Delicate fruit beers, sours, saisons and other Belgian-style ales are just the thing to lighten up for spring. And here are a few local examples to try:

It's not uncommon during warmer months for FATE Brewing Co. to pour through a dozen kegs a week of its Laimas Watermelon Kolsch, and now the Boulder-based brewpub has released the cult favorite as its first canned offering.

Available at local liquor stores in 16-ounce cans and at the brewpub, it's a light, sessionable sipper at 5 percent alcohol by volume (ABV) that pours a pale yellow with a white, rocky head. The scent is reminiscent of sliced watermelon with grainy Pilsner malt undertones, but the taste is not as sweet as you might expect. Delicate and understated, the fruit is buoyed by a soft, rounded malt base with a dry finish.

Dervish should soon be available in Twelve Degree’s taproom
Dervish should soon be available in Twelve Degree's taproom (Courtesy photo)

Also look for FATE's limited release Gose sour ale in 750-mililiter bottles at the restaurant and select retail locations. Crisp, tart and refreshing, this traditional wheat-based ale has been spiced with coriander and sea salt and aged in tequila barrels.

Lone Tree Brewing Co.'s Peach Pale Ale demonstrates that fruit can play nicely with hops. The beer delivers a bushel of peaches right up front in the nose, but it is much less pronounced in the sip as the peach fades into muted caramel and malt flavors with a spicy hop finish. It's a nice beer that demonstrates how, like a sprig of mint in a mint julep, the scent can accentuate the sip.

For more examples of fruit-flavored beers that work, you might also try Boulder Beer's Kinda Blue Blueberry Wheat ale and Dry Dock Brewing Co.'s Apricot Blonde.

Twelve Degree Brewing had a small-batch version of its new brettanomyces-enhanced saison, Dervish, on tap recently with a pomegranate addition. The fruit added a sweet touch to the dry, slightly sour ale that finishes with a refreshing snap. Look for more specialty one-off kegs of Dervish soon in Twelve Degree's Louisville taproom.

Sanitas Brewing Co.'s Saison, available at the taproom and in cans, is on the juicier side of the saison scale. Ripe orange esters dominate the nose, along with a spike of clove. In the sip, citrus and spice play atop a soft malt bed, with a tart, dry finish.

Mountain Sun brewpubs also recently released two spring seasonals — Headbangers Helles Bock and Soul Flower Saison.

For something a little stronger to cap off your day, try Crystal Springs Brewing Co.'s Marilyn Belgian-style Golden Ale. Available in the Crystal Springs Louisville tasting room and locally in 16-ounce cans, Marilyn's sweet, effervescent nature effectively hides her considerable strength. Banana and clove esters are evident, balanced by spicy hops and grain.

Three cheers for American Craft Beer Week

Lots of special events are on tap for American Craft Beer Week, which runs Monday through May 18. Sponsored by the Brewers Association, American Craft Beer Week celebrates craft beer and craft-beer culture nationwide. Visit for more information and a searchable listing of events.

Contact Tom Wilmes at