Sixteen new, seasonal beers begin hitting the LCBO this week. We’ve picked the best brews for your buck, your palate, and your favourite spring food fare. (Spring rolls are seasonal, right?)
1. Abbaye des Rocs Grand Cru, Belgium
This russet-hued ale is a heady mix of plums, molasses, cherries, and dark chocolate. One sip, and you’re hooked.
Great with: Moroccan lamb shoulder. The ale’s fruity, caramel, and boozy notes will meld perfectly with the slow-roasted flavours.
2. Les Trois Mousquetaires Maibock, Quebec
The maibock, meaning “May bock” is brewed for the short season between the last thaw and the first bloom. This Quebec version is a stand-out: an amped-up lager with a creamy body of baguette and biscuit, and spicy hops drying out at the end.
Great with: Easter ham. The salty flavour is the perfect contrast to the sweet lager.
3. BIA IPA, Italy
Italy has seen a craft-brewing explosion recently, with hundreds of new breweries. Not surprisingly, the Italians go their own way: Their IPAs are maltier, with lots of zingy fruit flavour. This brew has notes of mango, pineapple, and peach pie over a caramel backbone.
Great with: fried-pork or veggie spring rolls.
4. Saison Dupont Monk’s Stout, Belgium
Some beer historians think old-timey stouts and porters had a distinct sour tang, something nearly impossible to find in most LCBO offerings—until now. Saison’s earthy, funky Belgian stout tastes a bit like smoked barbecue ribs, along with waves of Worcestershire, vanilla, and vinegar.
Great with: St. Paddy’s Day fare like Guinness stew, or sweet-and-sour barbecued spareribs.
5. St. Feuillien Grand Cru, Belgium
The grande dame of this Belgian brewery is a sparkling blonde. Lemon aromas and snappy floral notes give way to a whopper (9.5% ABV) of an ale with notes of citrus, hay and vanilla, swith a dry, bubbly finish.
Great with: Vietnamese rice- paper spring rolls. The beer’s citrus complements the shrimp, and its floral flavours mix nicely with the cilantro.
6. Saison Dupont Cervesia, Belgium
This bubbly, champagne-like beer is a brilliant yellow, with fresh aromas of pear, lychee, and jasmine; earthy notes of damp soil and fresh hay; plus delicate pink peppercorn and hints of juniper that come together for a dry and spicy finish.
Great with: fiddleheads or spring asparagus. Put the bottle on the table and let the earthiness and delicate herbs and spices do the rest.