Widmer Brothers Brewery is returning to a seasonal approach for beer releases going forward, and recently shared a few of the upcoming brews for spring. The offerings feature bold, spicy flavors and less-common ingredients. A few have been seen before, but still bring something fresh: fancy new packaging. The "Spring Renewal" repackaging project will bring more distinctive imagery and colors to bottles wherever you normally find Widmer Brothers products — and in Portland, that’s pretty much everywhere you can buy beer.
Rotator series O’Ryely IPA is back for a limited time to usher in the warmer season, which is perfect, as it bridges a gap between hearty winter beers and lighter summer beers. Rye malt gives this 6.4% ABV IPA an unusual spiciness, which is mellowed out by citrus notes from New Zealand Nelson Sauvin hops. Find O’Ryely in stores from January–April; this will be a great fit for your St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.
In more hop news, Widmer Brothers would like you to meet the almost forgotten Columbia hop, which is used to make Columbia Common Spring Ale. This hop is the long lost sister to the very popular Willamette hop, but it carries a stronger acidity that gives it a great burst of citrus flavor. The brewery that commissioned these hops predicted U.S. consumers would not appreciate such an acidic profile, but times are changing. Now the Columbia hop will finally see the light of day — just before it sees the darkness of your stomach. Hefeweizen and lager yeasts bring out its fruity side, creating a 4.7% ABV, light-tasting beer perfect for easing you out of your heavy winter beer routine.
Amy Wolfenberger, Drink Portland