Spring—a time for new beginnings. For beer drinkers spring can signify the time to start weaning themselves off of thick, dark beers and instead go for something a little lighter. I’m in the process of doing this myself, and I have some excellent suggestions for those looking to do the same.
Most of these beer are new, but some are just new to me. That said, let me introduce you to six beers I recently tried and recommend.
Left Hand Brewing just released two new sessionable raspberry beers:
- Flamingo Dreams Nitro (4.7% ABV). Left Hand does it again with another stellar nitro beer. This one, brewed with blackcurrants and raspberries is smooth, creamy, and delightful. Don’t forget to pour hard!
- Wheels Gose Round (4.4% ABV). This gose is fruity (raspberry and lemon) bubbly, and effervescent, much like a framboise. I forsee this being a staple for me this spring and summer. And as if this tasty beer isn’t tempting enough on its own, it benefits the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Since 2008 Left Hand has raised over $3.6 million toward MS awareness and helping fight the disease. With Wheels Gose Round we can all help support this important cause.
Both of these beers are now available year-round and both are low-ABV, so they’re good for all-day sipping.
Odell Brewing introduced two exciting new brews that are basically amped-up versions of existing beers:
- Hammer Chain Fresh Grind Double IPA (8% ABV). In 2017 I tried Odell’s Rupture, a fresh grind ale, created by rupturing the lupulin in the hops. And now comes a hoppier, harder-hitting fresh grind beer in this double IPA. I cracked this open and immediately noticed a bit of sweetness to it; once I read the specifics I saw it’s brewed with sweet stonefruit, which is a nice touch.
- If you’re a fan of 90 Shilling, you’ll definitely want to check this out: in honor of the beer’s 30th anniversary, Odell has released 180 Shilling (part of its Cellar Series), an oak-aged, higher ABV version of the classic. For those used to drinking 90 Shilling take note: this beer comes in at 9.9% ABV, as opposed to 5.3% ABV in the original.
Both of these are limited releases, so get them while they last.
Until recently I wasn’t familiar with Soul Squared Brewing, a farm-based brewery in Wellington, CO specializing in gluten-reduced beers. I tried two of their core beers and, while not brand new, it was my first experience with this brewery:
- Fore Throw Blonde Ale is Soul Squared’s take on a traditional Belgian-style blonde. I don’t drink many blonde ales, but since this is a Belgian-style it was much more flavorful (and more potent at 7.5% ABV) than many American blondes. A well-done, enjoyable beer indeed.
- Rocky Mountain Haze Vermont-Style IPA (6.5% ABV) brewed with Columbus, Mosaic, Citra and Eldorado hops, is great example of a hazy IPA. For me personally, many hazy IPAs are way too hazy. I think Soul Squared found just the right balance in this one. Hazy, but not in an overpowering way.
Now that I got a taste of what Soul Squared can do, I look forward to trying tome of their seasonal/special releases.
What beers help you transition from winter to warmer weather? I hope you will find something you like based on these recommendations, and please feel free to share your favorites with the rest of us!