2015’s Springtime Beers Bring Springtime Cheers
Has it been months since you’ve seen the sun, or been able to step outside and enjoy a frosty brew without your fingers going numb? Are you tired of wearing gloves every damn time you want to catch a buzz? Wait no longer, friends, because the spring beers are coming and they bring a whole bunch of good springtime cheers with them. So shut up, drink up, and don’t miss a single one.
Ballast Point Habanero Sculpin
Available: Now, limited supply
Starting off hot, we look to the San Diego-based Ballast Point and their spicy little mama to kick off the ensuing warm weather. “The India pale ale with the heat of haberno peppers that’ll burn something sexy” seemed like too long of a name for a 12-ounce beer, but that doesn’t make Ballast Point’s limited edition any less fiery.
Rye Like an Eagle
Available: March 4
The 22-ounce barrel-aged Imperial rye brown ale from Beachwood Brewing in Long Beach, California has taken its time to get here, but at long last she’s arrived. Aged slowly and steadily over the course of a year in American rye whiskey barrels, this fun play on words will wake you up just right with its toffee, oak, vanilla and dark fruit taste and intoxicating aroma. Just don’t forget to sing “Fly Like an Eagle” while you drink it at very loud decibels.
Sierra Nevada 2015 Beer Camp Hoppy Lager
Available: March, one time only
This little trooper stands out from the pack as the ultimate spring brew. After a series of “colla-beer-ations” with a dozen different breweries, the hoppy goodness of a reimagined Ballast Point collaboration was too good to pass up. A mix of El Dorado bittering hops, Equinox finishing hops and five kinds of malts, including caramel and pilsner, Beer Camp takes the delicious lager taste to a happy hoppy place. With several new brews on the move from Sierra Nevada, this looks to be the best and brightest for your spring enjoyment — but for one time only.
Great Lakes Holy Moses White Ale
Named after its founder, Moses Cleaveland, Holy Moses is a light white with the spiced Belgium taste of orange peel, chamomile, and coriander. Its Hallertauer hops give just a little hop taste, while it stands mostly for refreshment and day-drinkability. This colorful character goes great with seafood, just like a springtime beer should.
Star Hill Reviver Red IPA
Available: February 1
A tropical, citrus, throw into the piney, floral earthiness of a red ale, Reviver is the IPA from Star Hill that’ll put some color in those cheeks. And no, we weren’t talking about those cheeks. With Pilsner, wheat, crystal and chocolate malted barley and a number of kettle and dry hops to add to the citric taste, Reviver finds its way to a perfect balance between the loads of good flavor. Anymore flavor and those cheeks might explode.
Full Sail Vintage Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout
Available: February (until it’s gone)
The beer formerly known as Black Gold was brewed up in the cold winter of 2013 and is just about to make it to the shelves for a spring transition, marked in inky black goodness from aged barrels and wreaking of the sweetness of dried cherry, whiskey and chocolate. The extensive aging allows for more oak and bourbon taste on your tongue, a smooth elegance you’d normally have to pay good money for, and its alcohol content is nothing to shake a stick at either.
Saint Arnold Summer Pils
Available: April 15 to August
More of a both spring and summer seasonal, the Summer Pils from Saint Arnold will be around for some extensive enjoyment, which gives us time to appreciate its true Bohemian style brewing, delicate in its sweet malty kisses but abundant in its hoppy aroma. Pulling only the best German malts and the top notch noble hops from Czech Republic, the Summer Pils is coming for an early spring treat. Bottoms up, boys.
Harpoon Big Squeeze
Available: April 1
If April showers bring May flowers, then it must be raining Big Squeeze because this shandy makes everything look like a perfect spring day when it’s packed cold and sliding down your tongue. This hazy orange wheat with a big head has the brightness of spring and the tartness of a touch of grapefruit. However you like it -bottle, draft, can – it’s there for you in all its refreshing crisp spring taste.
Santa Fe Irish Red Ale
Available: March through April
Don’t let the simplicity of its can fool you; there’s a whole lot packed in this punch red can from Santa Fe Brewing Company. Irish Red is subtle in hop taste, but it’s the mother of all malt flavors for all malt lovers. Brewed in high quality barley and golden oats, Irish Red is booming with caramel and chocolatey notes as it slides full body down your gullet to a dry finish, like a Slip ‘n Slide that could use a little water at the end. The only difference is you’ll be coming back for more with the Irish Red.
New Belgium Summer Helles
Available: April 15
Light and easy, just the way we like springtime to be. Planet Bluegrass’ signature drink, formerly Summer Bliss, is the Summer Helles. They weren’t mistaken when they named it Summer Bliss though, as this baby is a brilliant golden trophy worthy of a hundred kisses, or as many as we can take before passing out. With fresh grains and sweet honey to go with its spicy twang, New Belgium has created a spring beer worth a million sunny tributes, and there are probably a number of bluegrass songs written in this sexy blonde lager’s honor.