Put a Little Hops in Your Spring

Nothing says spring like cherry blossoms, baseball and Belgian ales.

In anticipation of his new literal-minded Bowery restaurant, Daniel Boulud Good Beer Kitchen and Bar, opening next month, Mr. Boulud shared his top three all-time favorite beers with Tasting Table. When asked if they themselves had anything special for spring, the beer mavens at the Williamsburg beer haven, Sputen Duyvil, said with fervor "hundreds." (They at least get originality points for being a bit less obvious with the name of their bar — it's Dutch for "Devil's Spout" and was the moniker of a creek that once went through the Bronx.)

They may have been exagerating, but if you have ever spent time with your head tilted back and your mouth open as you read their chalkboard beer list, you would know that "hundreds" isn't much of a stretch. Among the limited editions bottles, one that stands out comes from Brasserie De La Senne Brewery which has been called by importers the newest, perhaps smallest, and possibly most fiercely principled brewers in Belgium. Taras Boulba is a dry hope pale ale, light and citrusy enough to make you wish you were drinking it on a sun-drenched deck. Grand Cru Broucsella, another Sputen Duyvil favorite, is a traditional lambic beer and one of the few of its kind that is available outside of Belgium (the only place in the world it is brewed).

For those of you who like to be able to pronounce the beer you are drinking, go for the Sierra Nevada Harvest Wet Hop Ale made with fresh "wet" (undried) hops from Washington in the fall and fresh hops imported from New Zealand in spring (when it's harvest there) and brewed at Sierra Nevada's breweries in Chico, California.  Of course, if you really want to keep it local, Brooklyn Brewery, which brews all its keg beer in Willaimsburg (though bottled beers are made in Ithaca, N.Y.)  and Six Point Craft Ales, which is coming out with a Wormwood ale soon, are represented on draught.

You are on own with the cherry blossoms.


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