Despite the snow this morning there have been some recent signs of spring in New England, including occasional sunshine and warm weather this past weekend. As this transition happens I like to switch out some of the dark stouts and porters for lighter bodied beers that complement the warmer weather. Local breweries also begin shipping their spring seasonals (sometimes far to early). Spring seasonal brews trend towards light bodied pale ales, witbiers and saisons. Expect a number of upcoming reviews of spring seasonals in this space, and hopefully some more warm weather to accompany these beers. One new addition to the local lineup of spring seasonals is Ramble from Long Trail Brewing Company in Vermont. Ramble is a German style kolsch, brewed with ale yeast then conditioned at low temperature. Ramble was originally a draft-only special release in 2013, but it was very well recieved and this year became their spring seasonal. Ramble is distributed in 12 ounce bottles and on draft. It is brewed with Carapils and wheat malts, Nugget and Hallertau hops, plus additions of lemon zest and freshly ground peppercorns.
Long Trail Ramble pours a crystal clear golden yellow with a mild white head. There is solid carbonation, evident as you pour. The smell is pretty mild, there are notes of grain, baking bread and a touch of lemon. The taste and body are both light and refreshing. The malts come through first with flavors of crackers, light malt, and a little butter. The German style yeast adds some clove and a little fruity ester character. There is also some mild bitterness from the hops. The lemon and pepper are both present but not assertive, they provide a subtle complement to the malt and yeast flavors. The finish is very clean, and at 5.25% ABV the beer isn’t too heavy. This is a great beer for the upcoming warmer weather. I can easily see myself sipping a few on the porch during a spring afternoon! Hoppy Boston score: 4.0/5.
Previous Long Trail reviews: