I've noticed that I surprise people. Granted, my beer drinking is no longer as surprising as it was a few years ago, back when most people would be hard pressed to name a craft brewery in the U.S. But even as recently as 2008, I was a member of a much smaller group: women who enjoy craft beer so much, they make it their job.
Of course being a craft beer enthusiast does not prevent me from enjoying other food and drink delights (such as wine), but it has been an absolute pleasure to observe the world of beer as a blogger for the past four years. I've been writing Beer Goggins for that long, and I'm excited to join the Snooth team as a beer columnist.
I'm hoping to bring a little insight into beer tasting, brewing and even the culture of craft beer to Snooth every couple of weeks. And, while I know I'm communicating with a collection of sophisticated wine drinkers, I hope to have the opportunity to surprise you with beer.
Since I like to jump right in, I'm going to share the top four beers I'm liking this Spring.
Captain Lawrence Kolsch
A light and refreshing beer, the Kolsch is a good option for outdoor drinking. The style is German but Captain Lawrence, a brewery located in Pleasantville, New York, makes it their own with a light citrus (hoppy) flavor. This brew is definitely a perfect fit for summer but we've had a warm spring so I'm already there.
The Lost Abbey Carnevale
A Belgian farmhouse ale, this beer is all floral and clove in the nose but you'll taste citrus and coriander. As Lost Abbey, a San Marcos, California brewery, does not have a distributor in New York City, I had to travel to Jersey to get a taste of this brew -- I thought it was definitely worth the trip. It's a great complement to Spring time.
Cigar City Big Sound Scotch Ale
I'll come right out and say it, I'm a Florida girl, born and bred. The fact that a high-quality brewery is flourishing not far from my home town makes me proud. Cigar City, located in Tampa, takes some chances with their beers that don't always pay off. But they've created a very tasty Scotch Ale. I love the notes of toffee and coffee in this malty brew. It's a bit heavy for a really hot day but it's perfect for mild Spring weather.
Oskar Blues Gubna Imperial IPA
Imperial IPAs are bold. It may not always be the best beer choice but when you're in the mood for a good one, Oskar Blues, out of Lyons, Colorado, brews up a good one. Gubna has a very pungent citrus flavor hinted with a bit of spice and a bitter finish. All of Oskar Blues' beers are canned -- something that can turn off even the most open-minded beer drinker. But the brewery has found a way to make the packaging a nice complement to their beers. Plus it's much more sustainable and environmentally friendly.