Canned Brews for Spring 

More portable, potable suds offerings

We're more than six weeks into spring, which means it's time to get out on the trail or on the river, right? Sure it feels more like the tail end of fall, but those are leaves on the trees, and despite the damp and the cold, warm weather has to be right around the corner. Canned beer is the format of choice for out-and-about consumption, so here are three more new arrivals to the Treasure Valley.

21st Amendment Bitter American

A bright and brassy pour, this beer has a respectable head and big, resiny hops dominate the nose backed by subtle orange and lime. There's a nice hop bite on the palate, but it's not nearly as aggressive as the aromas would suggest. Crisp and clean with smooth malt and bright citrus flavors, this is a beautifully balanced ale with intriguing hints of orange zest and herb.

21st Amendment Back in Black

With the dark ebony color of a stout and the hop profile of an India Pale, black IPAs exhibit something of a split personality. The floral aromas here are a nice mix of citrus, hops and dried grass, with soft hits of resin and anise. Sweet, toasted malt and caramel color the palate, playing against a decent hop bitterness that tastes something like unsweetened licorice. Another worthy effort from this innovative brewery.

Stella Artois

OK, this over-hyped Belgian entry is a marketing marvel, but it's not one of the world's greatest brews. That said, served well chilled on a hot summer day, it is an appealing, eminently sessionable choice. While I prefer it poured from the bottle--seems a bit livelier in that format--the can makes for an even fresher version. It offers lightly sweet malt and mild hops with a touch of grain and spice that go down smooth and easy.

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