Once again, regional breweries are rolling out some new releases for the new year. Among the offerings to keep an eye out for at area stores:
– Sierra Nevada’s spring seasonal Hop Bullet Double IPA (8 percent alcohol by volume, 60 International Bitterness Units) has been available for a few weeks now, kicking Celebration to the curb even earlier than usual (good luck finding a “winter beer” the rest of the winter).
The lightly sweet, straw-golden beer uses the IPA ingredient du jour, lupulin powder, to add a bit of a pungent edge to the regular hop bill of Magnum, Centennial, Cascade, Chinook and Crystal.
There's also a trendy new year-round offering, the unfiltered Hazy Little Thing IPA (6.7, 40). It has a nice tropical/pineapple aroma and flavor from Citra, Comet, Mosaic, Simcoe and El Dorado, but isn't as soft and juicy as traditional New England IPAs, which use fruitier English yeast strains.
– New Belgium gets in the act with its new year-round Voodoo Ranger Juicy Haze IPA (7.5, 42), fermented with a hefeweizen yeast. It's similar in appearance and mouthfeel to Sierra's but is less bright and more dank, with a lingering bitterness, befitting a more old-school hop bill of Citra, Simcoe, Cascade, Centennial and Nugget.
– Ninkasi is introducing a pair of year-round additions in 12-ounce cans. Prismatic Juicy IPA (5.9, 36) includes Mosaic and Simcoe powder along with standard versions of those hops plus Centennial, Citra and El Dorado for a fruity, tropical character.
There’s also a crisp, sessionable Yours Truly Easy-Drinking Ale (4.3, 20) with a floral, spicy, herbal blend of some less familiar hop varieties: Glacier, Santiam, Crystal and Liberty. Try both of them on tap at a Ninkasi event Wednesday at The Viking.
– Alaskan’s new seasonal Spruce IPA (7, 55) is brewed with the same Sitka spruce tips used in its sweeter Winter Ale, which the brewery says lend more of a piney, woody character to the hoppier beer.
– Reuben's spring seasonal Bits & Bobs IPA (7, 50) features fruity Strata, Azacca and Citra hops.
– And for something more malt-forward – not to mention caffeinated – Redhook has shipped a new spring seasonal My Oh My Caramel Macchiato Milk Stout (5.5, 33) with coffee and lactose milk sugar, while Fremont has released the first of its three new spring seasonals: Stone Squirrel Coffee Porter (5.4, 25), made with cold-brewed organic Carmelita coffee from Tony’s Café in Seattle.