I had the opportunity to chat about spring beers on eightWest this week. Here’s the segment, in case you missed it!
It is a great time to be a beer lover, with Founders KBS being released last week in Founders’ tap-room, and at various brew-pub release parties, and Bell’s Oberon being released this week. These much-loved beers are like the robins of the beer world: positive signs that spring is here… or… coming soon to a yard near me?!
Oberon, made by Bell’s brewing in Kalamazoo is a wheat beer with a light citrus flavor. Some choose to enhance the citrus notes with an orange garnish, which is almost as synonymous as the Oberon sun itself. When Oberon is released, it’s typically around the first day of spring… and, as the sun logo implies, it’s best enjoyed outdoors.
Right here in Grand Rapids, Harmony Brewing also released a spring beer. Flower Power is one of the first collaborative beers Harmony released just after they opened a couple years ago. Flower Power is a Green Tea Chamomile Pale Ale. YUM! Harmony traditionally releases Flower Power every year on the spring equinox. This beer, even though it pours a beautiful dark amber color, tastes very light, with a few floral notes sneaking up on you to balance it out.
With spring on the horizon, everyone is anxious to get out of the house — whether that’s in your backyard or on the deck of your lakeshore cottage, you’ll want a good portable beer that won’t knock you down. Cans are becoming much more of a staple these days. They are better for the environment and easier to carry, especially if you go somewhere with a glass-free policy.
As an IPA lover, I’ve been a big fan of Founders All-Day IPA… and it will remain a staple in my fridge and cooler. However, I’ve fallen madly in love with Grand Rabbits from Black Rocks brewery out of Marquette in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Grand Rabbits is a cream ale that pours out like liquid sunshine. The flavor is light, and with low alcohol and calories, it’s easy to drink as your cares melt away on the beach, or around a fire-pit in your backyard.
I also highly recommend finding a stainless steel growler. I love mine from Greenbush out of Sawyer, MI (a must-stop for any Michigan-beer lover heading to or from Chicago). Even though the growler carries a Greenbush logo, most breweries chose to be collaborative over competitive and will not bat an eyelash filling a growler from another brewery. Stainless steel growlers will keep your beer fresher longer, are lighter to carry, and won’t break. You’ll see more breweries with this style of growler soon.
What’s your favorite spring beer? Maybe if we all start drinking like it’s spring, it will melt the rest of this white stuff a little faster.