Spring is a transitional season for beers. Dark, boozy and malty beers tend to dominate the cold winter months while light and refreshing beers perfectly complement warm summer days, but there isn’t a particular style that you point to for spring beers. It seems like some breweries skip over the season all together, I saw some summer ales pop up in the grocery store shelves over the last couple weeks, just what you want when it’s 30 degrees. I have a number of styles that I gravitate to in the spring months, Belgian styles like saison, dubbel and tripel are always flavorful and versatile, good for the crazy variety of spring weather in New England. I am also getting into malty lagers like bock and dunkel, which mix full malt flavor with easy drinkability, perfect for the transition from winter into summer. These styles are under-represented in craft breweries, where most lager production focuses on light pilsner or hop-forward American lagers. A few breweries make these malty lagers and do them well. One good example is the aptly named Dunkel Lager from lager-centric Von Trapp Brewing in Vermont. Von Trapp Dunkel Lager is available on draft and in 12 oz bottles year-round.
Von Trapp Dunkel Lager pours cola brown with a mild white head. The scent features some rich roasted malts. These malts also lead the flavor, hints of toffee, roasted nuts and coffee. This is balanced by some old world hops, earthy and floral with a little crisp bitterness at the finish. This is a clean and easy drinking lager, not overly boozy at 5.7% ABV. The finish is crisp with a little lingering malt flavor. This is a really nice beer to drink as winter transitions into spring, plenty of malt flavor but lighter than the boozy stouts and porters from the dark months of winter. Hoppy Boston score: 4.25/5.
Previous Von Trapp Reviews: