I don’t know about your neighborhood, but the weather in my neck of the woods this spring has been all over the map. Consistently hot days will arrive in due time, however, and officially usher in outdoor beer drinking season. Dogfish Head Brewery is out with two cocktail-inspired brews that will no doubt find their way into plenty of coolers and beer fridges this summer. Thoughts follow.
Dogfish Head Mandarin & Mango Crush – Ale brewed with Mandarin oranges and Alphonso mangos and inspired by the beachy Crush cocktail. Part of the brewery’s Off-Centered Art Series, each can features art by Natalya Balnova. The beer pours a hazy OJ-colored orange with an almost neon yellow tint. The nose is a mix of fresh-pressed citrus, mango sorbet, and Creamsicle with a mildly malty backbone and a subtle, slightly salty orange taffy note. The palate is crisp and tart with big, fresh citrus notes that come across as a bit underripe. There’s something of a bolder sports drink salinity to it as well that’s both distracting and refreshing at the same time. The finish is a blend of saltines, pulpy mango, and orange slices. Maybe a bit too piquant for year-round drinking, but in the heat of the summer sun, this one should go down just fine. 6% abv. B+ / $15 per six-pack
Dogfish Head Citrus Squall – This Paloma-inspired beer takes a double golden ale and brews it with grapefruit juice, blue agave nectar, lime peel, and sea salt. It pours a slightly hazy gold with a healthy whitecap head. The aroma is sweet and citrus-forward but not overly juicy with notes of pink grapefruit skin, limeade, and gentle hops. The palate isn’t nearly as sweet as the nose lets on. Instead, it’s malty and refreshingly tart with early notes of sectioned grapefruit and lime soda that give way to a crisp, clean, slightly salty finish showcasing lingering piney hop notes and some mild agave sweetness. A balanced and approachable beer that should find plenty of fans, especially among the Corona-and-lime set. 8% abv. A- / $10 per six-pack