With spring around the corner, grocery stores are clearing out their supplies of porters and stouts and making room for the more refreshing styles we prefer this time of year.
One of those beers is Celis White, the legendary Belgian-style wit that first captivated Austin in the early 1990s. When Christine Celis resurrected her father’s brewery last year, Celis White returned in bottles — but now, with springtime camping trips and summertime barbecues on the horizon, the beer is in cans for the very first time.
It’s a smart move on Celis Brewery’s part. Beers chill more quickly in aluminum than in glass, and the cans also protect the beers from UV light and oxidation, preserving Celis White’s “citrusy fresh taste even longer,” according to a news release.
But if you’re a bottle stalwart, don’t worry: Celis will continue to package Celis White in bottles and in kegs as well.
And according to Christine, more of Celis’ beers are going into cans soon.
Perhaps the most exciting news of all, however, is that one of Celis’ most beloved ales is making its long-awaited comeback in a couple of weeks. The North Austin brewery will celebrate the arrival of Celis Raspberry on March 21 with a party in the taproom.
Here are a few other canned brews we’re excited to see on shelves that are perfect for the warmer weather we’ve been getting.
Independence Brewing's Cowboys from Helles, the brewery's first lager, is a new spring seasonal available through the month of May.
Photo: Arianna Auber / American-Statesman
Independence Brewing’s Cowboys from Helles
This new beer — the first canned lager from Independence Brewing — was named as a tribute to the classic Pantera song and album “Cowboys From Hell,” a favorite of the brewing team.
It’s not nearly as intense as those renegades of the song, however. The Munich-style helles is crisp, bright and refreshing, and it might even topple the RedBud Berliner Weisse as my favorite Independence brew. Something I didn’t think would ever be possible.
Cowboys from Helles is a spring seasonal, so even though it’s worthy of year-round status, make sure you’ve stocked up to have cans available in June and beyond.
Whitestone Brewery’s Konverter Kolsch
The kolsch from this Cedar Park beer maker has been in cans for awhile, but I tried it for the first time recently and reflected what a nice porch drinker it makes. Like the helles, it’s light, easy on the hop bitterness and rounded out with a mild malt sweetness. Whitestone cans it all year, and thank goodness for that.
Real Ale Brewing’s Grapefruit Gose
So you know how Real Ale’s lime-forward Gose — tart, a little salty, with a nice bright citrus burst — has become a summer staple for many of us Central Texans? Well, Real Ale is now making sure we have some form of the Gose all year round. Being introduced this weekend at the Blanco brewery is the Grapefruit Gose as a spring seasonal.
The Lime Gose will still return in the summertime. Then, in the fall and winter, we’ll have the Cranberry Gose to keep us company. Pretty brilliant, huh? Grapefruit is a popular beverage flavor at the moment, and it’s no doubt going to be a tasty complement to the sour, salty essence that marks a good gose.
Austin Beerworks’ Flavor Country Hoppy Pale Ale
Don’t get me wrong: I’m still devastated the Black Thunder Schwarzbier has been knocked out of Austin Beerworks’ year-round lineup. But there was a very good reason for it: Black Thunder just didn’t sell as well as the others. In its place is a promising alternative, however, that showcases what the North Austin brewery does best.
Namely, Flavor Country is all about the hops. I’ll let Austin Beerworks explain it: “When we began in 2011, it was impossible to brew this hoppy pale ale. The ingredients weren’t available and the science didn’t exist. Oil rich lupulin powder was just a dream. It brings intense flavor but doesn’t linger, drinks like a hop-forward pale ale but doesn’t blow you up and every sip leaves you craving more.”
The beer has been on draft around Austin, which is how I tried it last week, but it’s launching more widely in cans tomorrow.