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The Best Beers To Chase Down This May

There’s a lot of beer sitting on the shelf or in kegs right now, with millions of gallons in danger of getting wasted. Meanwhile, May is that time of year when craft beer releases kick into high gear. Plus the quarantine has left us in dire need of excitement and new experiences. Three factors that act as a call to action. A rallying cry.

Find new beer this month! Drink it!

If you’re a beer lover, ’tis the season to visit your local brewery and support them in any way that you can (most likely via whatever carry out service they offer). Brewers are having a hard time and there’s no sign of that stopping anytime soon. So get to drinking.

Hopefully, the eight beers we’re calling out this month will pique your interest and help you find something exciting near you. These picks are regional craft beer releases from breweries that we vouch for (we weren’t able to taste them all this month because of the lockdown, so we’re offering tasting notes from the brewer). Each one offers something unique to savor as summer draws near.

PACIFIC NORTHWEST DROP: Alaskan Handcrafted Pilot Series Pineapple Jalapeño Gose

Style: Gose
ABV: 5.8%
Brewery Location: Juneau, AK

The Beer:

This gose is part of Alaskan’s much-sought-after Handcrafted Pilot Series. These are one-off beers that you may never see again. This German beer was brewed with pineapple, ghost peppers, and jalapeno to add a seriously fruity and vegetal depth to the salty and herbaceous style.

Tasting Notes (from the brewer):

“The aroma is dominated by raw jalapeno and juicy pineapple, with a hint of smoke. The flavor is a perfect balance of sweet and heat. The pineapple balances the subtle heat and pepper character, with a light sourness that fades into a sweet finish.”

SOUTHWEST DROP: Sierra Nevada Summerfest

Style: Lager
ABV: 5%
Brewery Location: Chico, CA (& Mills River, NC)

The Beer:

Summerfest is a classic Bohemian pilsner from California. The beer is a yearly drop that never disappoints, especially as the weather heats up. The combination of Two-row Pale, Pilsner, and Munich malts act as the perfect base for the Perle, Saaz, and Spalter Select hops.

Tasting Notes (from the brewer):

“Crisp, golden, dry, and incredibly drinkable, Summerfest has a delicate and complex malt flavor with spicy and floral hop character—the perfect warm-weather beer.”

ROCKY MOUNTAIN DROP: New Belgium Sparkling Lime Lager

Style: Lager
ABV: 4.4%
Brewery Location: Fort Collins, CO (& Ashville, NC)

The Beer:

Sparkling Lime Lager is the latest drop from New Belgium’s Up Next Series, which highlights the changing seasons of beer. This light and fizzy lager leans into citrus with an almost hard seltzer underbelly. That is, it’s the perfect sunny day sipper.

Tasting Notes (from the brewer):

“Citrus and sunshine make a fantastic combination. The only thing missing is Sparkling Lime Lager. Bright, bubbly, packed with lime flavor, and brewed for crushing. This refreshing lager was made for soaking up the sun.”

SOUTHERN DROP: Creature Comforts Tastes Like Flowers

Style: Saison
ABV: 6.4%
Brewery Location: Athens, GA

The Beer:

It’s that time of year again. Tastes Like Flowers is back! Spring flowers are harvested every year and added to Creature Comfort’s signature saison. This makes every year’s edition slightly different but always special.

Tasting Notes (from the brewer):

“The 2019 Spring flower harvest offered calendula, chamomile, and yarrow, which present a beautiful bouquet of floral intricacies in this annual saison.”

MIDWEST DROP: Bell’s Flamingo Fruit Flight

Style: Tart Ale
ABV: 5%
Brewery Location: Comstock, MI

The Beer:

Flamingo Fruit Flight is the perfect summer sipper with a real tart edge with a sweet fruitiness. The beer is made with fresh passionfruit and lime zest, adding to the depth of the tropical and citrus nature to the beer.

Tasting Notes (from the brewer):

“It is brewed with passionfruit and lime zest, resulting in a tart blend of tropical, citrus flavors, and aromas.”

NORTHEAST DROP: Trillium Goody Trill Shoes

Style: Kölsch
ABV: 4.8%
Brewery Location: Boston, MA

The Beer:

Goody Trill Shoes is a carry-out only offering from Boston’s Trillium. The beer honors Exhibit A Brewing’s award-winning Goody Two Shoes kölsch. Trillium’s version is brewed using Pilsner, Valley Vienna, and Acidulated Malt from the venerated Valley Malt in Upstate New York with Saaz, Hallertauer, and Magnum hops added to the mix.

Tasting Notes (from the brewer):

“Goody Trill Shoes pours a brilliant straw-gold color with a fluffy, bone-white head. Nuanced aromas of crisp water crackers, toasted grain, and a lively lemon zest character entice the palate. Remarkably clean, with scrubbing carbonation and a dry finish that begs for another sip.”

WILD CARD DROP: Upslope German Style Pilsner

Style: Pilsner
ABV: 4.9%
Brewery Location: Boulder, CO

The Beer:

German Style Pilsner from Upslope is one of my favorite craft Pilsners. So, yeah, I’m partial to this return. The crisp nature and (near) session levels of ABV make this a go-to every summer.

Tasting Notes (from the brewer):

“Clean and crisp with an impeccably balanced hop profile. Pouring a brilliant straw color, it offers fresh and floral aromas from choice Loral and Tettnanger hops. The finish is dry and succinct with a refreshing crispness and snappy carbonation.”

INTERNATIONAL PICK OF THE MONTH: Brewdog Sonic Temple

Style: Session (NE)IPA
ABV: 5%
Brewery Location: Columbus, OH (UK)

The Beer:

Sonic Temple from Scotland’s BrewDog is a fruit bomb in IPA form. The addition of oats helps the beer mellow out and brings the ABVs down. The beer leans into a very hazy and fruity New England IPA nature with a hop profile that wallows in tropical fruit without too much alcohol punch.

Tasting Notes (from the brewer):

“Hazy yellow with rising tropical aromas, delivering a mix of pineapple, mango, and lime flavors. Brewed with oats for a smooth, bassy experience. Amped up hops, dialed down bitterness, big taste.”

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