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Ninkasi Spring Reign Ale: I Wish it Wasn’t a Seasonal

I love Spring.  It is perhaps my favorite season.  Flowers blooming, trees budding, new life all around.  It seems to happen every year that spring is just too short.  Around these parts it seems like we go from a high in the 40s to a high in the 80s overnight.  This year it seemed like Spring never came.  Don’t get me wrong, I really don’t mind a nice warm spring shower, but when it is mixed with chunks of slush you can keep it.

Just as Spring was too short so was the season for Ninkasi’s Spring Reign Ale.  See I picked this beer up about 2 months ago because it was cheap and my beer bunker was running low, as was my Bank Account.  So not expecting much out of it, I went ahead and put it in storage and promptly forgot about it.

I finally dug around and rediscovered it and stuck it in the fridge.  Sunday was its day, I had a down moment late afternoon, so I retired to the patio for a brew break.  I was certainly glad I did, but found myself wishing I hadn’t waited so long…

See it says right on the bottle Seasonal Release.  And I waited two months to open it!  This is excellent beer and now its gone!  This seems to be a recurring theme for me this summer.  I find a brew I really like then can’t get it any more.  It started with Oskar Blues, then it was the Avery Sixteenth Anniversary Ale, now the Ninkasi Spring Reign.  I can’t seem to catch a break!

Ninkasi has gone through some pretty hard growing pains.  Early in 2009 they increased production from 7000 barrels to 20,000.  With the increase came a plethora of QC problems.  People were raving about one bottle and pouring out the next.  I know I had a couple of underwhelming brews during this time, and had almost written them off.  Then during my tour of Laughing Dog Brewery they told this tale of woe and informed me that they had indeed fixed the QC problems they had, so I decided I needed to give them another try.  And I’m glad I did, but again, wished I hadn’t waited so long.

Spring Reign pours a golden orange with about a one finger billowy white head, and is kind of cloudy.  Closer inspection revealed that the haze was created by thousands of tiny bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass.

The nose was good and malty, with a hint of citrus.  It was a good nose, and made me want to investigate further.  The flavor was very good with a big rich malty body and enough hops on the backside to make this beer stand upright.  It was very well balanced and reminded me a lot of Dale’s Pale Ale without the piney hops.  It had a good bitterness on the finish and kept me going back for more.  This brew is almost sessionable at 6%ABV and I felt no ill effect from drinking the entire 22 oz bomber.

So here is yet another really good beer that I cannot get anymore!  At least I will be able to get this next Spring.  And at just under $5 it is a great value.  Next year I will be stocking up and keeping my fridge full of Ninkasi’s Spring Reign throughout the Summer.

-Don

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Categories: Beer, review

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3 Comments on “Ninkasi Spring Reign Ale: I Wish it Wasn’t a Seasonal”

  1. August 9, 2010 at 5:56 pm #

    I do the same thing all the time – grab the last bottle on the shelf of something and fall in love, only to go back to the store for more and learn I have to wait a year before I can get more. It’s one of the “pleasures” of being a beer nerd and a reason I suddenly admire hoarders.

    • Don
      August 9, 2010 at 5:59 pm #

      Thanks for throwing up a pity comment Bro. I’m going to stock up on this for sure next year. The only thing that might stop me is if New Holland begins to distribute to Idaho. Dragon’s Milk kicks its ass.

  2. August 11, 2010 at 8:24 pm #

    Thanks for the love, Don!

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