If there is one thing that is consistent throughout drinking history, it's the desire most of us have for stronger drinks. The barley wine style of beer was introduced for this specific reason in the late 18th century, and not many have mastered the style as effectively as Firestone Walker Brewing with their annual release, Sucaba. Brewed since 2006, but only bottled since 2010, the annual release of this bourbon barrel aged barely wine is one that beer geeks look forward to acquiring, hoarding and of course, drinking. Those fortunate enough to unlock a bottle are rewarded with hints of chocolate, vanilla, dark fruits, and a warming 13.5% ABV.
It's that time of year, the time when beer drinkers who crave large amounts of hops in their beverages rejoice, because Bell's Hopslam Ale is hitting store shelves. Released every January, Hopslam is a double IPA with a demand that continues to grow. Hopslam starts with six different hop varietals, each selected in large part due to the aromatic qualities they possess. After a big dry-hop addition at the end, Bell's adds a helping of honey to balance out the bite and give this 10% ABV hop bomb the balance that makes it special.