1. Victory Brewing Company Headwaters Pale Ale, Pennsylvania (Pale Ale, 5.1 ABV)–This is my official beer of the spring. Amazing focus and intensity for a lighter ABV ale. Beautiful floral depth, a crystal-clean profile and a nice whiff of hoppy, refreshing bitterness. I’ll have three, please.
2. Stone Brewing Co. Levitation, California (Amber Ale, 4.4 ABV)–OK, this is my other official beer of the spring (and maybe summer). The dark malts show up a bit more than in the Headwaters and the pointed hopping is in just the right frequency. 4.4% ABV? You gotta be kidding me. I’ll have three, please.
3. Dogfish Head Craft Brewery My Antonia, Delaware (Imperial Pilsner, 7.5 ABV)–Imperial pilsners are quickly becoming a favorite category. This is a voluptuous, silky beer with good bready weight, medium hopping and an unctuous, off-sweet finish. A great, filling alternative when those profoundly bitter Double IPA’s get to be too much.
4. Brasserie Jandrain-Jandrenouille IV, Belgium (Saison/Farmhouse Ale, 6.5 ABV)–A more concentrated, masculine style of saison with superb balance, light citrus notes, no real funk to speak of and a good bit of hopping at the finish. An evening saison, I’d say.