Spring is here, and that means Orange County is brewing up some more refreshing beers for those extra few hours of sunshine. Spring also means the perfect time for some lighter, crisper brews, and since this list isn't coming at the end of the season, it contains some time-sensitive beers so get them while they're still flowing.
5. Anaheim Brewery: Conrad's Kölsch (5.1% ABV)
Each year, Anaheim Brewery starts spring off the right way with their seasonal Conrad's Kölsch. Named after Friedrich Conrad, the owner of the original Anaheim Brewery back in 1888, this beer is the ideal spring refresher. The style derives from Köln, Germany and while it may not be terribly common, this classic light-hopped, crisp German style ale is worth tracking down.
Twinkling with a clean, sunshine hue and frothy head, Anaheim Brewery's Conrad Kölsch smiles at you before the first sip. This beer's mild, aroma of bread and yeast comforts the senses as any bakery would, and its light body and low ABV will have you asking for another glass before you finish your first. Catch this beer on tap at Anaheim Brewery or in a six-pack from select Orange County liquor stores.
4. Pizza Port Brewing Company: Swami's IPA (6.9% ABV)
This is an outstanding IPA for few reasons: It's cheap, it's available, and it's easy to drink. While an excellent choice for year-round drinking, Pizza Port Brewing Company's Swami's IPA shines most bright when you're relaxing in the rays on a spring afternoon. Instead of shocking your system with sharp hops, this IPA graces the palate with a slight pine-y bitterness and is well rounded throughout.
Pro Tip: Take a $11.99 six-pack to any backyard BBQ and be the star of the party. 3. Bootlegger's Brewery: Mountain Meadow (5.5% ABV)
There is nothing like a beer that has the ability to relax you from its first wafts to its final drops. The aptly named Mountain Meadow from Bootlegger's Brewery truly offers a field of flavor by the glass. Carrying notes of sweet honey and soothing chamomile on the nose, this beer immediately takes you to the middle of a tranquil pasture before you even start drinking. The sage and tarragon add depth to the best iced honey chamomile tea of your life. If you wish to take this liquid serenity out of the brewery, stock up because Bootlegger's 22 oz. bottles are only available in the spring.
2. TAPS Fish House & Brewery: Belgian White (5.0% ABV)
There is no question as to why TAPS Fish House & Brewery gets so many medals for their beer (They just got two more during last weekend's World Beer Cup). Simply put: They're fantastic. While not exactly the casual joint you expect for beers and buds, TAPS offers up some of the most well-made brews in the county. In the spring, they present one of the best Belgian Whites you might ever drink. The Witbier can be a tricky style to master, but TAPS does so effortlessly. A brilliant blend of sweet and bitter orange peel and coriander radiate through the easy-drinking, spring-inspired ale. Head to either the Brea or Corona location for a few pints of the delicious Belgian White before it's gone.
1. Beachwood BBQ: Tart Simpson (3.0% ABV)
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Beachwood BBQ's Tart Simpson may be their beer with the lowest alcohol by volume, but it is also one of their more unique brews. With its crisp pucker and light body, this award-winning Berliner Weisse cannot be a more perfect springtime beer. This fresh and bubbly brew, made from high quality Pilsner and malted wheat, is not unlike the punchy cartoon kid for which it is named. You may think that with a 3 percent ABV and a just 1 IBU, Tart Simpson would not dazzle in the ways of taste, but you would be wrong. The process of naturally souring the mash adds layers of tarty goodness to an ale that will keep you swigging for hours.