Monday, April 24, 2017

{ TRANSITIONAL SEASON DRINKING } THE SPRING BEER GUIDE

There are some days, some moments and some places when nothing but a beer will do. I've always enjoyed a good brewski, mostly on a "Can I just have something light but not so light that it tastes like water?" level. But just as my hard alcohol palette has grown up from vodka and cranberry juice to whiskey, bitters and sugar—my grasp of ales, sours, lagers and stouts has evolved a bit, too. That's mostly because I spend time with people who know a lot more about beer than I do. Chief among them is my friend Jerry, so naturally I felt it was my duty to exploit his expertise for your benefit.

Last year, I asked him to round up his favorite fall beers that you can find around NYC—he obliged and you guys loved it. So, I cajoled him into re-upping his recommendations for spring. Think of this list as your cheat sheet to being the savviest person at the bar all season. And on that note,’ll let Jerry take it from here...

Hey guys! It’s me Jerry and I’m back again to help you step up your beer game—and this time around we'll be focusing in on springtime or "warm weather" beers that are ideal for impressing people at festive outdoor gatherings. I apologize in advance for the absence of any bourbon barrel aged imperial stouts, but we’re aiming for lighter pursuits! By that I mean refreshing radlers, tart sours, or a well-balanced APA. Now, I will never turn down a glorious, juicy DIPA from Other Half but lighter beers just work better this time of year. (#summerbod, etc, etc.)

Since we last met, I’ve relocated to Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn which means my proximity to great beers is even more dangerous… And that happens to work out quite nicely for this article! The move has given me an opportunity to spend time in the superb outdoor beer garden of Threes Brewing, sampling their in-house beer as well as the other local offerings they keep on draft. Another one of my new favorites is LIC Beer Project, who offer a variety of styles—but their clean and crisp Saisons are really something to behold. Anyway… let's jump right into the list, explore what the city is pouring, and toast to the changing of the season together! Cheers!

//CLICK THROUGH FOR ALL OF JERRY'S BEER PICKS//



CITY SLICKERS, OTHER HALF + ARIZONA WILDERNESS
WHERE TO FIND IT: Other Half Brewing Company Tap Room (Brooklyn)
DRINK THIS IF YOU LIKE: Good beer.
Simply put—this is my favorite on the list. Brooklyn's hop gods, Other Half, teamed up with the desert kings of Arizona Wilderness to release this beer a year ago and it flew under the radar. Shortly after the debut it was obvious they had struck gold and fans were clamoring for another batch. City Slickers will make its triumphant return to New York in late April—so mark your calendars. This IPA is bursting with flavor from the Galaxy and Equinox hops but the real gem is the prickly pear and lemon zest they add. Sometimes IPAs can be a bit much in the warm weather but you'll be hard pressed to find a more balanced, flavorful, and unique spring beer than City Slickers.

PILE OF CROWNS, LIC BEER PROJECT
WHERE TO FIND IT: LIC Beer Project Tap Room (Queens)
DRINK THIS IF YOU LIKE: Hops and you don't care who knows it.
If you haven't had the fortune of trying something from LIC Beer Project, let's check that box with Pile of Crowns. This Imperial IPA features Citra, Mosaic, and Nugget hops—a trio of some of the most popular hops you can find. This beer bursts with aromatics offering mango and papaya right off the nose with an easy finish. While this beer might play to the hop-heads of the craft beer scene, it's definitely still balanced enough to be enjoyed by all. Do yourself a favor and check our their tap room and get in on that Pile of Crowns action—you'll be glad you did.


GINGER LEMON RADLER, BOULEVARD
WHERE TO FIND IT: Good Beer NYC (East Village, Manhattan)
DRINK THIS IF YOU LIKE: Summer in a can!
Boulevard's Ginger Lemon Radler makes always makes it on my list of the best warm weather beers, and with good reason. These Kansas City brewers have perfected the "radler"—also known as a shandy or "cyclist"— technically a malt beverage, that first came about around a century ago by mixing beer and with fruit-flavored soda, ginger ale or lemonade to create a beverage that could vanquish the oppressive summer heat! Instead of the more popular shandy drinks like Stiegl or Shiner that you'll find more readily, grab a Boulevard Radler and enjoy the tangy delight of those ginger and lemon flavors bursting from this perfect summer brew!

*Editor’s note: I love this malt beverage so hard. It was introduced to me via an ex who was from Kansas City, so now every time I drink it I think about how people come into your life for certain reasons, and some are just there to up your alcoholic beverage game. (You can find a picture of me triumphantly holding a box of Boulevard Radler on my head here.)

I FEEL THE UNIVERSE, FINBACK
WHERE TO FIND IT: Finback Brewery Taproom (Queens)
DRINK THIS IF YOU LIKE: Trying new things.
Gose is an old, German style of beer that boasts a profile of coriander and salt. (Imagine your beer spent like 30 seconds bathing in the ocean.) While it sounds unusual you can trust me—this is a great, crisp style of beer that goes perfectly with sunshine and outdoor activities. Finback brews their Gose with passion fruit which makes it even more refreshing and a perfect addition to your beach or park cooler.

MC2, EQUILIBRIUM
WHERE TO FIND IT: District Tap House (Midtown West)
DRINK THIS IF YOU LIKE: Insanely drinkable Double IPAs.
Equilibrium Brewing from Middletown, NY might be the best "new" brewery on the scene. In person you might notice that this beer looks nearly identical to orange juice. Strange but true, and the flavor profile is just as intriguing as its appearance. You'll find mango, apricot, and pineapple notes, making you wonder how this beer is 8% ABV. This beer rocks and I can't wait to see what else Equilibrium has in store in 2017.


VACAY, GRIMM ARTISANAL ALES
WHERE TO FIND IT: Beer Noggin (Bronxville, NY)
DRINK THIS IF YOU LIKE: Something refreshing.
Grimm Artisinal Ales has set a high bar for hoppy sour beers. I know "hoppy and sour" sounds like a strange combo when you read it but it makes so much sense when you give it a try. Vacay is basically a beach vacation in a bottle. Dry-hopped with the extremely bright and flavorful New Zealand hops, Vacay brings floral and herbal notes from the hops while providing a refreshing pucker from the sour portion of the beer. Another killer beer from Lauren and Joe Grimm! (Can you tell I really like them? You know, personally?)

BOAT BEER, CARTON
WHERE TO FIND IT: The Well (Brooklyn)
DRINK THIS IF YOU LIKE: A tradtional, kickass American Pale Ale.
This is my “beer's beer” of the list. A sessionable (beer nerd lingo for low ABV), balanced but flavorful American pale ale. Carton is one of New Jersey's best breweries and churns out varieties from cream ales to DIPAs and everything in between. Boat Beer is one of most recognized beers for the simple fact that you can bring it to a gathering of eclectic tastes and be almost certain that it will be enjoyed by anyone and everyone who tries it. Who doesn't want a "fancy" beer that will also earn you top marks as a party guest?

Image credits: Other Half, Grimm, and yours truly on Instagram.

No comments:

Post a Comment