We picked out six of our favorite beers to pair with the delightful scents, sights and sounds of spring! Take a refreshing step out of the ordinary with these unique brews.
THE quintessential Belgian farmhouse ale. Saison Dupont’s delicate balance of flavors makes this beer an ode to spring. A gorgeous bouquet of fresh earth, green grass and orange blossoms greets the nose. Take a moment to smell the cork. A faint, pleasant mustiness nods to a long winter of bottle conditioning, perhaps in an earthen cellar somewhere in the Belgian countryside.
Poured into a tulip glass, this rich, golden ale is a thing of beauty. Its faintly perfumed head is solid and rocky, like a meringue. The first sip is joy — crisp, dry and funky. Just like spring, as this ale warms up, bolder notes of fruit and earth unfold. A honeydew sweetness, notes of fresh hay and a gentle, yeasty bitterness add to the symphony. Perfect for that first warm afternoon, when the sun is strong but the breeze still serves up a chill.
Tourpes, Belgium, 6.5%
A unique, unfiltered lager native to Franconia, Germany. Franconia is renowned for its sweet, mineral-rich water, perfect for brewing lagers like this one. A kellerbier (literally meaning “cellar beer”) is cask conditioned, or “cellared” for an especially long period. The dark amber brew is mellow, with low carbonation but a rich, full body for a lager. Most notable is its malt-forward flavor profile. A persistent, burnt-caramel sweetness is framed by notes of cocoa, toasted grain and even stewed orange. There’s definitely more going on here than your basic German lager.
Something about the flavor and mouthfeel recalls the pleasant coolness of a cave. This beer is chugable, a beautiful thirst-quencher after that first bike ride of the season, but it is perfectly suited for slow sipping too. Dig deep for those more nuanced flavors!
Kulmbach, Germany, 5.4%
Maine Beer Company Mo Pale Ale
We love Mo. This dazzling American Pale is clean, crisp and robust. It boasts a shining hop bouquet that rocks the tastebuds without overpowering them. It is floral, piney, citrusy and absolutely delicious. Each sip has a sparkling dryness akin to grapefruit pith. Couple those bursting hop aromas with a strong carbonation and you get a robust, almost spicy sipping experience. Try this one nice and cold!
Freeport, Maine, 6%
Peak Organic Fresh Cut Pilsner
This dry-hopped American pilsner is tight. Crisp and light-bodied, it features a perfect balance of Citra, Chinook and Centennial hops on the front of the sip. The flavor alights briefly upon a honey-tangerine sweetness then finishes in a dry, herbal, almost perfumey bitterness, the way a pilsner should. It is a flirtatious taste of bigger hop flavors to come, as full-blown IPA weather approaches. A refreshing transition after a season of stouts, porters and spiced ales. Comes in cans, so you can pack some for that first hike.
Portland, Maine, 4.6%
Far from the Tree Nova Hopped Cider
Nova is a rewarding venture out of the ordinary. This clean, dry-hopped cider drinks almost like a sparkling white sangria. Massachusetts cider apples provide the juicy flavors of Granny Smiths, green grape and pineapple. Now add aromatic notes of Thai basil and sweetgrass from Mosaic, Galaxy and Simcoe hops. Hello springtime! A Prosecco-like dryness frames each sweet sip. Weighing in at a formidable 8% ABV, this extravagant cider is not to be taken lightly. Get out there and explore the new!
Salem, Massachusetts, 8%
Mystic Vinland #4
The crew over at Mystic Brewing have this funky project called The Vinland Series. Instead of employing their house-developed yeast strains, they harvest wild yeasts from various New England crops and brew a special sour ale. First they used yeast collected from the skin of a Massachusetts plum. Then it was a Maine blueberry. Last year’s brew featured yeast borrowed from a Vermont raspberry. This year they’re keeping it weird with yeast from Massachusetts-grown barley.
The resulting brew is a tart, refreshing ale. The nose is dry and musky, with oddly pleasant traces of rotten stone fruit. The flavor starts off with a raspberry sourness that rings and fades. Feral yeast notes accompany traces of crab apple, purple grape and mandarin orange — the effect is a little bit like sipping a fruit and cheese plate! (On that note, let this one open up a bit in the glass before you sip.) The flavor mellows out towards the finish into a gentle, hay-like bitterness. A classy way to get weird, just in time for the onset of spring fever.
Chelsea, Massachusetts, 6%