spring craft beer guide
Brewery Ommegang
By Bonnie Stiernberg / March 19, 2020 11:46 am

We’ve finally thawed out from winter, and under normal circumstances, now is the time we’d be offering up some seasonal tropes about the perfect beers to enjoy while watching a baseball game or mowing your lawn or simply soaking up the sun on that first gloriously warm day of the year.

But of course, this spring is shaping up to be far from normal. There won’t be baseball until mid-May at the earliest (more likely June), you shouldn’t go outside unless you’re sure you can maintain a safe six-foot distance from other people, and bars and breweries across the country are either closed or limited to to-go sales of cans, bottles and growlers — all thanks to the horrifically swift spread of the COVID-19 virus.

But while lingering on a patio with a group of friends is out of the question, you can still buy beer — for the time being, at least — in most places, and now is absolutely the time do that. You’re going to need to stock up as you prepare for weeks (if not months) of social distancing and self-isolation, and breweries are going to need all the help they can get to weather the financial storm of these weird times. With that in mind, these spring beers are absolutely all worth picking up and enjoying from the comfort and safety of your home.

Harpoon DragonWeisse

This Berliner Weisse is brewed with dragonfruit and hibiscus, making it a perfect springtime blend of fruity and floral flavors. It’s crisp and tart with some subtle wheat notes, and it’s not overwhelmingly sour.

ABV: 4.6%


Anderson Valley Framboise Rose Gose

ABV: 4.2%

Anderson Valley’s got a strong lineup of goses that includes their Blood Orange and Briney Melon vatieties, and the kettle-soured Framboise Rose Gose is no different. It’s got all the saltiness and tartness you’d expect from the style, plus touches of raspberry, hibiscus and rose hips.


Tröegs First Cut Mango IPA

ABV: 6.2%

Tröegs’s spring seasonal takes its name from the way hop growers trim the first shoots of the growing season, but you don’t have to be doing yard work to enjoy it. It’s brewed with citrusy Simcoe hops and sweet mango, and those two flavors come together and complement each other in a really nice, balanced way.


Stone Buenaveza Salt & Lime Lager (available April 13)

ABV: 4.7%

The press release for Stone’s new take on a Mexican lager boasts about its “pleasant corn chip aroma,” and while that may sound a little goofy, it’s absolutely true. In addition to the corn-chip nose, the lime and the salt come through just as much as you’d want them to, making it crisp and perfect for pairing with tacos from your favorite local spot. Buenaveza doesn’t hit shelves until April 13, but by all accounts, we’ll still coping with coronavirus by then, and it’ll provide some welcome relief.


Threes/Hudson Valley A Supposedly Fun Thing

ABV: 6.0%

This collaboration between Threes Brewing and Hudson Valley Brewery is more than “supposedly” fun. It’s a sour saison aged in oak with pluots — if you’re a fan of tart, fruity beers (or if you just happen to be a big David Foster Wallace fan), this one’s for you.


New Belgium Citradelic

ABV: 6.0%

As you might have guessed from the name, this tangerine IPA is brewed with Citra hops. It’s citrusy with a light malty sweetness (hopheads in search of their beloved bitterness should probably look elsewhere), but the orange flavor is never cloying.


Folksbier Sif

ABV: 4.7%

Named for the Norse “Queen of the Fields,” this grisette is inspired by the traditional Belgian farmhouse style designed to quench thirst, but it’s dry-hopped and fermented with Nordic Kveik ale yeast. It’s clean and drinkable, with hints of lemon and peppercorn.


Bell’s Oberon

ABV: 5.8%

This classic warm-weather beer wasn’t slated to hit shelves until next week, but to help provide a little sunshine in these dark times, the Michigan brewery told distributors they could go ahead and release it early. There’s no surer sign that winter’s over than being able to crack open this beloved hoppy wheat ale, and being able to do so ahead of schedule just might make self-isolation a little more bearable. (Bell’s did warn that depending on your location, “availability may vary for the time being” while distributors work on the early release.)


Bauhaus Brew Labs’ The Wheat Sweats

ABV: 5.0%

We’d recommend this one based on the name and the goofy ’80s-inspired promo video alone. But we happen to think you’ll enjoy the flavor too: it’s a refreshing Bavarian-style hefeweizen with hints of banana and clove. (And if you happen to live outside the Midwest, you can still find Bauhaus beers on Tavour.)


Half Acre Daisy Cutter

ABV: 5.2%

This dank, dry pale ale started out as a well-loved special release bomber from Chicago’s Half Acre, but it eventually found its way into their year-round rotation by popular demand. The name and the flowers on the can are a nice touch, but ultimately, it’s the flavor that make this beer a spring must: you’ll find a well-balanced blend of citrus, mango and pine.


Ommegang Idyll Days Pilsner

ABV: 5.0%

Idyll Days is Ommegang’s first foray into lager brewing, and it’s made with traditional floor-malted barley from the Czech Republic, making it slightly earthier than most other pilsners. It’s smooth and sessionable, with some notes of honey and biscuit.