Spring marks one major attraction for residents of the DC metro area: long outdoor day-drinking sessions. As the DC beer scene booms, the area’s breweries offer springtime libations perfect for taking in the cherry blossoms (and handling the busloads of tourists that accompany their arrival). From Silver Spring down to Ashburn, we’ve rounded up the best seasonal offerings in the region.
Silver Spring, MD
This Silver Spring brewpub may still be fairly new to the scene, but brewer Jeff Ramirez has already established a super cool style: the dude brews experimental sour beers aged in mezcal barrels and names new creations after mid-'90s hip-hop references. The beers at Denizens really represent a combination of great inspiration and even greater execution. As its outdoor patio space opens for the spring, Denizens presents some truly stand-out seasonal beers:
Double IPA, 10.0% ABV
Living up to its name, this beast of a DIPA certainly ensures that any sessions drinking this beer will require proper monitoring and pacing. The full -- and please note, big -- malt body of the Short Session will thaw the last chunks of lingering ice from your bones, while the intense hop profile, described as possessing "notes of pineapple, orange zest, and Ecto-Cooler," will ready your senses for May.
Tequila barrel-aged Irish-style foreign export stout, 7.7% ABV
Released on St. Paddy's Day, this beer combines ingredients that really, really do not seem like they would work together (at the outset, Irish stout and tequila seem more like an unintentional pairing invented by underage kids sneaking booze from their parents’ liquor cabinets versus one crafted by an expert brewer). And yet, outside of all reason and logic, they work -- extremely well. Aged in tequila barrels, this otherwise innocuous and pleasant stout finishes with the unmistakable smoothness and fire of a fine tequila. Fingers crossed that supplies of this St. Paddy’s Day release last all the way to Cinco de Mayo.
German-style maibock, 7.1% ABV
Brewed specifically to celebrate the start of biergarten season, this maibock is a traditional springtime beer with a twist: by utilizing Green Bullet hops (a style native to New Zealand), this brew pops with a surprising natural berry aroma. With a touch of sweetness and a big hop bouquet, and having been lagered to crystal-clear perfection, this semi-traditional maibock is best sipped outdoors in the warming springtime sun, preferably while snacking on pretzels and sausages and watching Flight of the Conchords.