If you live in Western Montana, spring can be a long time coming. That’s if it’s not an El Nino year and the bizarro weather patterns that produce trees full of dead leaves in February and 60-degree, blue bird days in March, do not throw a kink into the rotation. You might find yourself tiring of the heavy stouts, porters, Scotch-style ales and other big beers of winter as you do the deep snow drifts, river icebergs and sub-zero temperatures of bygone winters.
And if that should happen to be you, you might find yourself looking forward to something crisp and floral, like fragrant flowers or a newly mowed lawn.
The good news is that spring seems to have sprung in the west, where very mild temperatures cause one to almost forget that last year’s winter seemed to extend into late May.
And to go along with the great weather, western breweries seem to be suffering a bout of El Nino madness as well. I mean who can believe that Big Sky Brewing Company would release Summer Honey in February.
Without further delay, because who knows when this El Nino thing ends for sure, I’ll introduce a few spring-ish beers for your tasting pleasure.
1. In the big-producer categories, we have Full Sail Brewing Company’s new Hop Pursuit. I’ve not tried it yet, but it claims to be 55 IBUs and is brewed using Cascade, Willamette and Mt. Hood hops. It’s reportedly dry hopped for two weeks.
2. Another big producer is Big Sky Brewing Company and their upcoming Saison, to be released April 1. Big Sky brewed a Saison a year or two ago, so I’ll be excited to see how similar or different this one turns out. The best part is this beer will be available in bottles in Missoula only.
3. White Rabbits Hoppy Tripel from Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project in Massachusetts. I know we can’t get this beer in Montana, but I had to include it, because fluffy white rabbits remind me of spring. And I’m just really impressed with this brewery and almost anything they do. (Anyone in Mass. want to do a beer trade?)
There are a lot of great spring seasonal beers hitting your local brew pubs in the next few weeks. Holler when find something good, and I’ll stick your review on the blog.