Spring is a time of transition. At the beginning of March all of New England was still dealing with significant snowfall and now we have days where shorts and flip-flops are perfect attire. Selections of beer change to complement the evolution of the weather, from dark malty stouts and porters to lighter pale ales and pilsners. I spent the majority of the spring focused on reviewing saisons, a previous post explains WHY I chose the saison style. Tasting many local versions of the style was a fun way to experience the diverse flavor profiles that fall under the saison umbrella. Thus it is no surprise that my favorite beers of the spring contain a few saisons. As always with this type of post, these are the best beers I reviewed in the last three months. Click the titles for a link to the full review.
Rising Tide Calcutta Cutter: A big, hop-bomb double-IPA well balanced by a chewy malt backbone. Tons of flavor here, but still very drinkable.
Jack’s Abby Mass Rising: A true celebration of American hops, pungent aromas and mouth-puckering bitterness. This double IPL also has a crisp and clean finish and is dangerously drinkable considering its high ABV.
Mystic Mary of the Gael: It is no surprise to find a Mystic beer amongst my favorite saisons, it’s the style they specialize in. Fruity and spicy esters are perfectly melded with vibrant hops in this delicious Spring seasonal.
Trillium Farmhouse Ale: The flagship beer of one of the most popular new breweries in New England, and also one of their best. Expressive and flavorful yeast, solid malt backbone and substantial hop flavor. Pretty much everything you want in a great craft beer.
Allagash Saison: It has been years since Allagash added a new year-round beer to their rotation, and it was worth the wait. A classic interpretation of a Belgian style saison, where the fruit and spice notes from the yeast take center stage, well supported by the yeast and hops.
I’ll do another post in the next week or two wrapping up the Spring of Saison. I don’t think I’m doing a theme for my summer beer reviews this year. My focus over the next three months will be to try beers from any New England breweries that I’ve yet to review. I’ll also try a number of summer style beers, mostly witbiers, pilsners, pale ales and kolsch. If you have any suggestions of particular beers or breweries that you’d like to see reviewed let me know in the comments, on twitter @HoppyBoston or on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/hoppyboston). Thanks!
Previous Best Beer posts: