Bottle & Tap: 9 spring brews from Texas

Courtesy photo

I’m a big believer in seasonal drinking–some beers just taste better in certain weather. As we transition from winter to spring, here’s a taste of limited-release seasonal quaffs coming from Texas brewers as everything turns green. (I’m limiting this list to most of what’s available in or near San Antonio.)

Fredericksburg’s Pedernales Brewing reports they’ll release a Dunkelweizen, which has me really excited—this dark wheat style is one of my favorites. The yeasts used in Dunkelweizens usually give them a delicious banana flavor. Head brewer John West says in addition to that, you can expect a “distinct, sweet maltiness and a chocolate-like character from roasted barley … and clove flavor notes.”

Real Ale in Blanco will also be drinking their wheaties with a new Hefeweizen. “It’s a traditional Hefe, but we’ve used American hop varieties to provide a citrus note, so you can skip that slice of lemon—the hops have you covered,” says brewmaster Erik Ogershok.

San Antonio’s Ranger Creek will release a red named Red Headed Stranger, named after guess-who. In May, they’ll again bring out their Strawberry Milk Stout, which I remember warmly from last year—brewed with fresh Poteet strawberries.

San Antonio brewpub Freetail Brewing released several beers for St. Patrick’s Day, including one that will be available through October: Spirulina Wit. Freetail describes it as an “infamous” twist on witbier (Belgian white beer) with an infusion of blue-green algae that turns it green and adds earthy, fruit flavors. Freetail also released a spring saison named Primavera Prematura on the vernal equinox (March 20). Both of these styles will be light and refreshing on the palate as the weather gets warmer, and I’m especially excited to sample the latter, brewed with Texas honey.

In late spring, Freetail promises 3Tail, inspired by Belgian abbey tripels–one of the few strong Belgian styles that remain drinkable into summer’s heat. Freetail also plans another collaboration with Real Ale, named RealTail3, which will be a mix of black and white IPAs.

New Braunfels Brewing releases the fifth of its Elemental series in May during its one-year anniversary party: HimmelWeiss, a lemongrass wheat saison. Utilizing wheat malt and Saaz hops, NB also will add lemongrass and a touch of sugar at the end of the boil. NB also plans to set aside 120 gallons to age in wine barrels from William Chris Winery (Hye, TX) for next year’s second anniversary.

Some brewers think spring is the time to whip out the peppers. Middleton Brewing (a wonderful brewery/tap room in Wimberley that I highly recommend) has its new Pepperhead IPA, an American IPA with a light green chili pepper aroma and flavor.

Lee Nichols blogs about beer at