Ommegang Iron Throne
When the characters in HBO’s Game of Thrones aren’t busy killing each other, they’re often drinking themselves to an early grave. It’s fitting, then, that the Cooperstown brewery has created a beer to honor the show’s third season. Flavored with grains of paradise, lemon peel and honey malt, this blond ale made with noble hops should pair nicely with Dothraki goat (though we’d stick with the usual seafood or charcuterie). Available at Whole Foods Bowery Beer Room, 95 E Houston St between Bowery and Chrystie St (212-420-1320, wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/bowery). 750mL bottle $9.99.
Founders All Day IPA
True to its name, this highly sessionable new release from Michigan’s Founders Brewing Company is made for long, lazy days spent picnicking, fishing or any other outdoor activity requiring a cooler full of beer that won’t destroy your taste buds (or your liver). Pine, citrus and floral aromas make way for a crisp, light brew with lower alcohol and bitterness than your average India pale ale. Available at Good Beer, 422 E 9th St between First Ave and Ave A (212-677-4836, goodbeernyc.com). 12oz bottle $2.39.
Saranac 12 Beers a Springing
This pack features two new limited-release beers from Utica’s craft-brewing behemoth. The Red IPA balances the caramel malts of an amber with a bitter kick of citrus hops, while the Dry Hop lager adds a mildly hoppy nose to a more classic backbone. Available at American Beer Distribution Company, 256 Court St between Butler and Kane Sts, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn (718-875-0226, americanbeerbuzz.com). Dozen 12oz bottles $16.99.
Victory Swing Session Saison
Pennsylvania’s Victory Brewing Company introduces this new spring beer, which incorporates Szechuan peppercorns, lemon zest and orange peel. Light and dry enough to sip for hours while manning the grill, it also has enough spice and citrus punch to match whatever edibles you take off the barbecue. Available at Brouwerij Lane, 78 Greenpoint Ave between Franklin and West Sts, Greenpoint, Brooklyn (347-529-6133, brouwerijlane.com). Six-pack of 12oz bottles $12.
Brooklyn Dry Irish Stout
Saint Patty’s Day may have passed, but there’s no reason you can’t continue toasting your “Irish heritage” (surely there’s a great-aunt twice removed out there somewhere) for a few more weeks. This malty stout finally became available by the bottle this year, and since it clocks in at a very easy-drinking 4.7 percent ABV, you may want to take home a few rounds’ worth. Do it fast, though—production on this edition will dry up by April. Available at Foragers City Grocer, 56 Adams St at Front St, Dumbo, Brooklyn (718-801-8400, foragerscitygrocer.com). Six-pack of 12oz bottles $14.99.
When you’d rather kick it at home rather than one of the city’s best spring bars, hit up New York’s best beer stores to procure one of these recently launched brews. Game of Thrones fans can sip a blond ale from Brewery Ommegang, and indecisive drinkers can sample two limited releases in Saranac’s dozen pack, but there’s plenty of variety all around.
RECOMMENDED: Best spring bars in NYC
You won’t find a Stella or Budweiser at The Wilky. The name of the game here is craft beer, and at any given time, the bar keeps as many as 18 different brews on tap, plus a few more in cans or bottles. The selection changes seasonally, but on a recent visit, the suds list included Evil Twin Modern IPA ($8 for 16 ounces), Clown Shoes Clementine ($7 for 16 ounces) and Founders Backwoods Bastard ($9 for 9 ounces). If you’re not sure what to order, one of the bartenders will be happy to help you narrow it down—most of them are also Certified Cicerone beer experts. The Wilky also offers a few seasonal cocktails for non-beer drinkers, like the Smoke After with mezcal, Amaro Averna, lemon and Thai chili bitters ($11). All that drinking is sure to work up an appetite, so why not order something off the menu of snacks and sandwiches? The jumbo soft pretzel ($8) or cuban sandwich ($11) ought to hit the spot.
Venue says: “Check Out This Craft Beer Bar in Brooklyn-18 beers on tap, wine, cocktails, & food. ➜ Get YourFirst Beer Free: http://thewilky.com/timeout”