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New year, new beers


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.

That will be followed by Mountain Daisy India Pale Ale in February, and Parkland Pils when spring arrives for realz in March. 

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