In Search of a Spring Beer

Eno Sarris, March 16, 2015

We've looked for seasonal beers before, and seasonal creep and distribution issues have invaded our search every time.

Sours seem like a winter beer, but they might be added to our shelves in time for the big beer festivals in the fall. Stouts may have a season, but we start drinking fall beers in July, it looks like. Sam Adams has some beer seasons, but boy are the dates strange, and is it all distribution? By score, there's very little seasonal change in how we appreciate beer

Now that you're caught up, we're going to experience all the same issues in our search for a spring beer. My suggestion, Saisons, aren't added to the database most often in spring -- it looks like (late) summer is when we see new saisons hit the shelves most.

One suggestion in our beer chat, which was a good one, was to look into Munich Helles. A bright beer that's related by origin and a few other characteristics to the first Maerzen beers, which were designed to be brewed for a March arrival, it's a great idea. Unfortunately, there aren't many Munich Helles beers in America, or at least being added to Untappd. 

The Munich Helles was a response to the growing popularity of the Czech Pilsner, which was another possible spring beer put forth by our chatters. I certainly think of Pilsners as warm-weather beer. I added German, Czech and non-denominational Pilsners into the mix:

We're getting closer. With a decent sample size, we've got a style that's added most in May and June. Although the plateau there seems to suggest that it's more a summer beer than a spring one. 

In a 'duh' moment, someone suggested Maibock. I mean, the name litterally means "May Beer." We don't have a great sample, but the effect is pretty obvious. 

Uh, yeah, if "May" is in the name of your beer, it looks like April and May are a good time to debut said beer. 

Sometimes, when you're looking for a seasonal, it pays to just look for the name of your month in the beer. Is it almost May? Look for a Maibock. Is it October? Go get an Oktoberfest. 

Eno Sarris helped found this crazy site. He also writes about baseball for FanGraphs, and you can find him at eno @ beergraphs or on twitter @enosarris

Thanks to Wiki Commons user Ian T for the header image.