The start of a new season brings some very good new brews.
Anchor Brewing Co., which dates to the gold rush, became one of the country's top brewers under Fritz Maytag. The San Francisco brewery was sold in 2010. But the quality has stayed high. And it shows with hoppy Anchor IPA. The latest brew also has traces of fruitiness, mostly citrus, to go with the clean, crisp style. A six-pack of Anchor IPA is about $12 locally.
From Magic Hat Brewing Co. in Vermont comes Dream Machine IPL. Yes, that's IPL, as in India-style pale lager. It's a medium-bodied brew, easygoing, not too complicated and certainly refreshing. There's a hint of fruit, more like peach and nectarine. A six-pack of Dream Machine is $9.49 at Superstar Beverage in Huntington; a 12-pack, $15.99.
The Boston Beer Co. welcomes spring with Samuel Adams Escape Route -- aptly named, especially after this winter. Unfiltered Escape Route is a Kolsch-style production, using a yeast strain that ferments at ale temperature, but then is treated like a lager. The style originated in Cologne. It's a limited-release brew, fresh and flavorful, with floral and citrus qualities. A six-pack is $8 to $9.
Also from Boston Beer is the big, concentrated Samuel Adams Double Bock, which delivers malty sweetness, caramel notes and an undercurrent of citrus. More than half a pound of malt goes into the 22-ounce bottle. Double Bock hits 9.5 percent alcohol by volume. It's about $7 a bottle.