New craft beers to try this March
Hazy IPAs, collectively described as “juicy” or, colloquially, JOOOOOOCE, in craft beer parlance, have been all the rage for the past 12-18 months. These beers, which are heavily dry-hopped, lack the bitterness some associate with the style. Baltimore’s Heavy Seas sails into the style with Alpha Effect, which uses Columbus, Centennial, Citra and Mosaic hops to create a resinous, tropical burst of flavor.
Historically, saison was a farmhouse style beer brewed as a refreshing (and hygienic) offering for workers in European farm fields using whatever fermentables were on-hand. Brewery Ommegang is riffing on the style with the Short Sleeve Saison, which rings in at 4.5%. Expect something crisp, light and refreshing while the complex spice and fruit notes of a saison yeast keep things interesting. The beer is finished with lemon peel, coriander and grains of paradise for a little extra zip.
“Blah blah blah” is what some beer drinkers hear when they see yet another IPA offering, but 21st Amendment Brewery is hoping for their India red ale to incite a different reaction. The 8% beer has Mosaic, Citra and Idaho 7 hop varietals, among many others. The use of Crystal 70 malt adds a biscuity nutty sweetness to the back of this beer, which should help balance out all of those hops.
It’s only March, but New Hampshire’s Smuttynose Brewing Company clearly already has an eye toward spring and summer. Blackberry Short Weisse is a Berlinerweiss (a low-alcohol, tart, wheat beer) that goes through a two-part fermentation process (first lactobacillus, then Hefeweizen yeast) before being aged on blackberries. Blackberry Short Weisse, the fourth in a series of fruited Berlinerweiss, is tart but not over-the-top sour and retains the flavors of the blackberries that it is aged on.