Longer days and warmer weather spring seasonal beers for the Triangle
Posted April 10, 2012 4:11 p.m. EDT
Updated July 13, 2018 2:21 p.m. EDT
It’s no longer chilly and dark when leaving work in the early evenings, so why not enjoy new beers from Triangle-area breweries that pair well with the shift in the season?
Springtime styles such as Irish Stouts, Maibocks, Saisons and Wheat Beers are blossoming throughout the region, and many are likely to stick around into early summer. Shed the heavy coats, leave the socks at home and cure your Seasonal Affective Disorder with these fantastic seasonal beers at your local brewery, bar or bottle shop.
Aviator Brewing Co. - Saison de Aviator (Saison | 6.4% ABV) – "A seasonal summer Belgian beer style produced with pilsner malt, mid-kilned malts, coriander and sweet orange peel. An unfiltered golden-colored ale, high carbonation, and a fruity, Trappist yeast. A great beer to pick up your spirits after mowing the lawn or a hard day’s work in the old cube farm."
Big Boss Brewing Co. - D’Icer (Dunkelweizen | 5.5% ABV) – "D’Icer is a copper-colored Dunkelweizen in the Munich tradition. It is made with over 50 percent wheat, Munich and Vienna malts to give it a remarkable color and richness. Bavarian yeast and just the right amount of Noble hops make this beer a great thirst quencher."
Monkey Bizz-Ness (Belgian Golden Strong Ale | 9.0% ABV) - "Monkey Bizz-ness is spiced to compliment the fruit, yeast and malt notes present in this complex, rustic, Belgian-style ale. The beer is aged for months to blend the bold flavors into a seamless presentation."
Boylan Bridge Brewpub - Endless Summer Ale (Blonde Ale | 6% ABV) - "This light-colored English summer ale balances biscuity malt and bright hop flavors with a strong yeast presence reminiscent of wheat beers."
Bull City Burger and Brewery - Malbourne Maibock (Maibock | 7.0% ABV) - "The Malbourne Maibock is a lager in the traditional spring or "May" bock style. The spring bock is light in color like a Helles lager but a little higher in alcohol and emphasizes the pale malt flavors. The golden hue is clear with a distinctive Hallertauer hop nose of spice and light floral aromas. The malty body and moderate bitterness make for a thirst quenching, warm weather lager, full of character but not heavy in the mouth. Cereal grains, pale toast and a touch of malt sugar leaves one thirsting for more as outdoor temperatures rise."
Carolina Brewery - Bullpen Pale Ale (American Pale Ale | 5.1% ABV) - “The Bullpen Pale Ale was specially crafted for the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. The beer is crisp and mellow, with a soft maltiness, and balanced with a flavorful American hop character. This deep golden ale is the perfect thirst-quenching complement to a day at the ballpark or any occasion at all.”
Firecracker Pale Ale (American Pale Ale | 5.1% ABV) - “A special brew designed to quench a summertime thirst, this snappy pale ale is a true American classic. Firecracker is an easy-drinking beer that still packs a hoppy punch. It's a straw-colored ale made with the world's finest malts and carefully blended with America's uniquely flavored Cascade and Chinook hops.”
Carolina Brewing Company - Spring Bock (Maibock | 6.1% ABV) - “This is our 15th consecutive year of brewing this pale golden lager. It is a Maibock with a good amount of barley and a nice balance of hops that gives it a delightfully light taste with a background of sweetness. The beer is made with Pilsner, Munich, Carapils and Caramel malts and balanced with Hallertau hops.”
Fullsteam Brewery - Beasley's Honey White (Witbier | 5.0% ABV) - “Beasley's Honey White is an unfiltered white ale brewed with Bee Blessed Pure Honey, North Carolina oats and Tellicherry black pepper. Quite refreshing on its own, the beer truly shines with fried chicken breast, pork, local cheeses or spicy dishes. For the ultimate pairing, have it on tap at Beasley's Chicken + Honey!”
One Hop Rye IPA (American India Pale Ale | 7.2% ABV) - “This experimental seasonal IPA resulted from an agricultural shortage in both Amarillo and Centennial hops, used in the making of our year-round India Pale Ale, Rocket Science. The scarcity of hops led us to experiment with other less trendy/in-demand hops. We found a winner with Apollo hops. This rye IPA has notes of lemon and pine, accompanied by a slight tang from the North Carolina-sourced rye.”
LoneRider Brewing Co. - The Preacher (Saison | 7.3% ABV) - “The Preacher's sharp blue eyes have seen too many sins. This Belgian-style Saison is created with an American twist. It is a spicy, fruity ale with a bright citrus hop kick.”
Mystery Brewing Co. - St. Stephen's Green (Dry Irish Stout | 3.5% ABV) - St. Stephen’s is “[a] classic Dry Irish Stout—dry, roasty and refreshing, with notes of bitter chocolate and espresso supported by a light sour tang and a light play of British hops.”
- Wildflower Witbier (Witbier | 4.5% ABV) - “This beer is a light and flavorful classic Belgian-style white beer spiced with coriander, chamomile and sweet orange peel.”
Roth Brewing Co. - Conscription IPA (American India Pale Ale | 3.8% ABV) - “This IPA presents a huge grapefruit body with a crisp lemon citrus finish. This is the perfect IPA you can drink again and again.”
Sex Viking (Dunkelweizen | 5.5% ABV) - “This is a wonderful Dunkelweizen with rich caramel and roasted fruit notes. Brewed with rye, it has a delicious warming spice with just enough alcohol to perk you up, morning or night!”
Top of the Hill Restaurant and Brewery - Blue Ridge Blueberry Wheat (American Wheat Beer | 5.1%) - “This is our most popular seasonal, and it earned a gold medal and was named "Best in Class" in the 2010 World Beer Championships in the flavored wheat beer category. We created Blue Ridge Blueberry several years ago thinking that we would run it for four weeks. It proved to be so popular that now, we run it for almost six months a year, tracking blueberry season from South America to the northern climes.”
Hugh Morton Mango Lager (American Lager | 4.1% ABV) - “The subtle mango flavor and low hop bitterness of this light beer make it perfect for patio drinking.”
Triangle Brewing Co. - IPA (American India Pale Ale | 5.7% ABV) - “Now released in a can, our IPA is unfiltered with a deep golden color and plenty of hops to balance out the malt. Make sure you pack a few of these IPAs in your cooler or backpack to enjoy at your favorite venue.”
Win Bassett is executive director of the North Carolina Brewers Guild and leads Social Media & Beer Education for All About Beer Magazine. He’s also a co-founder and freelance writer at NCbrewing.org and has contributed to Brewers Association, Southern Brew News, the News & Observer and WRAL. He is the interim secretary of the North American Guild of Beer Writers and a Cicerone Certified Beer Server. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/winbassett.