Monday, April 19, 2010
If there was an award in the beer world for most improved player, Snoqualmie's Spring Fever would win. It's always been a quality beer, and would still have made the cut at BeerandBeyond several years ago, but every year it seems to be fine tuned just a little. Spring Fever is a Belgian style Grand Cru (French for 'great growth'), the color of tawny port, with a little bit of coriander added. In the past I have viewed American versions of Belgian style beers the same way I think of Major League Soccer. I enjoy them both and am happy to support them, but they are just not quite as good as their European counterparts. That view has now changed for beer, almost for MLS. Spring Fever is now ready to compete with the Grand Cru's of Belgium. This beer has strong tropical fruit flavor, notably passion fruit and pineapple, but is balanced by just the right amount of hop aroma to reel in the sweetness and Belgian yeast esters. I didn't get much of the coriander flavor-which is by no means a criticism-it is just nicely blended with the other ingredients. A Belgian White will beat you over the head with coriander, the Spring Fever massages your palate with just a hint of spice. It did taste and feel like a little bit more than 7% ABV though. After finishing a 220z. bottle I had a little bit of a buzz, and I drank part of it with dinner. Again, not a criticism, just be careful if you have heavy machinery to operate later. Congratulations to the folks at Snoqualmie for continuing to improve this beer every year. There's a big difference between subtle tweaking and re-inventing the wheel!