As pub gardens begin to open up and breweries release their latest range of craft beers, Sam Wylie-Harris rounds up some cool brews.
Chances are, you can’t wait to hit the nearest pub garden for a freshly poured pint and savour that lovely frothy head.
Some of you may already be up on the al-fresco brewing scene, and have your beer route mapped.
But with soaring demand for table service, when the novelty factor of trying to book a slot at your local tavern wears off – and there’s little room in the offing for a spur-of-the-moment swift half – sitting in your own pub shed might be the best ‘brew’ bet right now.
To help you work up a thirst, we’ve rounded up the best spring beers to have on tap, delivered straight to your door…
1. Adnams x Thornbridge Brewery, Nevermore India Porter, 5% abv, £12.99 for 12 x 33cl cans, Adnams
Showcasing the first in a series of exciting collaborations, Adnams have teamed up with Thornbridge Brewery to bring you this rich and complex India Porter. Blending refreshing pineapple, grapefruit and pine needle with earthy herbs, notes of malted milk chocolate and coconut, it has the body to stand up beautifully to anything you might bring to the BBQ.
2. Beavertown Casting Circles, Tempus, 4.2%abv, £4.50 for 37.5cl, Beavertown Brewery
This Brett IPA (brett-fermented with the yeast brettanomyces) ages in the bottle and provides ‘funky’ flavour profiles as it matures. In its youth, Casting Circles is fresh and fruity and wins you over with its strong, fruity, hoppy aromas, with hints of stone fruits and touch of tartness.
Like a fine wine and worth the wait, hold a couple of brews back and you’ll be rewarded with something much deeper and complex, with a zesty bitterness. Note: Beavertown launch a new Tempus edition every month and April’s will be landing soon.
3. Grevensteiner Original, Undefined Region, Germany, 5.2% abv, £3.25 for 50cl, Laithwaite’s
Delving into the German beer belt, you could say this grevensteiner from brewers C & A Veltins is from ‘maltiple’ regions – and best known for its history dating back to the 1890s. A tribute to one of the oldest examples of an unfiltered lager, Gravensteiner Original is a light country beer with a smooth, creamy, bready maltiness, mild toasty notes, hints of caramel and almonds, finishing with a fruity apple freshness. Extremely moreish.
4. Lowlander Beer Cool Earth Lager, 4% abv, £2 for 33cl, Sainsbury’s
Delightfully crisp and hoppy, this pilsner plays out fragrant lemongrass alongside hoppy aromas, combining a clean crispness with a smooth drinking, fruity basket to put the citrusy zing into spring and that first taste of summer evenings. Committed to fighting climate change, with every can sold, Lowlander adds another plant to a seagrass meadow with the support of dedicated charity, Project Seagrass.
5. People’s Captain Mixed Case – Mix It Up, £29 for 12 pack, People’s Captain
The hop head behind People’s Captain beer range, premier league rugby player, Greg Bateman (currently playing for the Newport Gwent Dragons) is championing positive mental health with a portion of proceeds going towards his charity, The People’s Captain Foundation.
A core range of five session beers, leading the pack is Legend APA (4.2% abv), the signature core hero; Islander (5.5%), a classic New England pale ale; Short & Stout (5% abv), a milk stout with a twist; Stereotype (4.5%), an English style lager, and ’Tis the Saison (5% abv), a traditional French Saison using Belle Saison yeast. Along with perfectly judged, great tasting beer, we love the wacky labels designed by graffiti artist Nathan Bowen.
6. Brewdog Lost Lager, 4.5% abv, £43.75 for 48 pack, Brewdog
Staying true to a German style pilsner, Brewdog have dusted off the heaviness of some of their more experimental beers and released this refreshingly light new brew. Perfectly balanced, citrusy fresh, mildly hoppy and ideal for summer session drinking. Refreshing, satisfying and a real ring-puller.
7. Hepworth Charger IPA, 5.5% abv, £21.60 for 12 pack, Hepworth Brewery
Leading the charge on the canning line, Sussex brewery Hepworth have canned two of its beers for the first time. We shortlisted Charger IPA (there’s also Crazy Horse APA, 5% abv) for its rich, refreshing and satisfyingly complex flavours. Deliciously difficult to describe, it’s ample bodied, hoppy and remarkably fresh.
8. Flavourly Craft Beer Mixed Case, from £59.90 for 40 pack, Flavourly
With mixed cases in a wide range of sizes, discovery bundles and an ever-changing line-up – Flavourly have a fine array of craft beers you probably haven’t met yet, but should. We’ve singled the Butterfly Collector (4% abv), a collaboration with Loch Lomond Brewery and available in various mixed cases on the site. A genuinely engaging blonde beer, along with ‘spicy marmalade aromas, subtle orange flavours and a malty finish’, it’s a real go-to for anytime refreshment – and will make you want to cheer for beer and pubs!