Drink to the coming season

March 15, 2019

Perhaps spring will never come. Even as spring beers arrive in stores, I still find myself blinded by the sun’s rays reflecting off the four-foot high banks of snow I’ve shoveled paths through. Beer won’t bring back the much more alluring greens and blues of a nice day, but at least it can give us hope. A belief that one day, this snow will be gone and we can cheers to the sun with these lighter, seasonal beers that mark the arrival of spring. If you’re a seasonal drinker still hibernating with big ABV stouts, grab some of these to get that spring sensation.

Fair State Strata

Mango, melon, a hint of grapefruit, and a subtly sweet finish sum up this beer. It uses the popular strata hop, also featured in Fair State’s popular Spirit Foul (which uses mosaic and citra hops). This beer doesn’t have the body or complexity of Spirit Foul, but it’s a top-tier hazy IPA as far as Minnesota’s scene goes. The fruit flavor alone should help trick your mind into thinking spring and summer are on the horizon – after a couple more snow storms, of course.

Indeed Mexican Honey Light

At first, I didn’t think a lower ABV version of Mexican Honey needed to be created, but it makes sense. Take the original 8 percent imperial lager – a limited release – and craft something akin to it that is more sessionable. Honey Light comes in at 5.2 percent and does not pack the wallop of its bigger sister. The honey is detectable, as well as some citrus. It’s not only something that makes sense for spring, but also summer. And luckily, this will be a summer beer as well thanks to it becoming a core brand for Indeed.

Schell’s Keller Pils

Keller Pils is a great lighter offering. The malt backbone is noticeable – think toasted bread crumbs – with a hint of bush berries coming from the hops. It’s clean, crisp, and in cans – always a plus, and a firm reminder of warm-weather outings in Minnesota. This and Summit’s Keller Pils just might be the quintessential lake beers.

Summit Maibock

A staple for the ages. A herald of spring. A slightly hoppy, caramel flavor rolls over the tongue in a clean, ecstatic manner. Maibocks are actually spring seasonal beers, making this one perfect for breaking away from the winter chill. Rumor has it, Summit is brewing a hazy IPA for packaging. But just because they’re jumping into the haze craze doesn’t mean you should forget about the mighty maibock.

Little Thistle Wetlands

OK, I’m throwing two hazy IPAs on this list. But at this point, Wetlands is Rochester’s IPA for two reasons: it is brewed consistently, and it’s damn tasty. A citrus fruit bomb with a hint of sweetness and a dash of pith. Plus, it has notes of pineapple. What else will make you think of the beach and sun?