Beer Bites

Beer bites: Sam Adams Spring Thaw variety pack

It may still be snowing, but the end of football season means breweries are starting to haul out their spring seasonal varieties. Just knowing that Tom Brady won’t ruin my Sunday for an entire offseason makes other things from New England more palatable. For example, Sam Adams. Their Spring Thaw variety pack showcases a family of beers that runs from the classic (Boston Lager) to the exciting and experimental (Maple Pecan Porter). This pack gives me an enormous beer boner. Even more exciting, it’s on sale at Tops with your Bonus Card.

Boston Lager is Sam Adams’ love letter to brewing and the reason founder Jim Koch hasn’t had a drink of water since they opened. This brisk lager draws from a complex flavor palette that is balanced with citrus flavors from the noble hops and the sweetness derived from the caramel malts. Boston Lager’s brewing consists of traditional practices that include secondary fermentation and dry hopping late in the process. Compared to these other brews, Boston Lager is a wimpy 4.9 percent alcohol by volume, which means you should have no problem knocking back two or 14.

Alpine Spring is a lager brewed with the transition from the darker, heavy beers of winter and the crisp, lighter style of beers that are the staples of days getting longer and senioritis. The last word you say after taking a sip of Alpine will invariably end with an “aaah” because it is so refreshing. This is late-winter, slush-shovelling beer, and I love it. The flavor palette benefits greatly from the citrus accents that highlight the golden body and hazy texture of the beer. Alpine Spring is 5.5 percent abv, and is available in 12 packs as well as in the Spring Thaw pack.

Sam’s Irish Red is an ale brewed in the traditional Irish style and, as stupid as it sounds, you really can taste the red. Caramel and pale malts provide the foundation of a flavor that is highlighted by a smooth finish. The hops present serve as punctuation to the overall experience that counterbalances the sweetness from the malts. The presence of English Fuggle hops is further proof that the Irish always hate some part of themselves. Irish Red is 5.8 percent abv, and is a nice beer to segue into the prime Irish drinking season near St. Patrick’s Day.

Stay tuned next week for the exciting conclusion, featuring Double Agent IPL and White Lantern.


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