Devil’s Purse Brewing Co.
Like the intercontinental-reaching radio waves for which it’s named, Skywave transmits a strong signal: sharp dried lemon, black pepper and pineapple softened at the edges with dry wheat and haylike graininess. Brettanomyces, the wild yeast strain Devil’s Purse adds to this “provisional saison,” contributes fruity funk but doesn’t overtake the base notes, allowing for a lovely interplay of fruit and spice. The beer’s recipe changes subtly with the seasons, but this batch is exemplary; find bottles in and around the brewery in South Dennis, Massachusetts.
Great Notion Brewing Co.
Full disclosure: we popped our crowler of this 8.2% Portland-brewed double IPA several weeks back, but not to include it here would be a disservice. Brewed with more than four pounds of hops per barrel, Juice belongs to the family of cumulus-cloudy, low-bitterness “New England-style IPAs” popular among many brewers and beer fans. Juicy peaches, freshly mown grass and sweet white onions swirl in the nose; the sugary, orange juice flavor with hints of pineapple and mango is like something the team mom brought to the soccer game. The beer—and its little brother, the 6% “session IPA” Juice Jr.—is available on draft at Great Notion’s taproom in Portland, Oregon, which opened in January.
DJ Jazzy Hef
Not only does this Salem, Oregon-brewed hefeweizen have a name that never fails to make us giggle, but its infusion of sunny, pleasant jasmine tea among the base beer’s soft, fruity wheat flavors makes it the perfect beer for summertime. It’s made year-round; find it in cans and on draft throughout Oregon.
Upland Brewing Co.
Light-colored beers steeped with coffee are certainly having a moment, but this blonde ale—a collaboration between Bloomington, Indiana’s Upland Brewing Co. and Chicago-based Revolution Brewing Co. and Dark Matter Coffee—is the first we’ve tried that doesn’t allow the beans to obscure the base beer. In the nose, earthy coffee floats far above sweet crackery malts and floral hops; java crescendos through the sip and then falls off with a partnering hop floral flavor and light bitterness. A clean, deftly balanced brew, it was released in bottles and on draft April 1.