It’s not even a figure of speech. Spring literally came early this year. Instead of falling on March 21st like usual, the thawing season officially began on March 19th. Of course, for many of us, it doesn’t feel like spring. We’re stuck in our homes, attempting to stave off coronavirus and flatten the curve.
Spring is typically a time of rejuvenation, rebirth, and refreshing, crisp beers. In 2020, it’s the season of social distancing and quarantine.
One bright spot is that many liquor stores, grocers, and delivery brands like Drizly are staying open, so you don’t have to leave the comfort of home to score a few brews. Sip a pint, catch up on Netflix, and watch the seasons change out your window while longing for human contact.
Patrick Dennis, bar director at Solé in Miami, goes for an easy-drinking beer when winter turns to spring (even in these strange times).
“Lagunitas IPA is my go-to,” he says. “It’s hoppy and slightly bitter, yet approachable and easy to find. Happy and hoppy, that’s what we all need right now.”
We asked some of our favorite bartenders to tell us the one beer they’re looking forward to this spring. Even if they’re drinking it on their couch instead of at a bar or brewery.
Golden Road Mango Cart
Chris Amirault, bartender at Otium in Los Angeles
Golden Road Mango Cart forever. It’s tropical, refreshing and goes great with Campari or Aperol to make a wheated spritz.
Abraham Millett, beverage manager at Plunge Beach Resort in Fort Lauderdale. Florida
Sixpoint Jammer. If the weather doesn’t get you to springtime quick enough, the taste of this beer will. It reminds me of the beginning of a great outdoor music festival.
Dogfish Head Tweason’ale
Drew Hairston, beverage director at Dirty Habit in Washington, DC
Dogfish Head Tweason’ale is a unique one. It’s a gluten-free, sorghum beer brewed with strawberry and honey. It’s fruit-forward and dry, but complex enough to merit a closer look. It’s like a craft-beer nerd’s Naturdays.
To Øl 3xNul Citra
Lauren Mathews, lead bartender at Urbana in Washington, DC
To Øl 3xNul Citra is the beer that comes to mind. It has a good amount of funkiness to make it interesting, but not overly sour. It’s crisp and insanely smooth. I’ve been thinking about this beer since last summer.
Shock Top Belgian White
Andres Velasquez, lead bartender at Honey Salt at Parq in Vancouver
If you’re picking a beer for spring, you can’t go wrong with Shock Top Belgian White. There’s nothing like enjoying a wheat beer with a slice of orange while the sun streams in through a window.
Knee Deep Lupulin River
Stephen George, beverage manager at 7 Mile Kitchen in Carlsbad, California
I love so many different spring beers, but if I had to pick one beer, I’d go with Knee Deep Lupulin River 2IPA. Simcoe & Mosaic hops, tropical, piney with high IBUs. It’s so good.
Bell’s Two Hearted Ale
Kayla Grogan, mixologist at Monarch Rooftop in New York City
Bell’s Two Hearted Ale is a great option. It’s one of the most well-balanced IPA’s out there, with citrusy hops and just a touch of bitterness. It also has a crisp and refreshing finish that’s perfect for this time of year.
Brooklyn Summer Ale
Scott Kollig, beverage manager at Rye Street Tavern in Baltimore
Brooklyn Summer Ale, the very first beer I had when I turned 21. While the beer is delicious, it is pure nostalgia that brings me to drink it every year when it warms up, this year included. I am instantly transported to Momofuku Noodle Bar on 1st Ave, sitting at the counter with my best friend, Luis, and ordering my first beer as a legally consuming adult.
Funky Buddha Last Snow
Thomas Nesselhauf, manager at Datz Restaurant Group in Tampa, Florida
Funky Buddha Last Snow. It’s chocolate, coconut porter brewed to commemorate all of the snowbirds leaving Florida for the summer. It celebrates less traffic, and no waits at restaurants…which is sort of on-brand right now
Other Half Green City IPA
Colin Stevens, bartender at Thyme Bar in New York City
When it comes to spring beers, I always reach for an Other Half Green City IPA. They are my favorite brewery here in NYC, and for a session IPA I don’t think it can be beaten.
Victory Sour Monkey
Will Moriarity, beverage director at BLT Steak in Washington D.C.
I love sours and find that their tart fruity style accompanies the warming spring air perfectly. My spring pick would have to be the Victory Sour Monkey Belgian Triple. At 9.5% ABV it packs a punch but is extremely refreshing and drinkable with notes of lime and citrus without being too tart.
Southern Grist Imperial Balaton Raspberry Hill
Leah Stumbo, bartender at Bar Moxy in Nashville
Southern Grist Imperial Balaton Raspberry Hill, it is a delicious sour with flavors of raspberry and cherries. A perfect flavor combo for this season.
Kronenbourg Blanc 1664
Vince Diorides, lead Bartender at Jack Dusty in Sarasota, Florida
If I could drink only one beer this spring, I would choose Kronenbourg Blanc 1664. This French wheat beer has refreshing notes such as fruits including apricot and orange.
Pete Bauer, bartender at Giulia in Minneapolis
Bell’s Hopslam; while Bell’s seems to have dialed back the hop presence and bite in this hallowed seasonal offering in recent times, I am always transported to spring every time I take a sip of Hopslam.