It is the end of February at the time of this writing, which means that the Bocks of May are arriving! This strong pale lager traditionally heralded the onset of springtime in Bavaria, distinct from ruddy Doppelbocks in color and flavor but otherwise adhering to many of the same guidelines. Debuting in packaged form in our market, the Maibock from Ayinger is a masterful example of the style. Grapenuts and white-grape grain aromas lead to a light-hued but sturdy and warming spring lager. Prost!
2. 8Bit | Super Mario Tart: Supercharged | Kettle Sour, 7.8%
Zooming back onto the racecourse after a hiatus in distribution throughout San Diego County, 8 Bit Brewing out of Murrieta dropped a smattering of hoppy beers upon us last week as well as the latest in their Mario Tart series. Invariably a kettle-sour with a cornucopia of tropical fruits, this lineup is vibrantly hued and fresh without excessive residual sugar. The Supercharged iteration imparts an intriguing mélange of black currant, marionberry and peach with a bright magenta tone for your backdrops. Watch out for shells!
3. Cellarmaker | The Dripping Tap | West Coast IPA, 6.3%
A new recipe from Cellarmaker, now headquartered in my hometown of Berkeley. The Dripping Tap incorporates an altogether dank medley of hops, with old favorites Centennial, Mosaic and Simcoe joined by as-yet unnamed HBC 586. Limonene and Pine-Sol® aromas waft out of the glass, with bracing bitterness.