Sip into spring

By on April 23, 2014


“Tug” McGall is serving up some refreshing spring brews at JoBoy’s. (Photo by Preston Whitcraft)

“Tug” McGall is serving up some refreshing spring brews at JoBoy’s. (Photo by Preston Whitcraft)

We survived an infamous late onion snow. Easter has come and gone. Surely the sound of lawnmowers will fill the sunshine hours this weekend. It’s time to enjoy the seasonal beers of spring!

I’ve recently publicly declared my second favorite beer (of all time) is made by Victory Brewing Company in Downingtown. Their spring release, Swing, is a session saison &tstr; “session” meaning it doesn’t pack a wallop on the alcohol by volume (at a modest 4.5 percent), and “saison” meaning it is brewed in the French style of a pale ale, which incorporates fruits and spices and is highly effervescent. To me, a saison is the perfect spring brew. But, closer to home, brewers in our area are looking at different ways to quench our thirsts.

“We’re taking our wit beer recipe and hop’in it up with the coriander, lemon zest, orange zest, and stuff we might regularly put in a white beer, and we just put a lot of hops to it. It’s really coming out very nice,” said Jeff Harless of JoBoy’s Brew Pub (in Manheim, but soon to be in downtown Lititz) when recently asked about his newest seasonal offering, a White IPA.

The citrusy beverage he is putting out is a thirst quenching alternative to heavier winter brews making their way off taps everywhere. White IPA’s, just like the Black IPA’s during the past two years, have exploded in popularity as the craft brew scene looks for the next new thing. These hopped up witbiers are being found all over the country, and the new JoBoy’s brew made its appearance just last week. It is selling fast, said Harless.

Harless and brewmaster “Tug” McGall haven’t completely shelved the idea of their Black IPA. I’m ready to get a taste of the revamped brew as soon as it hits the taps in the next few weeks. Currently, JoBoy’s offers its standard Black “I” Rye IPA, which was met with a lot of positive comments last year.

“Our first version came out and it’s almost like a double IPA. What we want to do is reduce it down into more of a session IPA, but the original version of what we served last year is coming out right now,” said Harless. “I thought this could be really good if we get it down to a lower gravity level and get it to where it would be not quite a session, but somewhere in between.”

Sign me up for that. I’m also looking forward to Appalachian Brewing Company’s Bee Sting Barley Wine, which just started the brewing process in Lititz. So, since I started this installment of Hop’in Around with a declaration of my second favorite beer, it is only just I let everyone know what my favorite all-time beer is &tstr; Stoudt’s Pils.

Pils is not a seasonal beer, but it is a classic brew with a clean taste, perfect for spring afternoons while the scent of fresh cut grass lingers. It’s traditional and I like it, but sometimes you gotta get out and try something new. After all, that is what spring is all about.

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