Dogfish Head / New Belgium
Dogfish Head / New Belgium

6 Seasonal Beers to Try This Spring

Dogfish Head / New Belgium
Dogfish Head / New Belgium

As the snow begins to melt, beer drinkers can finally put down their stouts and come out into the sunlight to enjoy some lighter, fruitier beers. Here are some new springtime brews to enjoy in the warmer weather. 

1. DOGFISH HEAD BEER TO DRINK MUSIC TO '17

With warm weather comes music festivals, and the craft beer fanatics at Delaware's Dogfish Head brewery spend time each year concocting the perfect beer to drink while enjoying some outdoor tunes. This year's version is a juicy and refreshing beer that comes with noticeable, yet restrained, notes of hibiscus and kiwi, which bring the whole summery flavor together. You can find the beer in six-packs in most northeast beer stores until May. As an official beer of Record Store Day, the pink-tinted ale is the perfect beer to enjoy while listening to your favorite vinyl.

2. WIDMER HEFE HOPFRUIT

Widmer Brothers Brewing found so much success with its original take on Hefeweizen, that this year they're releasing a whole Hefe lineup. The Hefe Hopfruit is out now, with Hefe Berry Lime and Blood Orange soon to follow. So what's a hopfruit? In this case, it's a lot of grapefruit, which pairs quite nicely with the hazy, light beer. With a 4.6 percent ABV, the shandy is perfect for throwing back on a perfect spring day.

3. NEW BELGIUM JUICY WATERMELON

There used to be a time when watermelon-flavored beer would raise many eyebrows. Today, the summer fruit can be found in beloved beers like 21st Amendment Brewery's Hell or High Watermelon and Anderson Valley's Briney Melon Gose. Now New Belgium is joining the mix with their own Juicy Watermelon addition. The light, fruit flavor is sure to make for an addictive spring favorite. 

4. SAINT ARNOLD RASPBERRY AF

Texas' oldest craft brewery is showing its age with a little bit of outdated teen slang in the name of its latest release. Its new tart Berliner weisse, which will be sold in cans, packs a huge raspberry punch. Apparently, the brewers filled eight red wine barrels in their brewery with different fruit. A taste test of the finished barrels determined raspberry to be the best tasting, so now we have Raspberry AF. Each batch contains 405,000 raspberries and 3000 pounds of raspberry puree to really get that fruity taste. With an ABV of only 3.7 percent, the beer is light enough to be enjoyed with every meal.

5. BOULEVARD SHOW ME SOUR

Boulevard Brewing Company's new Show Me Sour beer is part of their new sour series (a Berliner weisse will join the series in August). The super tart beer is the result of a collaboration between Boulevard's brewmaster Steven Pauwels and Side Project Brewing owner/brewer Cory King. The brand's sour beers are available in six packs in the greater Kansas region.

6. LEFT HAND WELL PLAYED RED IPA

This aromatic red ale from Colorado's Left Hand Brewing Company pours into the glass with a nice amber color. Despite being an IPA, the 6.8 percent ABV beer is more malty than hoppy in taste, and its smooth texture makes it work well as a satisfying drink at the end of a warm spring day. 

BONUS: TRULY SPIKED & SPARKLING LEMON AND YUZU

If you're trying to cut some calories in time for the beach this summer, then you might want to try one of the many spiked seltzers that have been hitting the shelves recently. The Truly Spiked & Sparkling line of seltzers offers five percent ABV drinks with just 100 calories and one gram of sugar per bottle. Their new flavor, lemon and yuzu, is a refreshing way to welcome the warmer weather. Unlike other spiked seltzers, the drink hides its alcohol content well and delivers a truly un-boozy taste.

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The Annual Festivals That Draw the Most People in Every State
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iStock

Every state has that one big event each year that draws residents from across the region or even across the nation. Louisiana has Mardi Gras. Kentucky has the Kentucky Derby. South Dakota has Sturgis. Genfare, a company that provides fare collection technology for transit companies, recently tracked down the biggest event in each state, creating a rundown of the can't-miss events across the country.

As the graphic below explores, some states' biggest public events are national music and entertainment festivals, like Bonnaroo in Tennessee, SXSW in Texas, and Summerfest in Wisconsin—which holds the world record for largest music festival.

Others are standard public festival fare. Minnesota hosts 2 million people a year at the Minnesota State Fair (pictured above), the largest of its kind in the U.S. by attendance. Mardi Gras celebrations dominate the events calendar in Missouri, Alabama, and, of course, Louisiana. Oktoberfest and other beer festivals serve as the biggest gatherings in Ohio (home to the nation's largest Oktoberfest event), Oregon, Colorado, and Utah.

In some states, though, the largest annual gatherings are a bit more unique. Some 50,000 people each year head to Brattleboro, Vermont for the Strolling of the Heifers, a more docile spin on the Spanish Running of the Bulls. Montana's biggest event is Evel Knievel Days, an extreme sports festival in honor of the famous daredevil. And Washington's biggest event is Hoopfest, Spokane's annual three-on-three basketball tournament.

Mark your calendar. Next year could be the year you attend them all.

A graphic list with the 50 states pictured next to information about their biggest events
Genfare
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Alexa Can Now Help You Find a Wine Pairing
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iStock

Even if you enjoy wine regularly, you may not know exactly how you’re supposed to pair it with food. But you don’t have to be a sommelier to put together a good pairing at home. According to Lifehacker, you can just ask Alexa.

An Alexa skill called Wine Finder is designed to help you figure out which wine varietal would go best with whatever food you’re planning to eat. You just have to ask, “What wine goes well with … ”

Created by an app developer called Bloop Entertainment, the Amazon Echo skill features a database with 500 wine pairings. And not all of them are designed for someone working their way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking. The skill will also help you find the proper pairing for your more casual snacks. In one demo, the skill recommends pairing nachos with a Sauvignon blanc or Zinfandel. (Note that the latter also goes well with Frito pie.)

You can also ask it to find you the perfect wine to drink with apple pie and pizza, in addition to the meats, cheeses, and other wine-pairing staples you might expect. However, if you ask it what to pair with hot dogs, it says “water,” which is an affront to hot dog connoisseurs everywhere.

There are a few other wine-pairing skills available for Alexa, including Wine Pairings, Wine Pairings (two different skills), and Wine Expert. But according to user reviews, Wine Finder is the standout, offering more and higher-quality suggestions than some of the other sommelier apps.

It’s free to enable here, so drink up.

[h/t Lifehacker]

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