The 5 best craft beers for spring

Photo credit: Flickr user starshaped

So long dark porters and stormy winter ales. Hello lagers, blondes, ambers and weissbier.

Craft beer, which grows in popularity with every year while mainstream beer sales stagnate (see coverage of Vancouver’s legendary May Craft Beer Week), changes with the seasons. Now’s the time to start sampling spring craft beer, ideally on a sunny patio.

I called upon Vancouver’s enthusiastic – if not enthusiastically geeky – community of bartenders, liquor store staff and cicerones to put together a list of the best local beers for spring sipping. Check out their picks after the jump.

5 Craft Beer Picks for Spring

1) Bitter Tasting Room: Spinnaker Brewpub’s Currant Noir. This strong (8.2%) Belgian beer has a full body that starts with tart black currants and eases into residually sweet apricot. Pair with a spring salad that contains fruits.

2) Steamworks Brewing Company: Ipamena Summer White Ale. This Belgian wheat beer is brewed in house. Expect light carbonation, plenty of lace and a fruity, slightly spicy finish. Pair it with Steamworks‘ butter chicken or tandoori chicken salad.

3)  Legacy Liquor Store: Driftwood Brewery’s Crooked Coast Altbier. Although often simply referred to as “amber,” altbier sits on the thrilling cusp between lager and ale. This brew offers both noble hops fruit-action and cold conditioning. It’s highly quaffable with brats, pork and anything celery or fennel.

4) Legacy Liquor Store: R & B Brewing Co.’s Eastside Bitter. A classic, perfectly hoppy West Coast bitter that brings to mind fresh cut grass and ever so slight tones of pear and citrus. It was also described as “poundable.”

5) Bridges Restaurant, Bistro & Bar: Granville Island Brewing’s Robson St. Hefeweizen. Made next door on Granville Island and served in a tall, slim glass GIB’s tart jefe of hefes gives off light clove and banana aromas. This breakfast beer is great with brunch or by itself on a sunny patio. Perfect pairing: Poached eggs or weisswurst.

What’s your favourite seasonal craft beer? Add by commenting.

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5 Responses to The 5 best craft beers for spring

  1. @Whistlerbrewing Maple Chai!!

    • Stephen B

      Upright 4, Cantillion Geuze, Soraci Ace my summer fav’s

  2. So many good summer beers, it’s really hard to choose. Naturally, wheat beers are popular. And while people like adding fruit to them, a citrusy IPA offers its own refreshing fruit notes. Faves are Driftwood Fat Tug, Lighthouse Switchback, and Red Racer.

    Iain Hill at Yaletown Brewing makes an excellent Pilsner and a phenomenal Raspberry ale.

    Don’t forget, we have two new breweries in town — Coal Harbour and Parallel 49. Then there’s Townsite Brewing in Powell River. Be sure to check out what they’ll be offering this summer.

  3. Jason Lehr

    Howe Sound 4 Way Fruit Ale and Mill St Lemon Tea absolutely brilliant!!!

  4. Legendary? You’re so kind :)