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The Ultimate Beers For Spring, According To Bartenders

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Spring is the time to get to know the lighter side of the beer world. We’re talking about saisons, farm ales, bocks, wheat beers, and sour ales. There’s a reason these styles of beer are released in the early spring, and it’s not just so you can continue drinking them throughout the summer. Each one helps creates a bridge between the darker, richer beers of winter and the light, refreshing summer brews.

Saisons, farm ales, and wheat beers bridge the seasonal gap with yeasty, malty flavors. While sour beers are tart, refreshing, and have just enough edge to work well on an unseasonably cold spring day. But since we all know the craft beer world can seem intimidating at times, we’ve asked a handful of our favorite bartenders to let us in on the seasonally appropriate beers they love best now that spring has sprung.

Allagash Saison

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Alli Torres, Bartender at Refinery Rooftop in New York City

“Once a lot of saison-style beers start popping up on menus, you know spring is just around the corner. Saisons are traditionally described as a ‘rustic’ or ‘farmhouse’ style beer. Once daylight savings switches over, these beers offer a nod to farmers who drink them as the sun sets. This has been adapted by saison drinkers as a similar mark to the end of their workday. Unwinding with a slightly spicy, very dry beer. Allagash Saison is one of my absolute favorites because I love the medley of pepper and citrus together.”

Stiegl Radler

Nahm Kim, beverage director at Sunda Chicago

“Stiegl Radler is the perfect bottle to throw back for springtime. Refreshingly sweet and tart with some nice light effervescence. Goes great with some windows cracked open so you can feel that breeze, a bag of freshly shucked oysters, and an afternoon spent (maybe) spring cleaning.”

Sierra Nevada Fresh Hop

Evan Danielson, beverage director at City Winery in Nashville

“Signaling a new season, I gravitate toward beers that use fresh hops. Most have a ton of bold aromas, often with greener, grassier flavors and scents which harken to spring. I really enjoy Sierra Nevada’s Fresh Hop Double IPA and Fresh Hop Session IPA. Both are great examples of each style, with wonderful fresh hop influences.”

Peroni

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Time for a #peroni beer and some #bruschetta

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Gavin Koehn, bar manager at Otoño in Los Angeles

“In the spring I reach for a Peroni. It has the perfect balance of flavor and lightness for when the weather starts to heat up in LA. I love a good Italian radler with Peroni and San Pellegrino Limonata soda over ice.

Rhinegeist Bubbles Rosé

Andrew Holmes, director of food & beverages at 8UP in Louisville

“Bubbles Rosé Ale is a must for me in the spring, just in time for the Run of the Roses! Fruit and Field Beer style beer brewed, Rhinegeist Brewery in Cincinnati, Ohio.”

Bell’s Oberon

Shawn Stanton, bartender at Public House in New York City

“What’s my go-to spring beer? Bell’s Oberon of course. Its release is a big deal here and in Michigan. It is a mildly fruity wheat beer that is perfect for spring.”

Ithaca Apricot Wheat

Maggie Dandrea, bartender at Hot Tin in New Orleans

“Ithaca Beer Company, out of the Finger Lakes in upstate New York, has a beer called Ithaca Apricot Wheat. It’s an easy drinking wheat ale with hints of apricot, perfect for day drinking outside in warm weather.”

Off Color Troublesome

Alex Schmaling, head bartender at Beacon Tavern in Chicago

“I love tart, refreshing, lower-alcohol styles like Berliner Weisse and Gose this time of the year. They pair beautifully with salads and lighter fare I crave during beach season. Here in Chicago, Off Color Brewing makes Troublesome, a great take on the Gose style.”

Urban South Paradise Park

Crystal Pavlas, head bartender at Bywater American Bistro in New Orleans

“Urban South’s Paradise Park. It is the quintessential beer of spring here in Louisiana! It’s crisp, slightly hoppy, highly refreshing and is the perfect pairing with boiled crawfish.”

Funky Buddha Floridian

Cesar Mejias, bartender at Tacology in Miami

“As a bartender, when it comes to beer, I tend to go with what my palate asks for and what the guest feels like drinking. Being in Miami, I really like Funky Buddha’s Hefeweizen German-style beer for Spring. It has great fruity aromas and a nice light malt body. If Funky Buddha is too heavy for you, then I’d recommend trying a cold crisp Pacifico pilsner from the port city of Mazatlan, Mexico.”

Montauk Summer Ale

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Montauk Brewing Company: Summer Ale – Looks like those Montauk boys are back on the window sill! We've pretty much covered all there is about Montauk Brewing Company in these posts, so let's learn a bit about Montauk itself. The summer hotspot gets its name from the Montaukett tribe, who more-or-less owned and operated the land until 1686, when they sold it to a group of settlers from East Hampton. The new settlers soon began using the land to graze their cattle, sheep and horses during the hot summer months. Since there was no TV or internet back then, people came from miles around to watch the riders herd an estimated 1200-1500 cattle every summer. Who needs a PlayStation? Anyway, after a couple of hundred years, Montauk was sold again, this time to Arthur Benson, who convinced his rich buddies to build houses on the land. The tourism industry took off, and, today, Montauk is one of the most popular vacation destinations on the East Coast. The Summer Ale is one you'll definitely need if you're heading to Montauk for a party weekend this summer. Light caramel malt and wheat provide a tasty and refreshing beer that is perfect for a hot summer day. Made me want to put on flip flops! ABV: 5.6%, IBU: 28 #beersonwindowsills #hopmendous #beer #beerme #beerstagram #beersofinstagram #beeroftheday #brewstagram #beergeek #craftbeer #craftbeerporn #craftbeerjunkie #craftbeerlife #craftbeerlover #mybeerisbetterthanyours #whatsinyourglass #montauk #hamptons #montaukbrewingcompany #summerale #montauksummerale #blue #comeasyouare #nybeer #thinknydrinkny @montaukbrewco

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Kia Tilmon, Head Bartender at The Roof in New York City

“My spring beer go to would be either a Montauk Summer Ale or a Negro Modelo. Neither is too hoppy and both have a hint of citrus. I’m not usually a beer drinker, but on a hot day, either of these will do the trick.”

Sierra Nevada Otra Vez

Kevin Zadoyan, owner of Te’Kila in Los Angeles

“The Sierra Nevada Otra Vez is one of my recent favorites. Great balance of citrus and sweetness from the lime and agave nectar used in the brewing process.”

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