More than just a stopgap: spring brews provide myriad options

It’s springtime, and, when it comes to having a drink, all you can think of is that Sangria glinting in your glass as you soak up the summer sun. Yet, it’s still too soon. Spring is just the in-between season — a chance for nature to freshen up a bit after a miserable winter. While summer — still months away — holds the promise of light and crisp beers, herby, fresh cocktails and fruity wines. 

Not entirely a season to wish away, spring has one of the most diverse beer selections you can find all year. 

So break out your Pitt-themed beer glasses and try some new brews while you’re in the early spring rain. 

Spring holds a diversity not found during other seasons, making it a heavenly season for beer aficionados keen on a wider variety. With a selection spanning from heady, malty winter brews to lighter summer beers, the choice is yours. 

Here is a selection of brews for any spring occasion, be it a drizzly day, a picnic in Schenley Park or prime time for a pint on your porch. 


Rainy spring day brew: 

Deschutes Red Chair Northwest Pale Ale


This spring brew has a nice balance of citrus, hops and malts that blend to form an all-around crowd pleaser. Unlike its IPA brethren, Red Chair Northwest Pale Ale is not awash in bitter hops, which makes room for a sweeter flavor and fresher taste. It is best paired with seafood or pulled pork tacos.  


Spring picnic: Widmer 

Brothers Brewing Company Columbia Common Spring Ale 


Brewed with a combination of three different hops, this beer has a crisp, light and dry taste. Underlying fruity notes, especially of lemon, make this a go-to for a nice sunny day. Like the Red Chair Northwest Pale Ale, it has a malty streak to balance the hops, leading to a full flavor with a floral spark. Widmer Brothers also employs environmentally friendly bottling practices, so cheers to that. 


Substantial spring beer: 

Brouwerij Het Anker, Gouden Carolus Easter Beer


Although, the fuzzy bunny on the label belies the rich, heady depth of this 10-percent-alcohol brew, this full-bodied Belgian ale is great all season long. It is a mouthful of spice — cinnamon, cloves and anise — along with a burst of citrus peel. The malty nature of the ale makes this a full-bodied brew, perfect for a beer junkie who is sick of crisp IPAs. Try this brew with the leftover Easter ham and scalloped potatoes your mom forced upon you. 


Summer brew:

 Samuel Smith’s Organic Apricot Ale


Even if you hate the idea of a fruity beer, close your eyes and try this ale. It’s sweet and creamy with hints of vanilla, but a nice tang from the apricots keeps it from turning into a creamsicle. Floral notes round out each pour, and the golden hue glints in your glass. It is absolutely divine when served with a bowl of vanilla ice cream or alongside a steaming plate of chicken korma.

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