Baseball season is under way, and it's time for a real brew. No, not one that can't even stand up to a hot dog. And definitely not one where the big selling point is the low calorie count.
Try Innis & Gunn Irish Whiskey Cask Stout. Yes, the Scottish stout is matured in oak barrels that were used for Irish whiskey, the triple-distilled variety. There's a trace of vanilla and just enough bitterness in this big, creamy, brown beauty. A four-pack is about $13.
Verloren and Norse Legend are two brews in the fine Samuel Adams small-batch series.
Verloren is a gose, an unfiltered, German-style wheat ale. Salt and coriander have been added. The result: distinctive, dry and refreshing.
Norse Legend is a sahti brew, with a Finnish heritage. It includes rye and has hints of juniper and herbs. Earthy, unusual, lively. Verloren and Norse Legend are in 1-pint 6-ounce bottles. About $7 each.
For more easygoing tastes, from Samuel Adams there are the seasonal standards: Alpine Spring, a smooth spring bock; and the citrusy, satisfying Summer Ale. They go for about $10 a six-pack.
Magic Hat Brewing Co. comes through with its spring seasonal, Vinyl. A malty, freewheeling, flavorful amber lager with a sweet-malt finish. Equally festive is Magic Hat's medium-bodied Demo, the Vermont brewer's hoppy "spring IPA on tour." They're fun. A six-pack is about $10.
Get the grill going and break out the bratwurst.