Sunshine in a Mug: Michigan’s Seasonal Spring Beers

By: Toni Cunningham | March 19, 2014
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Let’s be honest: this has been the worst winter in my nearly 24 years of existence. Cold is an understatement, and the only way I’m going to defrost with a smile on my face is with a Michigan craft beer in hand—specifically, one that is a spring seasonal.

I’ve been waiting months for next Monday, March 24. Why, you ask? Because it’s Oberon Day, of course! The day in which the sun will shine bright, birds will chirp and Bell’s Oberon will flow from taps citywide. Well, one can only hope the first two events occur, but the third one you can count on without a doubt.

In addition to Oberon, a handful of other Lower Michigan breweries are also releasing spring seasonals. Grab a bottle opener and get ready to sip one of the following:

Jolly Pumpkin Brewery, 311 S. Main St., Ann Arbor

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  • Biè re de Mars is the brewery’s beer that celebrates the first signs of spring, and is a French style ale. It’s released this month
  • E.S. Bam is an “extra special” hoppy and malty farmhouse ale, which makes its debut in April

Bell’s Brewery, 8938 Krum Ave., Galesburg

  • I can’t be the only one excited about Oberon season, because Bell’s official website includes a countdown clock to its release. As of press time, we’ve got 4 days, 14 hours, 6 minutes and 15 seconds to go!

Atwater Brewery, 237 Joseph Campau St., Detroit

  • The brewery’s specialty lager, Mai-Bock, greets the spring season with a traditional German bock. It’s malty, it’s hoppy, and it’s gold, both in taste and appearance

Motor City Brewing Works, 470 W. Canfield St., Detroit

  • MCBW’s Corktown Stout is a classic Irish dry stout, a dark beer with just the slightest hint of coffee taste. It’s not available for long, but you can find it at the taproom and at bars in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood

Arbor Brewing Company, 114 E. Washington St., Ann Arbor

  • The brewery’s Strawberry Blonde seasonal is special enough to warrant a release party, taking place at the brewery on Tuesday, March 25. It’s fruity, floral and sweet, and for $10, you can sample it along with snacks at the party
  • Bavarian Bliss Hefeweizen is fruity and spicy, and as soon as you pour this wheat beer into a glass, you’ll be hit with a distinct banana aroma. It’s released in April
  • Uskratch Maibock (try pronouncing it after having a few) is a full-bodied lager released in May for a limited time. It’s rich yet crisp, and contains notes of honey

Short’s Brewing Company, 121 N. Bridge St., Bellaire

  • Short’s has several limited releases in addition to seasonal ones, and while we have to wait a few more months to enjoy a nice glass of Nicie Spicie, you can sip Yosemite Scooter beginning in April. It’s a citrusy pale ale perfect for the impending spring season
  • Bludgeon Yer Eye, an India Black Ale with rich malty flavors and strong fruit and floral fragrance, is released in early April
  • Mid-April, fill your glass with Alien Einstein, an India Pale lager that’s low in gluten and high in taste. It’s fruity, hoppy and smells like grapefruit juice, so drink up!
  • Anniversary Ale is a wheat wine ale infused with blood orange. It’s spicy, dry and zesty, and you can try it when it’s released in early May
  • Mid-May, get ready for something I’m pretty pumped about: Short’s Cinnabilly, which essentially combines two of my favorite things… cinnamon rolls and beer. A dopplebock that has hints of cinnamon, brown sugar, vanilla and cinnamon graham crackers, you’ll have to restrain me from drinking it for breakfast.

Arcadia Brewing Company, 103 W. Michigan Ave., Battle Creek

  • The brewery releases its spring seasonal, Whitsun Ale, mid-March. The wheat beer is spiced with orange peel and is also orange in color, which just screams “sunny days are ahead, proceed with happiness”

New Holland Brewing, 66 E. 8th St., Holland

  • Released in March, White Hatter is New Holland’s spring seasonal white pale ale. It blends the best flavor profiles of a Belgian white with an IPA, and has a hint of orange

With the changing of the seasons, you’ll be shedding a few layers (buh bye scarves and boots, hellooo flip flops and sundresses), and you might as well ditch the hearty, heavy beers while you’re at it. Enjoy the warmth the sunshine provides with a lighter, refreshing spring seasonal from a Michigan brewery.