When it comes to craft beer (and beer in general) there’s an awful lot of brand loyalty. Your father probably still drinks the same beer he sipped on in 1985. He’ll say that he likes it because it’s good, it’s consistent, and it’s always there. The same goes for your contemporary craft beer fans, if perhaps to a lesser degree. Sure, you might travel to as many local craft breweries as your vacation time allows (trying any number of inventive beers along the way), but you likely have your go-to breweries and you mostly look forward to their releases above all others.
Still, don’t let things stagnate too much. That’s not this generation’s way.
Ready to widen your net to keep your beer habits from getting redundant? We asked some of our favorite bartenders to tell us their go-to “newish” beers to sip this spring.
DC Brau Touch of Grey
Moe Thajib, director of food and beverage at Art and Soul in Washington D.C.
Everyone needs to check out A Touch of Grey by DC Brau. It’s a collaboration with Premium to celebrate international women’s day. Grisette style ale makes it easy to drink for spring and it celebrates women, win-win.
Kiuchi Hitachino Nest Yuzu Lager
Alexander Carlin, beverage director of Infuse Hospitality in Chicago
Hitachino Nest Yuzu Lager from Kiuchi Brewery is my current favorite spring beer. The beer has complexity but is still light and crisp without overwhelming hops. Yuzu has a delicious citrus flavor profile that raises the acidity level of the beer making it as food-worthy of a pairing as a glass of syrah.
Bell’s Official Hazy IPA
Miki Nikolic, bartender at The Double Dealer in New Orleans
Bell’s Official Hazy IPA. It’s a refreshing hazy IPA with a delicious blend of fruit and citrus. It’s made by a great brewery and is a milder optional than a traditional IPA.
Heretic Make America Juicy Again
Mark Syben, bar manager at Buccan in Palm Beach, Florida
Make America Juicy Again from Heretic Brewing Company. It’s a New England style IPA. Easy drinking, a little citrus but not fruit-forward or a fruit bomb, and just enough hops without being overly bitter.
Nicole Walko, general manager of the Essex Pearl in New York City
I like to think outside the box when it comes to my beer selection. Sour beer is not a new style, but one that has evolved into a well-crafted addition to the beer family, especially for the upcoming spring. Transmitter Brewing offers a slew of styles and one of their creations is PH1 dry-hopped sour ale, which is tart and floral all at the same time and deliciously crisp and refreshing. A must-try.
New Belgium Mural Cerveza
Steven Staney, general manager of Sombra Jackson in Jackson, Mississippi
New Belgium Mural Cerveza. A watermelon, hibiscus, lime, and agave cerveza. Pink in color, light in ABV, compliments food well.
Off Color Beer For Tacos
Zachary Blazek, general manager at Commons Club in Chicago
Off Color’s Beer For Tacos. A tongue in cheek name, but just a fun, sessionable gose with lime and pink Himalayan sea salt to drink in the coming sun, or with tacos.
Bryan Mayer, bartender at Azabu in Miami
My newish spring beer is Megamix from M.I.A., because it’s a pale that you can drink at the beach, or at a bar and it’s a light beer in a way but it has a lot to offer.
BrainDead Hammer of the Gods
Natasha DeHart, founder and master blender of BENDT Distilling Company in Lewisville, Texas
One of my local favorites is from BrainDead Brewing in Dallas’ Deep Ellum neighborhood. Hammer of the Gods is a bourbon barrel-aged imperial wheat porter that drinks like a meal. It’s amazing and bready and hearty and everyone should head to Dallas asap to grab a bomber of it.
Commonwealth Tinta Rosa
Emmanuel “Manny” Pressley, bartender at Brabo Brasserie in Alexandria, Virginia
Commonwealth Brewing Company in Virginia Beach, Virginia has a very unique and intriguing beer: the Tinta Rosa. It’s like a sour sangria with a lot of fruit notes and a sour, yeasty mouthfeel.
Cinderlands Dry Hopped Pilsner
Lauren Mathews, lead bartender at Urbana in Washington, DC
Cinderlands out of my hometown Pittsburgh is absolutely beautiful and in a great location in the city. I’m an avid beer drinker, so when I taste something that feels new, it’s such a breath of fresh air. Cinderlands’ beers are top-notch and knocking it out of the park. Try the Dry Hopped Pilsner. You won’t regret it.
Ellen Talbot, lead bartender at Fable Lounge in Nashville
Jackalope’s LoveBird Wheat is one of my warm-weather staples. The raspberry strawberry wheat beer isn’t sweet, and the soft mouthfeel mirrors the berries in a perfectly crushable way. It has a lower ABV so you can enjoy more than one or two on a patio in the sunshine.
Abraham Millett, head bartender at Plunge Beach Resort in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Tank Brewing Co. It’s located in Miami and offers great food and great beer. Totally worth the traffic jam. It’s in a big warehouse – it’s spacious. More importantly, they make great beer like their new low-calorie beer Tank Lo-Ca.
Whalers Rise Pale Ale
Alex Pendergrass, bartender at Hotel Viking in Newport, Rhode Island
Whalers Rise. Another local product being brewed here in Wakefield. Rhode Island. It’s an APA style that is absolutely blowing up in the Northeast. It’s got just enough body to stay tasty but also super sessionable.
Avondale Sour Pash
Lucas Siegel, bar manager at Von Elrod’s Kitchen & Beer Hall in Nashville
I’ve been saying for months that 2020 will be the year of the sour, and there’s a new beer from a reinvented brewery that is proving me right nice and early! Sour Pash, from Avondale Brewing, is a passionfruit sour that has enough tart for sourheads to feel the bite, while smoothing out with that passionfruit sweetness to put those who are new to sours stay at ease and make them crave another gulp. Good People, another great Alabama brewery, took over Avondale and relaunched their whole line, but Sour Pash is the one I’ll be throwing back all spring long.