When brewers sub in rye for traditional malted barley or wheat, the results range from a hint of sharp grain flavor (think rye bread) to full-on spice. Perking up styles as diverse as pale ales and black lagers, rye is just the thing to kick-start hibernating palates as the weather warms. Here are six that offer a sharp lesson in rye flavor:
4 Hands Divided Sky Rye IPA
Need to remix your IPA hit list? In a sea of hop overload, this juicy, full-bodied version distinguishes itself with a zippy, lightly spiced rye finish.
BarrelHouse Pale Ryder
The delicate, pillowy texture of this pale ale is an exception to rye beers’ characteristic sharpness. Resiny pine notes dovetail with rye graininess at the finish to satisfy hop seekers.
Buffalo Bayou Brown Buffalo Rye’d
Like the Wild West inspiration for its name, this brown ale goes big with pronounced cinnamon and a rye prickle that stands up to leather and raisin.
Reuben’s Brews Roggenbier
Think of this old-school German style as part hefeweizen, part rye ale: It’s a cohesive, fresh treat with a rye kick in the finish and bitter edge to its soft breadiness.
Excel Böse Roggen Rye Schwarzbier
A study in how well German malts harmonize with rye, this milky black lager is all about the roasted, chocolate flavors with subdued grain singing backup.
Madison River Salmon Fly Honey Rye
A rye beer for tamer palates, this easy-drinking year-rounder is laced with wildflower sweetness thanks to Montana-harvested honey.