photo by Another Pint Please... of flickr.com

Samuel Adams Alpine Spring – 5.5% ABV

An interesting style I had never heard of, this is classified as a keller bier or zwickel bier. Nice name, right? This light refreshing lager is perfect for a sunny spring day. The label gives you that whole scenic backdrop with a nice mountain spring or river up front and the mountains on the horizon as the background. I’ve heard some people gripe about the labels and their appearance, something Samuel Adams has been doing more of lately. I personally don’t care, it’s what’s inside the bottle that I’m concerned about. You could put lipstick on a pig and dress it up pretty, but even with all that, it’s still pork in the end.

I grabbed a six pack of Samuel Adams Alpine Spring because I wanted something light and refreshing to enjoy. I’ve been going through barley wines, porters and stouts enough lately to demand a change of scenery. Not that I didn’t enjoy them all, but a nice change of pace every now and then is good for the soul. Helps recharge the battery. Not to mention, the seasons are changing and it’s almost time for sunscreen and skimpy clothing. Anyway, this one had high expectations awaiting it the first time I had it. Drinking a mug of this brew off the tap was nice, but in the social environment I was in, I couldn’t really dedicate my full attention to the beer. Pretty girls are an easy distraction, and this bar was full of them. Plan B meant that I pick up a six pack and focus solely on the beer while mired in solitude. I know it doesn’t sound all that glamorous, but these are the sacrifices we make for the trade we love.

Getting back to what I was saying, I had high hopes for this one. When I first saw that this was released as a new Sam Seasonal, I immediately heard comparisons to their Coastal Wheat, another fine springtime flavor. The first time I had Coastal Wheat, I loved it. Will Samuel Adams Alpine Spring be able to make it two in a row?

The pour gives you a hazy light golden amber body and nice thick white head up on top. Plenty of citrus aroma in the nose with a side of malt earthiness, as well as a touch of hops, but not skunky smelling like some beers have been known to be. This was good. Must be the Noble Tettnang hops. Good retention on the head added to its overall visual aesthetic. But how did it taste? Glad you should ask.

Immediately upon quaffing this, I get the flavors of lemon and wheat. It went down nice and smooth and the citrus helped clear my palate in preparation for another pull. The bitterness was absolutely minimal. This was much more lemon and much less sour in my opinion. The finish is slightly crisp, but not overwhelming where you have to make that ridiculous sourmouth face.

What did I think of Samuel Adams Alpine Spring? Good beer. Something I wouldn’t mind having around when I have to mow the lawn or work on the car. It’s not one that blew me away with its complexity, but it seems like a nice solid take on the style.  After all, keller biers or zwickel biers (bless you!) or whatever they’re called aren’t supposed to be all that hard to figure out. Just a smooth sippin’ brew from start to finish. Pick this one up before you do your spring cleaning.

Sam Adams Alpine Spring