Here in New Orleans, spring is by far the nicest time of year. It’s the only time that’s genuinely perfect for outside dining and drinking. We all want to pack as much outdoor time into these blissful few months as possible, before the humid, sweaty, sweaty, humid, sweat-drenched heat of summer kicks in and takes over (and lingers till, you know, October). Lucky for those of us in Food Paradise USA, this time of year also coincides with the bliss that is crawfish season -- which means several of these springtime beers weren’t just brewed with the fine weather in mind.
Abita Strawberry Harvest Lager Fruit lager, 4.2%
Abita Springs, LA
Louisiana loves strawberries. Abita created this beer years ago specifically for the annual Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival, and now it’s part of its Harvest beer series. Fresh Louisiana strawberry juice is added to the wheat-pilsner base beer for a touch of sweetness, perfect for (and evocative of) a warm spring day in Louisiana.
This beer, designed to pair with crawfish, is easy drinking but stands up to the strong flavor of the boil with spicy saison yeast and a nice amount of rye in the grain bill. Since it’s a “crawfish seasonal,” the beer is available from January to June.