Located just a few hours away, in Hershey, Pennsylvania, Tröegs Brewing goes largely unheralded here in New York, despite boasting a respectable lineup of year-round beers like their flagship Hopback Amber Ale and their excellent JavaHead Stout, along with a few stellar seasonals. Their Sunshine Pils is one of the best pilsners produced in the U.S., and Dead Reckoning porter is a delicious, pleasantly hop-forward interpretation of the style. But it's their late-winter release, Nugget Nectar, that actually gets people to stand up and take notice.
Really it's a perfect beer for beginning the transition into spring. Bright orangey red and crystal clear, it's what they call an Imperial Amber Ale, so it has a substantial malt base like so many of the hearty beers that traditionally dominate in cold weather months, but there's also a huge, complex hop presence there to brighten things up considerably. The hop characteristics pretty much run the entire gamut, from citrus and pine to floral and grassy, and they provide substantial bitterness throughout. It can be almost overwhelmingly flavorful at first, but the mellow sweetness of the malts helps to smooth things out nicely. At 7.5% ABV, it's not exactly a session beer, but it damn near drinks like one.
It'll be around for the next month or two for right around $15 per 6-pack. My advice is to pick up at least two to start. And be sure to give some of their other beers a shot as well. We recommend American at 256 Court Street in Carroll Gardens.