Patio Six-Pack: 6 Beers for a Perfect Spring Cook-Out

Temperatures are creeping higher (finally!) and we are absolutely itching to get outside. For us, that definitely means hot dogs on the grill and some beers in a cooler. These six microbrews are our top picks for sipping in the sun while waiting for the grill to warm.

1. Allagash White from Allagash Brewing Company - This classic witbier makes an excellent transition from the heavier beers of winter to the more light and crisp beers of summer. Brewed with wheat, Allagash White has a creamy mouthfeel and citrusy, spice-infused flavor.

2. Jack D'Or from Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project - Finally had a chance to try this on a recent trip to Boston and it's definitely worth seeking out. A saison in style, this beer is simultaneously fruity, spicy, herbal, and hoppy. Every sip seems to reveal something new and incredibly tasty.

3. Smuttynose Maibock from Smuttynose Brewing Company - Honey-sweet, but a smattering of spicy hops helps reign it in. With an 8.7% ABV, this one will also keep your toes warm if the spring afternoon is a bit nippy.

4. Bender from Surly Brewing Company - Creamy from a dose of oats in the brew kettle, this brown ale has some of the warm chocolate and coffee flavors of our favorite winter beers, but with the fruity crispness of summer ales. Another excellent transition beer.

5. Blanche de Chambly from Unibroue - This is another crisp and fruity witbier, but we find this one to be dryer and less sweet than the Allagash. Fun to compare the two!

6. Red's Rye PA from Founder's Brewing Company - We've been loving the earthy-spicy flavors of rye-based beers lately, and this is one of our favorites.

What beer will you be drinking for your first spring cook-out?

Related: Beer with Dinner: The Basics of Pairing Beer and Food

(Image: Flickr member eddie.welker licensed under Creative Commons)