[Reid Ramsay is the self-described Atlanta Beer Master. He wrote this list for Paste over the weekend despite also making a trip to the ER. He’s just that dedicated. Follow him on Twitter.]
Spring brings the changing of the season, and for beer, that means delicious, new brews. That’s the main reason I look forward to pollen, sneezing and those days when it’s not quite warm, but not quite cold either. Using very unscientific math, I figure there are around 1,700 or so craft brewers in the United States alone. Factor in our foreign counterparts, and that number easily surpasses 3,000. If each one of those breweries releases just one beer this spring, we’ll never come close to trying them all. How does one pick just a few for a list? It’s actually not that hard. What are people are talking about on Twitter, via e-mail, beer websites, etc.? The buzz is out there; it just takes a beer drinking internet nerd like myself to condense it. So, as the new season slowly arrives this year, below is but a small sampling of beers to start getting excited about.
">Sierra Nevada Abbey Series
Beers: Abbey Dubbel, Abbey Saison , Abbey Quadrupel,
Release Date: March, July, November
The newest page in Sierra Nevada’s book at 30 years young. This new series is different from everything the brewery has done to date. The beers will be a Belgian influenced collaboration with authentic California Trappist Monks. First one drops in March.
">Flying Fish Exit 9 (Hoppy Scarlet Ale)
Release Date: March
This big-on-hops red ale is the seventh release in Flying Fish’s limited series. Exit 9 is best known as the Rutgers University exit.
">New Belgium Somersault
Release Date: April
The Somersault replaces New Belgium’s Skinny Dip as their spring offering. It’s an ale brewed with light spices.
">SweetWater Brewing Mean Joe Bean
Release Date: February
The next edition in the Dank Tank series. A big imperial porter brewed with copious amounts of coffee from Java Vino, a local Atlanta coffee bean roaster.
">Red Brick 16th Anniversary
Release Date: Late February-Early March
Barrel-aged follow-up to Red Brick’s popular 15th Anniversary. This year’s edition is an imperial brown that spent six months with Mr. Jack Daniels. In 12 ounce bottles this time around.