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Texas' oldest craft brewery is showing its age with a little bit of outdated teen slang in the name of its latest release.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.