Author: Malin Norman
After the dark, heavy, sweet and malty winter warmers, we are ready for something a little bit lighter, something more easy drinking and perhaps with a promise of the forthcoming season. But what makes for a good springtime beer?
Whilst beers in winter tend to be sweet and heavy, to keep us warm during the cold months, the spring beers are dryer and crisper, bringing hope of warmer, sunnier days outdoors. When looking into what a typical springtime beer is, one of the first that pops up is Bock, which is released to celebrate the coming time of bloom. Stronger than a typical lager, dark amber in colour and with robust malt flavours and light hoppines, Bock can certainly be a great transition beer.
A tasty session IPA is always a lovely idea, actually regardless of season. This beer style has hop-dominant flavour but with lower alcohol levels, making it more sessionable. Interestingly, American craft brewers have developed White IPA as a late winter/spring beer. This is a marriage between American IPA and Belgian Wit. A fruity and refreshing version of an IPA, but with a lighter colour, less body, and featuring the distinctive yeast and spice that is typical of a Wit.
Spring is the time for rebirth, regrowth and renewal, and the start of the green period is nice for enjoying beers with a bit of fresh hops, which make for slightly lighter and yet pleasantly bitter beers. Another favourite springtime flavour is pine, which brewers achieve with certain hops. A great way to dive into those spring beer feelings.
Another worthy option is Kölsch. This clean, crisp, delicately-balanced beer usually comes with a subtle fruit and hop character. Or why not try some delicious farmhouse ales such as Saison, a highly carbonated Belgian style fermented with wild yeast. Historically low in alcohol but tend to be boozier these days. Pale and refreshing with tangy and peppery notes, this is a good way to awake from the cold months and face the terrace or garden.
Getting into the spring beer mood yet? There are plenty more options. If you like hops, try Brut IPA with the bone-dry aspect of Champagne in an IPA, or a tasty tropical IPA with pineapple and mango. Or perhaps some of those more sessionable sours or wheat beers, like an uplifting, tart and low-alcohol Berliner Weisse, although this is probably even more suitable for the warmer months.
Malin’s top spring beers:
Saison Dupont Bio (5.5%). A really nice thirst-quencher. Complex but also light, with a touch of citrus. One of the first organic beers.
Beavertown Neck Oil Session IPA (4.3%). Heaps of flavour in a light, invigorating beer with floral fruity notes. As the brewery states; “Our any day, any time, easy drinking, go to IPA.”
Stone White Ghost Berliner Weisse (4.7%). A modern take on a classic Berliner, with citrusy and refreshing flavour and slightly higher ABV.
Pictures: Stone Brewing