by Brian Cullen
You wouldn’t know it by the strange mix of winter and summer weather with no happy medium [editor's note: unless it's perfect in your city right now], but believe it or not, it’s still springtime! May as well celebrate the season by tipping back a few pints at your favorite bar. Not sure what to order? Never fear – Man Cave Daily is here to walk you through the particulars.
Now, spring beers are a little different than their seasonal counterparts. Other seasons have go-to styles – for instance, a frigid December shrinks in the face of a perfect Winter Warmer. But because of the scattershot nature of the season (will it be sunny outside? Chilly? Rainy?) spring doesn’t really have a trademark style. And you know what that means: you’ll just have to get out there and try a variety of different beers. Sure, it’ll take some effort, but hard work never killed anybody. Except John Henry. And that guy who became Robocop. Anyway, here are some of our favorites:
Ayinger Celebrator Doppelbock – Traditionally, Bocks were consumed early on in springtime to celebrate the dawn of the season. This is because 1) their higher-the-average alcohol content helped shake off the early season chill and 2) Germans love drankin’ things! While Bocks are tasty in their own right, we prefer a good strong Doppelbock (literally “Double Bock” – which means more hooch!). And there’s no finer example than Ayinger’s world-famous Celebrator. Malty, creamy, and with just a hint of dried fruit, this is the doppelbock that other doppelbocks dress up as for Halloween.
Perfect for: Those spring days that are deceitfully cold (meaning either the temperature or your outlook on life. Really, none of our business).
Victory Storm King Stout – Generally speaking, strong stouts are better suited to fend off the winter months (We’ve actually trained a St. Bernard to follow us around with a cask of the stuff every January). But rainy April days are a little more manageable with a pint of dark stuff next to you, too. Our pick? The big, bold Storm King Stout from Victory Brewing. This massive beer has hints of chocolate, molasses, licorice, and a touch more bitterness than you’d expect from the style. Careful though: clocking in 9.1% ABV, you don’t want to knock back too many of these. You know, unless Gail won’t call you back.
Perfect for: Those rainy days when it seems like the sun’ll never shine, Midge. Crops ain’t gonna grow this year. Dry up those tears, love, and hand me my bottle opener. Gonna be a long season.
Allagash White – This is just our opinion, but we’ve always thought that the U.S. does a great job with IPAs, stouts and experimental beers, while pilsners and wheat beers are epitomized over in Europe. But Allagash White is an exception so loud that it’s making us reconsider our own personal bias. This Maine brewery puts out a refreshing, crispy, yeasty, musty nuclear-orange wheat beer that might just be a perfect example of the style. And, since it’s a wheat beer, it’s healthy. I think. I don’t actually know how science works.
Perfect for: The perfect day. Any time the sun is shining, the temperature is warm and you’ve got nothing penciled in, you should kick back with 1 or 12 of these beauties.
Sixpoint Harbinger Saison – As long as you’re tossing them back like some kind of heartbroken private eye, you may as well support the local favorites at Sixpoint Brewing. Their Harbinger saison eschews current beer trends (MORE ALCOHOL! MORE HOPS! EXPLOSIONS!) for a lighter, more refreshing beer that’s perfectly designed for the season. Bready, citrusy and floral, this beer is the perfect way to top off your spring.
Perfect for: Those late May days when the weather is just starting to flirt with the June heat. I guess it’d also work when you’re trying to flirt with June Heat, headlining dancer at the Neon Pocono Lounge. But hey, we ain’t judging.
Whatever they’re selling at the ball park.
To us, the best part about beer is the conversation it engenders. If you’re spending too much time talking about “hints of blackcurrant” and a “creamy mouthfeel”, and not enough time talking about Bryce Harper’s OBPS, you may be doing it wrong. So kick back and enjoy the season with a tall, frosty whatever’s-on-tap while you’re watching the hard fightin’ Brooklyn Cyclones try to make it to the Bigs.
In the meantime, stay safe, drink well, and we’ll be back with more suggestions come the summertime.
Brian previously weighed in on What Tebow Means to NY (Practically Nothing). –>