Nectar Of The Gods: Best Craft Beers For Spring

(Photo from Craft Beer Cellar)
Craft Beer Cellar In Belmont Picks For Spring 2012
Spring is about baseball, flowers in bloom, more daylight, temperatures rising, and of course, celebrating it all with the nectar of the gods. This is where our friends (and beer experts) at Craft Beer Cellar in Belmont come in. Owners Kate and Suzanne know beer. They stock close to 800 different beers in their store. 800!!! Kate and Suzanne were kind enough to tell us their favorite brews for Spring 2012. Check ‘em out!
(Photo from Craft Beer Cellar)
Mayflower Brewing Company (Plymouth, MA) 5.3% abv
Mayflower Spring Hop
A lovely wee hoppy red ale that is sure to put a smile on your face. Wonderful biscuity malt is complimented by five different hop varietals. A great beer for the cooler days of spring, as its red hues offer a little bit of warmth.
Mayflower Brewing Company (Plymouth, MA) 5.3% abv
The Bruery (Orange County, CA)  6.5% abv
Saison de Lente
So this is one of those slightly funky saisons that is reminiscent of a barnyard . ... a clean barnyard, maybe? Brettanomyces is a wild yeast that adds woodsy, earthy, and rustic character to beers and we LOVE IT! Known in the craft beer world as BRETT, many brewers are reluctant to bring this yeast into their brewhouse for fear of funkin’ up the place. The Bruery has proven experience in getting’ funky. Saison de Lente has a dry-hopped character that bodes well with its brett personality; perfect for spring fun.
The Bruery (Orange County, CA) 6.5% abv
Peak Brewing Company (Portland, ME) 5.4% abv
Peak Simcoe Spring
When we’re not jammin’ on hops, we enjoy well-made pale ales that are easy-drinking, but offer some hop flavor – this beer does that. With 100% simcoe hops, you’ll find an extremely pleasant piney aroma and hop flavor that quenches your thirst and makes you want another.
Peak Brewing Company (Portland, ME) 5.4% abv
Ithaca Brewery (Ithaca, NY) 6.2% abv
Ithaca Ground Break Saison
If nothing else, try a saison in honor of the changing seasons – this one is kinda cool, with the addition of rye, which further lends to a spicy character. Dry-hopped with three different varietals, you’ll pick up notes of citrus in the super-clean finish.
Ithaca Brewery (Ithaca, NY) 6.2% abv
Long Trail Brewing Company (Bridgewater Corners, VT) 4.6% abv
Long Trail Pollenator
A light, easy-drinking pale ale with a simplicity like the days of spring. Its light amber color glistens with the sunshine and its grassy nose & crisp character are complemented by what seems to be a touch of honey added in the brew kettle. An uber-light American pale ale that is oh, so drinkable.
Long Trail Brewing Company (Bridgewater Corners, VT) 4.6% abv
Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales (Milton, DE) 7% abv
Dogfish Head Aprihop
Okay, we’re hop heads. So what? What’s better than an IPA with fresh apricots? Not much. A stand alone beer with Amarillo hops, boasting citrus notes, both in the aroma & flavor; good balance in bitterness, too - just the thing to get ya in the mood for warmer days.
Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales (Milton, DE) 7% abv
Abita Brewing Company (Abita Springs, LA) 6.5% abv
Abita Mardi Gras Bock
All Abita beers are brewed with spring water from Abita Springs, which makes them easy-drinking and clean. This maibock is a nice copper color, packed full of pale & caramel malt, and offers a slightly toasted flavor. We like it for the Mardi Gras season; Mardi Gras or ‘Fat Tuesday’ is February 21st, by the way!
Abita Brewing Company (Abita Springs, LA) 6.5% abv
Anchor Brewing Company (San Francisco, CA) 5.5% abv
Anchor Bock
Bock roughly translates as ‘billy goat’ in German and a goat signifies the coming of spring. This style of beer was intended to be darker than a breweries original or “everyday” beer, and voila, Anchor brings us a bock beer. A complex brew, with big notes of caramel, roasted barley, & chocolate, yet light enough to allow for more than one.
Anchor Brewing Company (San Francisco, CA) 5.5% abv
Cambridge Brewing Company, Cambridge, MA (6% abv)
Sgt. Pepper Saison
Saison (not pictured) or 'season' was originally brewed for the workers, to be consumed in the summer months – a light, refreshing, golden ale, with a slightly funky yeasty (Belgian) flavor; crispy & dry with some spicy or peppery notes. Will Myer’s version is all this and a whole lot more, and by whole, we mean a heap of whole peppercorns, which adds awesome spiciness. One heck-of-a-saison that also happens to be a great food beer.
Cambridge Brewing Company, Cambridge, MA (6% abv)
Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project (Somerville, MA) 8.5% abv  **April release date**
Pretty Things - Fluffy White Rabbits
Our top pick for a perfect spring beer; a slightly hoppy Belgian-styled tripel, that’s a beautiful pale golden color, strong enough to awaken your senses, and smells of a grassy field, which reminds us of early spring days. PS: Martha & Dann Paquette (of Pretty Things) are amazing, local craft beer people!
Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project (Somerville, MA) 8.5% abv **April release date**
(Photo credit: SAMUEL KUBANI/AFP/Getty Images)
Craft Beer Cellar In Belmont Picks For Spring 2012
So, try one, or try 'em all. Tell us if you have a favorite that's not on the list. Check out our friends at Craft Beer Cellar in Belmont www.bostoncraftbeercellar.com . And check back at the start of Summer for another 'Best Seasonals' list.
(Photo credit: SAMUEL KUBANI/AFP/Getty Images)
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