Spring was definitely the first thing that came to mind when I popped the top off this beer. It was in the mid 60s again here in Colorado Springs which made drinking this beer somewhat pleasurable.
Springboard from New Belgium is a 6.2% ABV Belgian Pale Ale wood-aged beer brewed with Goji Berries and Schisandra. Last on the scene in 2008 this is part of what could be seen as a revival of some of New Belgium's old seasonals.
Schisandra translates as "five flavor fruit" because they possess all five basic flavors in Chinese herbal medicine: salty, sweet, sour, pungent (spicy), and bitter. In traditional Chinese medicine it is used as a remedy for many ailments: to resist infections, increase skin health, and combat insomnia, coughing, and thirst.
The smell was delicate but had some hints of fruit. It pours to a golden yellow and is light and bubbly with a wispy white head and barely any lacing. There is a light mouth feel and a smooth taste that finishes dry but sharp, but not full of alcohol. The first few sips were enjoyable with the hints of fruit but those quickly dissipated the more I drank this beer. Since I like lighter beers, I was a fan at first but it's almost too light and it quickly took me back to my cheap, beer-swilling days of college. The light flavors of this beer almost had me experiencing flashback to my college days, which I can't say elicit the fondest memories of beer. To be honest I really didn't get much more out of this than I would have with a dime a dozen brand. If the fruit or wood had come through just a bit more it would be a more distinctive beer, but as it is I am not a fan. If you are looking for an easy sipping beer that is light and easy to drink on a warm spring day, this is for you. In fact I would say that this might be a great beer to help bring those folks that are new to craft beers into the fold.