One of the benefits of living in San Francisco, is that each season brings a fresh roster of innovative new beers. To help keep you hydrated this spring and summer, local craft brewers are finishing up refreshing batches of citrusy lagers, tropical witbiers, tangy IPAs and more. Crack one open and cheer on the Giants for a perfect summer afternoon.
Anchor recently released the first two beers in a new year-round line called the Pacific Siren Series. Both are 4.5% ABV.
- Meyer Lemon Lager: This bright, flavorful lager is a perfect springtime refresher with a hint of citrus. Available in cans and on draft, this brew is decidedly different from Anchor's Spring Ale, a Belgian-style saison that includes Meyer lemon zest.
- Mango Wheat: This tropically aromatic and effervescent golden ale highlights the tart character of mango rather than its fruity sweetness.
(photo via Yelp)
Cellarmaker has two new heavyweights for your sipping pleasure.
- Bourbon Barrel Vastness of Space: This 11.7% ABV imperial stout was aged for just over a year in Breckenridge Bourbon barrels. Think of it as a bourbon-infused liquid chocolate truffle.
- Sabrosa: Inspired by Mexican chocolate, this porter has a strong chocolate backbone, a subtle spiciness, and a mildly lingering heat. The 8.1% ABV porter was brewed with cocoa nibs, vanilla bean, cinnamon and cayenne pepper.
- Moon Phase: This bourbon barrel-aged Belgian quadrupel starts with notes of ginger, toasted almond, and toffee before finishing with a warm 13% ABV of smoky Buffalo Trace and Smooth Ambler Rye bourbon flavors.
(photo via Twitter)
- Let's Get Tropical: Amarillo and Falconer's Flight hops and pineapple give this 5.8% ABV Pale Ale its tropical pedigree. Slip into your Hawaiian shirt for Local's beer release on Thursday, April 28.
- Coast: This hazy 5.3% ABV Hefeweizen is brewed from German wheat and German pils malts. A wheaty, banana-scented nose opens up as you sip, followed by bright lemon on the palate from Sterling hops.
- Bernal Equinox: This 5.0% ABV Belgian pale has a subtle stone fruit aroma and distinct clove and white peppercorn notes in the finish.
- Inner Sunset & Outer Sunset: Local Brewing recently released a pair of Saisons to ring in the Giants' season. At 6.3% ABV, Inner Sunset is a bright and light, dry-hopped Saison. Sip for juicy fruit and tangerine notes. Outer Sunset (6.4% ABV) is a dark Saison with rye. This brew accentuates the spicy and acidic character of the Saison yeast.
- Saison de Lily: Although Magnolia releases this Saison (named after owner-brewermaster Dave McLean's daughter) every spring, they tinker with the recipe a bit every time they brew it. This version was brewed with Czech Saaz and Hallertau Blanc hops and coriander, peppercorns, orange peel and elderberries. McLean says it should finish at 6.8% ABV, dry, but with some fruity complexity from the Saison yeast and the fruit.
- Ginger Says: Fresh ginger was added to the kettle and again during post-fermentation aging to make this 4.9% ABV Golden Bitter. The combination of Maris Otter malt and Czech Saaz and German Spalt hops add bright spicy notes to this summer refresher.
- As Yet Unnamed: Maris Otter and Copper Fox Virginia Pale malts were touched up with rye malt and Copper Fox smoked malt to brew this mildly smoky Red Ale. It was hopped with Southern Cross from New Zealand. McLean estimates it will be a little over 5% ABV when finished in early May. A portion of this batch will also become a base for a special keg that Magnolia will make for Cochon 555. That beer will be dosed with fat-washed Benton's bacon from Tennessee.
(photo via Social Kitchen)
Social brewed enough new beers to keep Giants fans hydrated through the all those regular season's games.
- Imaginary Beach Party: Enjoy this one now—they're already running low. This Pale Ale was brewed with applewood smoked coconut and includes cinnamon, vanilla, and sandalwood notes. Brewmaster Kim Sturdavant named it Imaginary Beach Party since it uses their Imaginary Circles Pale Ale as a base beer and tastes like a beach party.
- Grab Some Pine: This straw-colored IPA explodes with fruity hops. Super quaffable, balanced, complex, and perfect to drink while watching baseball.
- As Yet to be Named: This new Pale Ale was designed to be very full flavored and luscious. Although it's not quite finished, Sturdavant notes that “It will be really hoppy but still balanced with the nice white wine grape qualities of Nelson and notes of fresh apricots from the Comet, before finishing smooth as honey."
- Mommy Long Legs: An IPA on the maltier side, balanced by an extra-large dose of Simcoe, Amarillo, and Santiam hops. Sturdavant says he expects it “will be a cool interplay between the fruity flavors of mango and berries from the Simcoe and Amarillo hops, and a big floral and dried stone fruit aroma from the Santiam."
- As Yet to be Named: For Social's sixth Anniversary they're releasing a red wine barrel aged Belgian Tripel that was soured with Brettanomyces Clausenii. Sturdavant noted that he recently tasted it and, “It's a lovely balance of the fruity and funky brett qualities with a touch of oak and a solid tartness that I wasn't expecting. We'll be releasing this on our 6th year anniversary celebration on the 18th of May. It's just one wine barrel's worth so it'll only be sold at our pub."
Drop by Speakeasy's Tap room over the next three Saturdays for the releases of these new beers.
- Blood Orange Double Daddy Imperial IPA: A dry-hopped dose of Amarillo, Nelson, Simcoe, and Mosaic hops plus a late addition of blood orange juice and pulp gives this IPA a strong backbone of orange. Fresh pale malts deliver a touch of biscuit and orange marmalade. Tap Room Release Party: Saturday, April 23.
- Teatotaler: This San Francisco Common Lager was "dry-tea'd" with one pound of China Black Tea per barrel. The citrus like tang of the warm lager fermentation blended with the iced tea flavor from the dry tea addition create an Arnold Palmer-like thirst quencher. Feel free to serve with a slice of lemon or sprig of bergamot. Tap Room Release Party: Saturday, April 30.
- Juice Joint Kettle Sour: Speakeasy's first foray into the world of sours is a wheat beer, kettle soured with Lactobacillus Brevis for 48 hours, then fermented with a Saison blend of yeast and aged with lemon, orange, and lime rind. Tap Room Release Party: Saturday, May 7.
(Photo via Triple Voodoo)
Both the Witbier and the IPA are available now in the Taproom; the Saison is scheduled for the end of April.
- Blind Lemon Belgian Witbier: This 4.9% ABV Belgian Witbier was brewed using Meyer Lemons and coriander and fermented on Trappist yeast. This beer is light and refreshing, with a slight hint of tartness from the lemon juice and zest.
- Fluidity Imperial IPA: A mix of Azacca, Mosaic, Simcoe, and Falconer's Flight hops gives this 8.8% Imperial IPA aromatic notes of pineapple, mango, pungent blueberry, and citrus zest.
- Joie de Vivre Saison: This rustic Belgian Farmhouse Ale (6.2% ABV) was fermented with Saison yeast and brewed in the classic tradition with all French/Belgian malts. Vinous with kitchen spice hops and peppery yeast notes, this hazy bronze Saison is bone dry with a lightly tart finish.