For thousands of years people around the globe have celebrated Easter, Eostre, the Vernal Equinox, or just springtime in general. It’s a religious holiday for many and a celebration of renewal, rebirth, and fertility (eggs anyone?) for all. Everyone loves a shindig — especially after a long winter. And really, who can resist cute fuzzy bunnies and chicks?
Gluttonous feasts and getting together with family and friends are part of this festive day. Of course, something needs to wash down all that grub, especially with family. Wine is served and is often the fermented beverage of choice, usually a box or three of Franzia Blush could be found at our family Easter gala growing up. But beer is a great addition to the dinner table as well…especially if Franzia Blush is the vino of choice (and they should be reading more TaylorEason.com).
(Be sure to read Best Bubbly for the Buck – perfect wine for Easter gatherings.)
Many beers pair well with the traditional Easter feast. The malt forward and neutral red ales and many lagers work with a wide variety of foods and are a good choice. Ales with fruity notes and/or citrus hops really compliment the sweet holiday flavors though. Heavy, dark beers and bitter IPA’s will overpower and are suds to avoid.
Here are three brews that will rise from coasters at our house on Easter Sunday:
Dogfish Head Aprihop: Maryland’s eccentric craft producer offers an IPA brewed with apricots for its Spring seasonal. This American IPA/Fruit Beer hybrid is ruby-bronze in color and comes with scents of amber malt and perfume hops. It looks and smells fantastic. Round malt flavors are noticeable initially in this 7.0% ABV ale followed by a healthy dose of apricot and modest citrus hops. Balanced overall with fruity undertones and some hop bitterness, this mad-scientist brew is interesting, complex, and refreshing. Aprihop would be a great pairing for that Easter ham.
Lakefront Brewery Big Easy Imperial Maibock: A high-octane 7.1 % ABV Spring lager out of Wisconsin that’s brewed to celebrate Mardi Gras and Maifest. Brilliantly clear with pale copper hues and little carbonation, it‘s quite striking in the glass. The nose is met with pleasing barley, lager-appropriate sulfur, and spice. Bread-y and caramel flavors arrive at the palate first with toasted malt in close tow. Notes of vanilla and raisin end the Maibock’s malt-y excursion along with a hint of hop bitterness and a satisfying graininess. Big, smooth and easy-drinking, with loads of mellow malts.
Samuel Adams Alpine Spring: This year, the legendary Boston micro added another beer to their portfolio, as a spring seasonal. Hazy, straw colored and unfiltered, with a white bubbly foam hat, it looks like a Hefeweizen. Citrus aromas becomes evident as the pint pours on this 5.5% ABV lager. Light, sweet malt flavors lead into some citrus and especially lemony hop notes that linger all the way to a grainy finish. Alpine Spring is clean and thirst quenching, almost like a summer beer. Food friendly, it will compliment the entire meal, especially on a warm spring day.