City: Alpine, Calif.? Much like its namesake, Shakespeare is so smooth, it may as well be laminated. Nitrogen enhances the creamy body of this already creamy milk stout, turning it into a thick, smooth, mocha dream-boat of a beer. This Imperial IPA earns its name from the 90 minutes of continuous hopping that it goes through—a process originated by Dogfish Head. It’s my favorite American quad, bar none. Discover. The stout hangs out in bourbon barrels for six months. Description: What Bourbon County Stout is to barrel-aged beer, Sierra Nevada’s Bigfoot is to the American Barleywine style. Description: Each year in March, Cigar City has a Hunahpu Release Party to celebrate the release of this coveted Florida Imperial Stout. Old Rasputin is the year-round comfort beer that’s always available to hug you with its rich coffee and chocolate flavors. Description: If you’ve never had a nitro beer—a beer that’s bottled with nitrogen instead of CO2—do yourself a favor, stop what you’re doing and go buy this beer right now. ), but I haven’t met a beer geek yet who could resist Uncle Jacob, part of Avery’s much-loved annual barrel-aged series. —Greg Eckert, Brewery: Founders Brewing Company City: Grand Rapids, Mich. Everett owns its “porterness,” boasting layers of chocolate and coffee, a tinge of hops and a smooth, medium body that keeps the package moving down your gullet, one bottle after the other. Fancy Lawnmower sticks to its German roots. Throughout its many iterations, though, one thing remains the same: “hop insanity.” Get ready to pucker up. —Greg Eckert. Somewhere in this brew 11% ABV is hidden, but you wouldn’t know it. Event Horizon is one of those quality beers: an imperial stout aged in bourbon oak barrels, released each year in the late fall/early winter. With 9.7% ABV, this dark beer is perfect for warming up on a winter day. This special brew is only available in kegs and 750ml bottles, so it’s best enjoyed with plenty of company. But you’re almost guaranteed to seek out a second bottle after you sample the silky, cocoa goddess inside. Finding it on draft offers an even rarer pleasure. An unchallenging yet well-constructed beer … The beer is hopped entirely with Northern Brewer hops, which provide the signature woody, herbal (some even say minty) character to the aroma and flavor. An aggressive, unfiltered IPA that hits hard with bitter grapefruit notes, Finest Kind can give most West Coast IPAs a run for their money, adding fodder to the growing East Coast/West Coast brewing smackdown. Unfortunately, that term has been associated over the years with the flagship products from breweries like Miller, whose conception of “pilsner” was nothing more than an American adjunct lager. Brewery: Dogfish Head City: Milton, Del. Brewery: New Glarus Brewing Co. City: New Glarus, Wis. Trying to define craft beer is a difficult task, as beer can be very subjective and a personal experience. It’s actually a blend of two vastly different beers—98% quadruple and a dash of kriek. Getting hungry? Brewery: Cascade Brewing Barrel House City: Portland, Ore. The beers, broken down by style, can be found everywhere from Walmart, Trader Joe’s, Sam’s Club, Kroger—and wherever else better beer is sold near the refrigerated dairy aisle. It tastes like nothing so much as a “Brown Sugar Cinnamon” flavored Pop Tart. Photo via OhBeautifulBeer A mellow wheat backbone balances out the fire, making this a surprisingly easy-to-drink hefeweizen. A perfect after-dinner sipping beer. Every beer ranking site in the world puts Hanahpu near the top of the pecking order, and the hype is well-deserved thanks to the balance between cocoa, vanilla and chilis. Brooklyn, New York-based Sixpoint Brewery uses … Description: At some point, Americans might get tired of big, bold double IPAs. Why not spice it with nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger? Although no longer a side project, Side Project Brewing continues to make beer with the passion and spirit of experimentation characteristic of a hobbyist. Description: On paper, Horny Devil is a Belgian Strong Ale brewed with candi sugar and a yeast strain pulled from a Trappist monastery in Belgium—a traditional approach to Belgian beers. If you pick this up in a store, check out comic artist Ron Wagner’s comic-panel-style label for the beer. This is cigar beer without a doubt, too overpowering for many palates, but a rich reward for others. Citra often gets compared to IPA standouts like Heady Topper, so expect something life-changing if this is your first experience. It has distinct flavors of chocolate and coffee, with enough of a hoppy taste to keep things interesting. Think aggressive hop bitterness with strong notes of pine and citrus. It’s not a beginner’s sour beer—expect lots of oak and puckering