Straddling the stark winter and the renewal of spring, here are two heavy brews as well as a couple heralds of the spring thaw as we approach St. Patrick’s Day.
Magner’s Irish Cider
Magner’s is a goldilocks cider in that it’s neither too sugary nor too dry. The label says it’s made from the juices of 17 different apple varieties and that’s cool, but all that really matters here is that it’s well-balanced between tartness and sweetness. An issue with many American ciders is that they taste like apple juice with alcohol tossed in, but this 4.5 percent ABV concoction doesn’t.
Stonecloud — Danny Boi
A returning favorite this spring, Stonecloud’s Danny Boi is a solid seasonal rotator. Neither too sweet nor too bitter, this Irish red ale is low in alcohol and high in malt flavor, which makes it perfect for a long haul like St. Patrick’s Day. Stonecloud consistently knocks it out of the park with their core beer lineup and rotators, more than proficient at any style that they attempt. This one is worth buying by the case as an easy spring drinker through the season’s duration.
Rahr & Sons — S’More Pug
Always keeping tabs on our neighbors to the south, the S’More Pug is likely to be the last winterish flavor to sneak across state lines. This sweet black lager is flavored with vanilla, cinnamon and cocoa and you can taste every bit of all three, but the 5.5 ABV is easily disguised. As painful as it is to admit, Rahr & Sons consistently delivers seasonal flavors that are worth the curiosity.
Fuller’s — 2020 Vintage Ale
When a pint beer bottle comes packaged in a box, there’s either going to be something special or a lipsticked pig contained within. If there’s one wintry beer to bid adieu to the frost with this season, it’s 2020’s Vintage Ale release from Fuller’s. As it’s bottle-conditioned, this one is best served poured slowly into a glass after it’s been chilled. Definitely rich in malt and sweetness that borders on a Belgian ale with both flavor and alcohol content at 8.5 percent ABV, here’s to bottle number 1,573 of this limited edition.