New Belgium – Springboard
New Belgium’s Springboard is trying to pull a Jordan. Retired prematurely, away from the game – can it come back and regain the form it once had? Preliminary answer is yes.
Springboard was last brewed back in 2008, and I remember it being a very drinkable, refreshing beer. It still is. Springboard still has the fresh notes I look for in a spring seasonal. I know it sounds cheesy, but I want a spring beer to remind me of renewal. That’s what spring is all about, right? Grassy hops and lighter fruit notes typically accomplish this, and Springboard has both in spades. It still drinks like a lager, but with a bit of something on the back end.
New Belgium touts Springboard as “3% Ale and 97% Ale brewed with Goji Berries and Schisandra.” This can be a bit deceptive. I expect some will want Springboard to be a much fruitier beer than it is after reading this description. It’s not, and this is a good thing. Springboard balances the fresh notes with a subtle background of fruit flavor. This contributes to the clean finish. No flavors are in your face. No need to sip for an hour because it’s so damn heavy. This is what a spring beer should be.
I love fall and winter seasonals – I’ve said as much here (I’m like an open book, folks). As much as I love to have a dark beer to correspond with a 20-degree day, even I can reach a breaking point. I needed a lighter beer, something that would remind me that Red Rocks is just around the corner. Something to convince me that Punxsutawney Phil will not see his damn shadow. I can always count on you, New Belgium, thanks for this amazing throwback.