March signifies spring. This month we shake off the last of winter’s icicles and emerge from hibernation. Accordingly, our beer tastes start to shift from imperial stouts and porters to sprightly saisons, fruity sours, tart Berliner weisses, juicy hazies, and bright West Coast IPAs.
This month, we celebrated International Women’s Day by showcasing our top 77 women-led breweries in the country. If you’re looking for ways to support women and femme-identifying folks in beer, join us at our fifth annual women in craft beer festival Beers With(out) Beards on Saturday, April 9th, 2022, at Brick South in Portland, ME. At the festival, you’ll be able to enjoy beer from thirty-five-plus breweries that are either women-owned or owned by femme-identifying people, or that have women or femme-identifying people in prominent leadership positions. This includes Bissell Brothers, Lamplighter Brewing, Outer Range Brewing, Resident Culture, Superstition Meadery, Twin Elephant Brewing Co., and many more!
Additionally, in March, we uncovered the secrets of one of the world’s most iconic and popular beers in our piece on “The Cult of Guinness.”
Plus, hot off the bine, we unearthed “The 5 Hottest Hops of 2022, According to An Expert.” And told you what beers you can already try on the market with these exciting little green cones.
And we wrestled with the question: “Is West Coast IPA Finally Popular Again? (Or Did It Ever Go Away?).” The answer might surprise you.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, we released one of our most popular best seasonal beer lists of the year — “The Best Beers of Spring 2022.”
As we welcome the spring equinox, here are the best beers we had a chance to write about in March.
Here Are the 10 Best Beers We Drank in March 2022
Neon Neon Rainbows – Brewery Ommegang
Imperial / Double New England / Hazy IPA–For a brewery best known for its Belgian-style beers, Brewery Ommegang has also dabbled in dang tasty hazy IPAs. Neon Neon Rainbows doubles the hoppiness from the original crowd-pleasing Neon Rainbows (that’s one neon-hazy-IPA).
In Neon Neon Rainbows, expect an explosion of colors from those little green cones with Mosaic, Simcoe, Citra, Centennial, and Topaz varietals all making an appearance.
In this golden-pot-at-the-end-of-the-rainbow beer, you’ll find a dazzling experience for the senses. Overall, Neon Neon Rainows is a tribute to the beautifully hazy, juice-bomb IPAs bursting out of the Northeast in the last five years. Brewed in very small batches with limited distribution to ensure freshness, Neon Neon Rainbows is a beer you need to try. If you can get your hands on some, grab it before it disappears…like a rainbow.
Editor’s Note: If you can’t find Neon Neon Rainbows, you can still enjoy one of these delicious hazy IPAs that are available in most stores across the country right now.
Oooh! Raspberries – Proclamation Ale Company
Fruited Sour – Lori Whitham took over running the business at Proclamation Ale Company, a 2,000-square-foot barrel aging area and wood cellar for sour and mixed-fermentation ales along with a 3,000-square-foot tasting room, after her husband and founder Dave Whitham passed away from cancer in December 2020. And with brewer Kate Goodson driving the brewing engine at this Rhode Island-based brewery, Proclamation Ale is one of our favorite under-the-radar breweries on our list of the “77 Women-Lead Breweries to Support Right Now.”
Oooh! Raspberries is the brewery’s ode to the tiny ruby fruit. Bursting with the powerful flavors and aromas of raspberry, Oooh! Raspberries has an added dose of lactose that makes this sour like a luxurious fruit smoothie.
Editor’s Note: Proclamation Ale Company will be joining us at our fifth annual Beers With(out) Beards Festival at Brick South in Portland, ME, on April 9th, 2022. GET YOUR TICKETS HERE.
Beach Drive – Port City Brewing
Golden Ale – What’s so unique about this year-round golden ale from Port City Brewing? The hop inside. Port City adds Adeena, recently named one of our hottest hops of 2022, a hop geared specifically toward lager-style beers.
Formerly known as ADHA 1940, Adeena was commercially released in 2020 and has quickly gained traction.
“This is a really exciting one for us this year and in the past two years because a lot of the beer trends I’ve noticed…brewers are getting more into refining lager beers and improving them,” says Jeff Perkins, CEO of Yakima Valley Hops. “We’re seeing that on every level of every craft beer.”
The hop is described as, “bringing gentle, delicate, new-world flavors to beers,” says Perkins. “Our distributors have noted herbal, spicy, floral, citrus, woody, and aromatic.”
A bit of a rarity in the American hop world, Adeena works beautifully in Beach Drive. Slightly spicy and a tad floral, this golden ale is the perfect beer to break out on the way to the beach, lake, or pool.
Guinness Draught Stout – Guinness
Irish Dry Stout – A 9,000-year brewery lease. A dead Archbishop. And a mythical harp. Those are just a few of the stories behind the weird and wacky history of Guinness.
After all, there is a reason why Guinness beers have become some of the most iconic in the world. And yes, we did drink this Irish dry stout for St. Patrick’s Day this year. Actually, we have blindly for many years without truly understanding what makes this beer so special.
And not just in the United States, but in countries all over the world folks Love (with a capital “L”) Guinness.
So why exactly does this beer have an almost cult-like following? This month, we found out.
