The first real utepils of the year came, as ever, during a brew day, with two appropriately spring-worthy beers.
I was making a saison, lazily copying the trappings of Dupont, but it was another saison I chose for accompaniment here; St Feuillien Saison. Despite pouring with ugly as hell with heavy, flaky sediment, there's a beautiful lemongrass and menthol noble hop aroma to the fore alongside the typically Dupontian spicy yeast character that I was hoping for. In all, it scratches the itch that makes me usually reach for Dupont, perhaps even to a greater extent with added hop flourish without harming the dryness of the style. Super stuff.
For a more Teutonic take on spring I picked up Ayinger's Frühlingsbier, part of the expanded offering from the brewery now that they are imported by Premier. Hopefully this will pave the way for the entry of their superb (and my beloved) Altbairisch Dunkel. In the meantime, this beer pours pale and slightly hazy in kellerbier fashion with a faint noble hop nose, suggesting grass and earth. Ultimately though it's a rather malt-forward beer; clean and fullsome if a tad sweeter than expected, all syrupy and almost bocklike. While it wasn't as bright or airy as I for some reason thought it would be, it's a wonderfully satisfying old world sustainer for lager fanciers.
I recommend both.