tropical fruit—but you should be ready for the punch before you pop the bottle. The Cucumber Crush from 10 Barrel certainly stands out as a unique brew, a traditional kettle sour with a light, refreshing aftertaste courtesy of fresh cucumbers. The unique barrel-aged brew is a Belgian-style tripel that, instead of months or years spent aging in the barrels, only sees the inside of Jim Beam barrels for a few weeks. Oh, and it hits 17% ABV, but it comes in a six pack. If the name isn’t enough to make you want to try this fruity American Wild Ale from Allagash Brewing, then maybe the mouth-watering aromas of green apple and peaches is. Except for the Gigantic IPA. There is a subtle yet captivating hint of whiskey with each small sip. Firestone Walker’s Parabola is one of the finest examples of these American originals for one simple reason: balance. It’s a limited release, never around as much as you’d like, but DC Brau is currently under expansion, so maybe we’ll be seeing more of this “end of the world” worthy brew. When it first rolled off bottling lines just over 10 years ago, nobody had tasted anything like it before, and that immediately made it a prestige beer for Goose Island, long before the brewery’s acquisition by Anheuser-Busch. The Blood Orange IPA pours out a gorgeous ruby red color with a creamy white head—a treat for the eyes as well as the taste buds! This Belgian Wit beer brewed with cranberries is named after Dolly Sods, a plateau in West Virginia known for sweeping vistas, rock formations and wind-stunted pines. These are the best states in America for road trips. Stop by the Funky Buddha Brewery in Oakland Park to grab a bottle of this limited edition brew and some tasty, locally-sourced grub, like a fried green tomato sandwich. These beers are investments in the future. Hippies and Cowboys IPA. You’ll taste the malt first, followed by notes of apricot, plum, and caramel that pair exceedingly well with spicy food. 98. It’s the perfect dark beer in its modest alcohol range, the kind of thing a lover of porters and stouts could quaff all night long. In a word, it’s robust. Why not make it 18% ABV? The mixture of pine, grapefruit and orange offers a complex and delicious trifecta. The 2017 BDCS will be released in May in honor of American Craft Beer Week, and it’s sure to be a winner. Learn which US state holds the record for the most craft beers on tap. Pair this with some curry or Thai food. For years, The Alchemist only brewed and canned Heady Topper, but Focal Banger now literally doubles the boutique brewery’s options. On tap, the cherry flavor relaxes a bit, which allows the honey, dark chocolate, and the handful of spices to come to the forefront. A good winter brew, the White Russian has huge flavors of coffee and bittersweet chocolate, with notes of vanilla, sweet cream, and plum. Description: Yes, another imperial stout (and we’re only in the mid-80s of this list! This is a legit sour brown that spends up to three years in big oak barrels, unleashing wicked notes of sour fruit. Here are 19 beers you should try right now. Yum. It’s the beer that tastes how you used to imagine beer should taste.—John Verive, Brewery: Deschutes Brewery City: Portland, Ore. But with notes of pine, citrus, flowers, spice, and pineapple, this light craft beer has some tamer, fruitier flavors to balance it out. Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout). Brewery: Cigar City Brewing City: Tampa, Fla. With a 100 rating from BeerAdvocate, this IPA from The Alchemist ranks among the best in the country, and it’s clear why. If you have a bottle left over from your six-pack, try making the Edmund Fitzgerald Pepper Steak Soup. Don’t miss the Banger Brewery on your next trip to Las Vegas! Respect. They forgo making anything easy or quick: all their beers are barrel-aged, including the heavenly Fuzzy Wild Ale. It’s luxurious and silky smooth, rich with dark cocoa flavors and intense in its coffee character. Description: Hill Farmstead might be best known for its IPAs, but when you talk about great American porters, you talk about Everett. At least eight varieties of malt (plus oats) are used to create a complex and rich base for the roasty, chocolate-y 14% alcohol Russian imperial stout, and all that malt flavor is tempered by the bold oak and bourbon flavors from a year spent in the barrels. Few IPA’s offer such a delicate mix of citrus fruits but still offers a commendable and electrifying surge of hoppiness.