7 Beers for Lovers
Expert Advice

When it comes to Valentine’s Day, wine often gets all the love. Except this year. As the enthusiasm for craft beer grows and brewers experiment with various styles and flavors, beer finds its place among the flowers, foil-wrapped chocolate kisses, and pink candy hearts associated with February 14. Toast your lover with one of these brews and get the celebration started.

Roeselare

Brewed by Perrin Brewing Co, located in Comstock Park, Michigan, this Flanders red ale sour hits shelves and taprooms every other year, so this is your year to treat your boo. Conversation gets easier once the 8% ABV kicks in and the complex notes of sour cherry, red grape and other fruits dominate the palate. Hints of oak come through too, thanks to aging for no fewer than 18 months in oak barrels. Roeselare was released Feb. 4 and is available on tap at the Perrin Pub and in 6-pack, 12-oz cans at craft beer sellers in Michigan. Tip: If you’re not in Michigan and still want to woo with a sour beer, try Crooked Stave’s Sour Rosé, which has wider distribution. It is aged in oversized oak barrels and features raspberry and blueberry notes. https://www.perrinbrewing.com/

Two Hearted Ale

Declare your hearts’ union with this American IPA that has earned a 95 rating from BeerAdvocate reviewers. Brewed year-round by Bell’s Brewery in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Two Hearted puts pine and citrus notes forward. It finishes with just enough hoppiness to taste the way an American IPA should. http://www.bellsbeer.com/

Double Chocolate Stout

No need for a candied chocolate heart or kiss, send the right message with Rogue Ale’s Double Chocolate Stout. Heavy in chocolate but balanced in bitterness and sweetness, this award-winning malty, roasty pour is sure to win hearts. See what happens when you bust out some strawberries as a surprise pairing? Smooth. Anyone else hear Barry White? https://www.rogue.com/

Strawberry Lager

Speaking of strawberries, Louisiana’s Abita Brewing does a good job with its year-round lager that takes on special significance in February. Your beloved’s love light will shine at the first taste of this low ABV, low IBU, hazy golden goodness. Lousiana-grown strawberries push through Pilsner and Wheat malts and Tradition hops deliciously. Package it with some chocolate for a Cupid-inspired gif. Tip: For a little more bite (and slightly less sweet), consider Abita’s Strawgator. Also available year-round, this doppelbock is brewed with German yeast and German Perle hops for a touch of bitterness. Don’t worry; it’s still excellent with chocolate. https://abita.com/

Blushing Monk

Evidently, berries are a hallmark of the Valentine’s Day beer-drinking holiday. Blushing Monk, a Belgian-style ale fermented with raspberries made by Michigan’s Founders Brewing Co., is available January to March, making it an ideal FeBREWary present. It has earned a near-perfect 98 score on RateBeer.com, where users can’t get enough of the ruby color, raspberry nose and “boozy punch.” At 9.2% ABV, it’s indeed likely to make you blush. https://foundersbrewing.com/

Love Letter

Skip the pen and paper and go for a beer instead. Your intent is in the name: Love Letter. Brewed by Urban Artifact in Cincinnati, Ohio, this seasonal release is known as a Fruit Beer or a Midwest Fruit Tart and tastes quite like a peach one. With 3,000 pounds of fresh peaches as part of the brewing process, it’s no wonder. More tart than sweet, however. Hints of vanilla come through too. https://www.artifactbeer.com/

Love

Once again, it’s all in the name. Love treats hazy IPA enthusiasts to a hoppy trip to places where mango, cantaloupe and citrus fruits grow. Yeah, this beer from California brewery Almanac gives your dearest an easy vacation to somewhere tropical. As far as getaways go, this one is pretty inexpensive and clearly full of L-O-V-E. Tip: Love could lead to Pillow Talk, another beer by Almanac. Sip this oaky-vanilla pilsner and talk about the dreams you share. https://almanacbeer.com/

Tailgater Magazine