Springtime means warmer days ahead, long walks outside, and delicious bock beers. Lighter beers are traditional for spring, especially bocks which range from amber to dark in color but have a lighter taste and flavor than winter-style beers. Ready your palate for spring beers with these tasting notes on the best springtime beers around – food pairings included.
Tasting notes on spring beers
This American-style bock beer has a deep brown color and a rich nutty aroma. It is medium-bodied with a slight caramel sweetness and a round fullness in the mouth. AmberBock pairs well with grilled or barbecue foods as well as German-style cuisine. It also works well with rich cheeses and dark chocolates. A tulip shaped glass is the perfect form to bring out the flavor and aromas.
Samuel Adams Double Bock
This is also an American bock but made in the German style. It has a bright copper color and a spicy caramel scent. The Sammy Adams double bock is full-bodied and has a creamy mouth feel with a slight sweetness. It has been described as a “meal in a bottle.” It is best served at 50 degrees F. in a Pilsner glass. Food pairings include rich meats like duck, quail and pork — it is also an excellent component for marinades for these meats. Hearty desserts such as cheesecake and crÃ¨me brulee also pair well with this beer.
Sierra Nevada ESB
This early spring beer combines the traditional English style with a new West Coast style of beer. Sierra Nevada ESB is unfiltered, making the mouth feel of it fuller, and playing up the distinct hop aroma. It is slightly red in color and tastes of earthiness. This ale pairs great with barbecue, buttery cheeses such as Brie and Gouda and rich meats like pork and game. Pint glasses are best for serving this particular beer.
This beer, although from a small New Hampshire craft brewer has gained popularity and can be found in many bars or stores along the East Coast. The medium-bodied Maibock is a lighter brown color and provides huge malt flavor that finishes with hops. It also has a slightly sweet flavor and is very balanced. This beer is best served with German cuisine, at 45 degrees F., in a flute or Pilsner glass.
Dogfish Head Immort Ale
This brand spanking new, limited release spring ale, is luscious and complex. It is made with juniper berries, vanilla and maple syrup but exudes a balanced sweetness. A blend of English and Belgian style beers, this ale has a reddish brown color. Best served at 50 degrees F. and in a pint glass or snifter, this beer pairs well with nutty cheeses like Asiago and Parmesan and is a superb after dinner drink.
Visit your local breweries for seasonal spring beers offered in your area. Most breweries make seasonal beers, giving you a nearby opportunity to try them out.