Song For Hard Times – Resident Culture Brewing Company
Keller Pils – A big congratulations to our friends at Resident Culture who recently opened their second location in the South End neighborhood of Charlotte, NC. From what we hear, the new taproom has been killing it! If you live in the Charlotte area, get yourself their ASAP. This has been a busy start to the year for one of our favorite breweries in Charlotte with Resident Culture also joining our fifth annual Beers With(out) Beards for the third year in a row!
Co-founders Amanda and Phillip McLamb are BW(O)B vets and we’re honored to have them pour beer at the festival for another year.
To celebrate, we’re highlighting one of their newest releases.* Song For Hard Times is a Karusened unfiltered keller pils hopped with Saaz and Crystal hops. If you follow us at Hop Culture you know how much we love lagers, and this beer is a standout interpretation of the traditional unfiltered German pilsner.
*Editor’s Note: At the moment, can releases are still only available at Resident Culture’s original Plaza Midwood location.
Strata (It’s What We Like Here) – Green Cheek Beer Company
West Coast IPA – Only showcasing 100 percent Strata hops, this West Coast IPA actually goes a bit lighter on the bitterness. Green Cheek Co-owner and Brewer Evan Price uses Strata in all its glorious forms, from hopping in the whirlpool with whole leaf and pellets to dry hopping at the start and end of fermentation. The flavors? Green Cheek describes this beer as “strawberry jam, Maui Wowee, and orange blossoms.” This beer is just one standout example showcasing the fact that West Coast IPAs are still popular and in reality never really lost momentum over the past decade.
TRINITY Barrel-Aged in Mezcal Reposado Barrels – Scorched Earth Brewing Company
Imperial / Double Stout – An imperial stout aged two full years in mezcal Reposado barrels, plus another year of extended aging, TRINITY’s aromas hit a blend of rich chocolate and mezcal with hints of stone fruit and sweetness. Flavorwise, look for a kiss of heat, chocolate, and smoky mezcal with a subtle salinity and fruitiness.
Roll over bourbon barrel-aged beers, a new trend in barrel-aging is here—mezcal barrel-aged beers are pretty hot right now. Probably because of that unique smokiness this Mexican-based spirit imparts on beers that slumber in them.
Beer for Burgers – Off Color Brewing
Helles / Maibock – Originally brewed as a nod to a boilermaker—a beer and a shot—Beer for Burgers was meant to be the ultimate…well, beer for your burgers. “The idea was to make a clean beer that could stand up to the wood and alcohol you get from barrel aging,” says Dave Bleitner, co-founder of Off Color Brewing in Chicago, IL.
Using Off Color’s helles bock base, Bleitner created Beer for Burgers by resting the beer in a blend of second- and third-use bourbon barrels. Fermented with a traditional lager yeast, Beer for Burgers is “a very clean base that has a little bit of fruit notes from fermentation, especially like a mild stone fruit mixed in with a little boozy alcohol note,” says Bleitner. “Not to the extent you get on an imperial stout, but just a hint of alcohol burn helps balance the residual sweetness from the malts.”
While the lighter German-style lager known as a helles bock or maibock isn’t an uber popular style here in America, it’s one that often represents the spring. Actually. mai in German translates to May. These paler cousins of the bock are strongly malty and slightly hoppy lagers perfect for the days from March to May.
Bolleke De Koninck (APA) – Brouwerij De Koninck
Antwerp, Vlaanderen, Belgium
Belgian Pale Ale – We love Belgian beers like dubbels, tripels, and quads. But most of those styles are pretty strong: We could probably only enjoy one (maybe one and a half). But what if a Belgian beer style existed that captured the best of both worlds: more sessionable and more approachable?
It does exist! And it’s called a Belgian pale ale, a lighter Belgian beer that offers the same drinkability of more pronounced styles, but forgoes the booziness.
Bolleke De Koninck is the style standard. Pouring a medium amber with ample white foam, De Koninck Pale is the gold standard of lower-strength Belgian beers. The red-and-white bottle label and bowl-shaped glass or bolleke in which the beer is served are nearly synonymous with the city of Antwerp.
Look for light, focused flavors from each ingredient. Caramel malt provides just a whisper of the full bouquet of nutty-toffee richness. Saaz hops add an earthy spiciness and give this beer a nicely bitter finish. The yeast gives slight, pleasant notes of banana and apple. De Koninck’s 5.2% makes it the definition of a session beer, perfect for a long afternoon at the pub, intermittently munching on some frites, cheese, or sausages.
Just Another Phantastic Nelsoner – New Image Brewing Company
New Zealand IPA – Welcome to the phantastic, phenomenal, psychedelic world of Phantasm. Derived from the New Zealand Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc grapes, Phantasm is a powder that produces incredibly intense tropical aromas and flavors in beers. It’s a new ingredient that is currently buzzing around the industry.
Breweries like The Veil, Other Half, and New Image were some of the first breweries to experiment with Phantasm. But New Image in particular dedicated an immense amount of time perfecting brewing with this ingredient. The work has paid off, leading to a whole slew of beers bursting and brimming with tropical goodness.
The newest—Just Another Phantastic Nelsoner—combines Southern Cross, Nelson Sauvin, and Motueka hops with Phantasm. This is an IPA that’s beyond this world. Potent pockets of kiwi ethereally float near bold bursts of mango and pineapple. You may have thought you’ve tried a juicy IPA, but until you’ve tried Just Another Phantastic Nelsoner you’ve only been drinking ghostly shadows.