—Greg Eckert, Brewery: Tröegs Brewing Company? Urban Chestnut Schnickelfritz Enjoy the chocolate and coconut flavors on their own, or drop a scoop of vanilla in your glass for a tasty beer float! In addition to having one of the cutest names a beer has ever had, the Prairie Vous Francais has some other notable titles—like being rated the 5th Best Belgian Session Beer in the World by RateBeer. The IBUs are off the charts, so don’t go looking for the balance you’d typically find in a pale ale. It’s got no underlying tropical fruit flavors—just packed to the gills with hops. -John Verive, Brewery: Firestone Walker Brewing Co. City: Paso Robles, Calif. She is particularly interested in food, music, pop culture, and their intersections with social justice. Brewery: Fullsteam Brewery City: Durham, N.C. Brewed with five different kinds of peppers, this pale ale is still surprisingly easy to drink, with just a subtle fire in the aftertaste. That is fancy. Boom. The Surly CynicAle is an accessible Saison (or Farmhouse Ale, as they are sometimes called) with a mellow wheat body, mild and easily drinkable. Brewing City: Tampa, Fla.? Dear Lord, no. The brewery’s hoppy brews and more limited sour beers seem to get all the press, but Supplication is a superlative example of what can happen when old world techniques are blended with American ingenuity.—John Verive, Brewery: Craftsman Brewing Company City: Pasadena, Calif. The hops are over-the-top and distinctly West Coast, which is important because they really need to pop and stand out cleanly in order to hold up the IPA side of the bargain. Just try to make sure you have a few other drinkers on hand, or things could go very badly.—Jim Vorel, Brewery: Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. City: Chico, Calif. The Confluence Brewing calls their Farmer John’s blonde ale “Amber waves of grain in a glass.” True to their home state of Iowa, this easy-drinking summer beer is brewed with unmalted oats, corn, and wheat. It took home the gold medal for the English-Style Summer Ale category from the Great American Beer Festival three times. I could feel the hops in my teeth. The Cinderella of the ball was Jai Alai from little Cigar City in Tampa, Fla. Fittingly, the hop profile represents the Sunshine State perfectly—giant citrus flavors that made you wonder if you were drinking something fresh-squeezed. International grocery chain Aldi has 12 store-exclusive beers on offer. Yum. You can find Buffalo Sweat at any liquor store worth its salt in the central states—just peruse Tallgrass’ Beer Finder. Brewery: The Bruery City: Placentia, Calif. But this list will get you started. Here’s why you should grab a beer the next time you have a headache. City: Hershey, Pa.? While it generally has an alcoholic content of anywhere between 4 to 6 percent, there are brands … Packaged in 750ml and with a 9.2% ABV, the Gingerbread Stout is sure to make your season a little merrier. The reason they stood in line for less than a shot of beer was because they knew that this might be their only chance to try it. Brewery: Breckenridge Brewery City: Breckenridge, Colo. As you can probably tell from the name, this beer ain’t for sissies. And on, and on. It tastes like the wizened grandfather of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, and that’s pretty much what it is. If you truly love beer, you should try them all. Blonde ales are often overlooked as being middle-of-the-road beers, with no intense flavors to set them apart. If you’re craving a full-flavored stout, and winter is nowhere in sight, Old Rasputin is just what the doctor ordered.—Don Ayres. Less is more, and Maine Beer Company really plays with minimalism and elegance with its logo design. Description: Only available in the winter, Bell’s Hopslam Ale weighs in at 10% ABV. But in many ways, the purity of the original Breakfast Stout trumps even these follow-ups.—Jim Vorel, Brewery: Allagash Brewing Company City: Portland, Maine Description: Craft brewers love to fill used bourbon barrels with big stouts and barleywines, but Curieux from Allagash bucks the trend. This is Cascade’s wheelhouse—sour beers that are given a world of complexity from the addition of fresh fruit. Let it age and all of the chocolate, licorice, coffee and hoppy notes inside the bottle get even more pronounced. SuperEIGHT is a collaboration between the brewers and Kodak—the … Description: It’s easy to gloss over the importance of Fat Tire in today’s dynamic craft beer scene, but youngsters please remember, this was the beer that prompted many an East Coaster to make a pilgrimage across the Mississippi. Brewery: Saint Arnold Brewing Company City: Houston, Texas Description: What is that, a bishop on the label? A good beer to pair with pork chops or something starchy, like focaccia bread or French fries. Mowing a lawn? Description: Ah, the Saison—the once-obscure farmhouse style of ale that American craft breweries have breathed new life into. Of hop-flavor, setting it apart from many of us, Fat Tire was the gateway brew into the.! 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