Toward the end of last summer, Craft Brewing Business asked the question: Were fall seasonal pumpkin ales released too soon? Now that Northeast Ohio temperatures have plunged to below zero, the CBB crew can’t wait for spring. We’re holed up in our freezing office reading through our list of hotly anticipated spring seasonals to toast when we finally thaw. New Belgium‘s Spring Blonde and Harpoon Brewery‘s The Long Thaw White IPA have definitely caught our eye.
Colorado-based New Belgium’s Spring Blonde is a Belgian-style ale that takes its inspiration from the spring trip to Belgium that all employee-owners can experience in honor of their five-year work anniversary (a policy CBB hopes to implement). The adventure is a tribute to the bike trip New Belgium’s co-founder Jeff Lebesch took in the late ’80s that inspired him to brew Belgian beers.
Spring Blonde is a golden ale brewed with pale malts. It pours bright copper and holds a strong, white head aloft. Opening with a nose of lemon peel, pepper and a kiss of honey, this ale drinks malty, sweet and wonderful. Nugget hopping pedals toward a dry, lightly bitter finish, perfect for spring or any time. It’s 6 percent ABV.
“The Spring Blonde is a tribute, an honor to traditional Belgian ales,” said New Belgium Assistant Brewmaster Grady Hull. “Blondes are also a favorite style among New Belgium employee-owners, so this beer definitely has special meaning for us.”
On the East coast, Harpoon’s new spring seasonal beer, The Long Thaw White IPA, is the first new seasonal release from Harpoon in 14 years.
With notes of orange peel and coriander, the soft mouthfeel of a Belgian wit, and an intense hop profile, The Long Thaw White IPA combines the warming backbone of an IPA with citrus notes indicative of the coming spring. Available from January through March, The Long Thaw is brewed to complement both cold-weather fun and the eagerness of warmer weather ahead.
Harpoon is also inviting beer drinkers to share their stories of how they plan to enjoy The Long Thaw. Now through March 6, Harpoon drinkers are encouraged to visit www.thelongthaw.com to share photos of their springtime activities through Twitter, Instagram or Facebook using the hashtag #thelongthaw. Whether they are looking forward to skiing through April, or have had enough of winter, Harpoon wants to see photos of how beer drinkers plan to enjoy The Long Thaw. One random winner will enjoy an all-expenses paid trip for two to either the Windsor, Vt., or Boston brewery for the “Best Weekend Ever with Harpoon” during their chosen season.