Winter is waning. Spring is coming. Beer is flowing. It’s a good time to be a beer drinker, folks. As the winter warmers fade and the sun starts to shine down, breweries are beginning to drop new, refreshing beers on the masses. So we’re gonna do what we do best — track down the best craft beers being released in March.
The eight beers below are either just released or about to go away for a year. They’re relevant right now and 100 percent worth drinking as the grass grows and the flowers bloom. Just a word of warning though: some of these beers are going to be easy to locate in your local beer aisle. Some of these choices are regional and you’ll have to search a little harder to find. And, yes, a couple of these beers are so local that you may well have to travel to drink them.
Spring break road trip, anyone? We’ll ride shotgun and bring the mixtape.
PACIFIC NORTHWEST DROP: Deschutes Red Chair NWPA
Style: Pale Ale
Brewery Location: Bend, OR
Red Chair NWPA (a “Northwest” pale ale) is a great farewell to winter drink that still has serious legs. This is the perfect apres-ski beer, and there’s still plenty of ski season left.
Expect creamy notes next to a burst of florals and citrus. Resin-forward hops cut through the tart citrus as the malt base lurks in the background with a slight sweetbread nature. That hoppy bitterness carries through to a dry and refreshing finish.
SOUTHWEST DROP: Saint Archer Blackberry Gose
Brewery Location: San Diego, CA
Saint Archer’s Blackberry Gose is getting a new release right about now. The beer has a malty background that’s amped up with pink Himalayan salts, ground coriander, and tart blackberries alongside a lactobacillus souring.
Expect a slightly briny, fruity, and spicy greeting. The sourness is more akin to sour cream with a velvetiness underpinned by the dark fruit, herbaceousness, and salty nature. The ending note lingers with a nice dose of fruit and salt as the sour fades on this very sessionable refresher.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN DROP: New Belgium Nitro Cold Brew Cream Ale
Style: Cream Ale
Brewery Location: Fort Collins, CO
This Nitro Cold Brew Cream Ale is a jolt of sudsy goodness. The cream ale (an ale often finished with lager yeasts) has been spiked with oats and High Brew Coffee’s cold brew, making this a great eye-opener after a long winter.
No surprise that creamy coffee opens this one up alongside a clear note of bourbon vanilla and caramel. This beer is lush with a malty nature that leans into the rich and bitter cold brew cut with heavy creaminess. It’s rich and smooth until the very end.
SOUTHERN DROP: Creature Comforts Get Comfortable w/Allagash Brewing
Style: Belgian-style IPA
Brewery Location: Athens, GA
Get Comfortable is a collab with Belgian brewing aficionados Allagash up in Maine. Wheat is added to the mix to add depth and juicy-natured hops round out the recipe of this sipper.
Citrus notes that lean into grapefruit and lemon mingle with big juicy notes and a hint of pine resin. The beer leans into orange, grapefruit, lime, and lemon citrus as the pine edges in a little more and helps the malt’s bready nature shine. The beer ends dry and ultra-refreshing, leaving you wanting more.
MIDWEST DROP: Wolf’s Ridge Protégée
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Tomorrow, the women of WRB are brewing Protégée for our 3rd annual International Women’s Day Fundraising Event benefitting the amazing @ywcacbus ! A big hit on draft at last year’s party, we’re excited to announce that we’ll be canning the 2020 batch 🍻💜 🍓 Many more details to come about this years celebrations, including the announcement of another specialty beer for the event (hint: an exclusive variant of Ladies Who Brunch could be coming 😉) Tune in tomorrow to follow brew day and to learn more about what’s coming! . . . #internationalwomensday #eachforequal #womenwhobrew #asseenincolumbus #expcols #614living #cbus #craftbeer #ohiobeer #wolfsridgebrewing #drinkbeermadehere
Brewery Location: Columbus, OH
Protégée is a light saison that’s cut with strawberries, and nothing says spring like strawberries. The beer has a Belgian heritage in its style but is 100 percent American craft with an edge that’s sure to push away purist while bringing in those seeking something new.
There’s a note of saison grassiness and a hint of strawberries upfront. The beer has a clear hoppy backbone that maintains its grassiness as a slightly sour edge comes in. The strawberries lean more into unripened tart berries than lush sweet ones which work in this sip’s dry finish.
NORTHEAST DROP: Genealogy: Hill Farmstead Coffee Collective Enciso
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Genealogy (stainless): Coffee Collective—Enciso • New Cans Beginning on Weds., 26 February, we will offer the next in our series of draft-only releases, a special variant of Genealogy in our taproom for to-go 750ml growlers. For this selection of Genealogy, our stainless-conditioned coffee imperial stout (the base beer for Genealogy of Morals), we have conditioned the beer atop organic beans grown by the Enciso family in Tolima, Colombia, sourced and roasted by our friends at @coffeecollectif in Copenhagen, Denmark. This will be available in the tasting room for take-away in 750ml growlers only (2L growlers not available). We'll also have two new cans available this coming week: • Amarillo Pale Ale – Our American pale ale brewed exclusively with hand-selected Amarillo® hops from the Pacific Northwest • Double Galaxy – Imperial IPA Brewed with exclusively Galaxy hops Visit hillfarmstead.com for the complete list of this week's offerings, including bottles, additional cans, onsite offerings, and more.
Style: Imperial Stout
Brewery Location: Greensboro Bend, VT
This new drop from Hill Farmstead is a stellar example of the prowess of the Vermont craft brewery. Instead of barrel aging in used oak, they’ve used a stainless steel vat aging program with their Genealogy of Morals stout. The beer is brewed with an adjunct of organic coffee beans from the Enciso family in Tolima, Colombia, and roasted by The Coffee Collective in Copenhagen, Denmark.
There’s a clean nature to this beer that lets each element shine more brightly. The bitterness of the coffee goes beyond the beans with an almost creamy coffee nature. There’s a dark chocolate underpinning that amps the sweetbread malts with a hint of spice. The beer has a very distant tartness in the darkness, cream, spice, and coffee that just works.
WILD CARD DROP: Upslope Blackberry Lemon Sour Ale
Style: Sour Ale
Brewery Location: Boulder, CO
This sour ale is a ruddy can of suds that make you wish summer was already here. The beer is cut with berries, soured, and hopped to perfection and will have you reaching for a whole six-pack every weekend this spring.
Tart lemon and bright blackberries lead the way with a grassy hop feel. There’s a deep earthiness at play that feels like you’re in a blackberry orchard, picking berries straight from the vine. The slight sourness is the perfect counterpoint to that dark fruit depth.
INT’L PICK OF THE MONTH: Schönramer Pils
Style: German Pilsner
Brewery Location: Schönram, Germany
Schönramer Pils is the beer lover’s beer and now’s the time to drink it. The beer is, luckily, becoming more widely available across the U.S. You might be able to find it on tap at craft breweries who know what great pilsner is supposed to taste like.
This beer is almost too perfect. There’s a great balance between the fresh, resiny, and grassy hops and the caramel malty bready base. There’s also a lightness at play here that never sacrifices any depth of classic lager flavors and ends on a semi-dry/semi-caramel-malt note. It’s a very refreshing sip of beer that’s easy to fall in love with.