailing from upstate New York, the hazy, farmhouse-style ale drinks bright and crisp, packing heaps of fruity notes and a spicy-yeast profile. Don't worry: It's not as barnyard-tasting as its Belgian counterparts.
Southampton Biere de Mars:
In his version of the classic French farmhouse style (loosely translated to "March beer"), brewmaster Phil Markowski uses several yeast strains and a cool-fermentation technique to make a smooth sipper with flavors of pear, honey and a little funk.
Shipyard Wheat Ale:
Debuting in May, the Portland, Maine, brewery's latest seasonal is a riff on the cloudy, unfiltered American-style wheat ale. The low ABV (about 4 percent) means you can savor three or four on a summer afternoon.
The Pennsylvania brewery's cloudy, wheat-driven thirst-quencher is lightly spiced with orange peels and coriander. The tart finish makes you want to drink another bottle of this 4.6 percent ABV gem.
The Bruery Saison de Lente:
Brewer Patrick Rue tweaks the light, blonde saison formula by adding a biting hops blast and dosing the brew with Brettanomyces. The wild yeast imparts a rustic, barnyard complexity, like the rolling countryside bottled for consumption.
Ninkasi Spring Reign:
Ninkasi Brewing, the pride of Eugene, Ore., continues its winning streak with this wonderful spring release that marries a biscuity malt backbone to the quintessential West Coast hop aroma and flavor.
Jolly Pumpkin E.S. Bam:
The small-batch Michigan brewery's April release is what brewer Ron Jeffries dubs an "extra-special farmhouse ale." Expect an earthy, hay-like aroma and a slightly sour, hoppy flavor -- it drinks dry, dry, dry.
Left Hand Good Juju Ginger Ale:
The Colorado craft's spring-summer seasonal is brewed with ginger, which makes its presence known both on the nose and in the flavor. Nonetheless, the ginger never overwhelms, owing to a light body and crisp, easy drinkability.
This spring, the Belgian-style brewery unveiled the BPA, a bottle-conditioned, Belgian-style pale ale that pours honey-gold. It's got a nicely resinous hop smell, while retaining that classically yeasty, clove-like Belgian character.
What spring beers will you be sipping? Spill it in the comments.
Joshua M. Bernstein has written about brews, bars and booze for New York Magazine, Time Out New York, ForbesTraveler.com and the New York Times.