What happens when two uber geeks team up with Stone Brewing CEO Greg Koch? A perfectly geeky craft beer, of course. Stone Farking Wheaton w00tstout ($10) is the brainchild of actor Wil Wheaton, Fark.com creator Drew Curtis, and Koch, and is sure to turn some heads. It was brewed with rye, wheat malt and pecans and partially aged in Bourbon whiskey barrels. W00tStout crosses the finish line at 13% ABV, which is enough to make any geek a little weak in the knees. It might sound highly illogical, but this collaboration will be in high demand.
One of the trends worth following right now in the craft beer world is the abundance of Saisons and Farmhouse Ales. These styles of beer are brewed during the winter and by the time the summer months hit, are ready for consumption. Oxbow Brewing in Newcastle, Maine, who make "Loud Beer From A Quiet Place", also brews one of the best Farmhouse ales around, fermented in stainless steel and aged in oak barrels. The Barrel Aged Farmhouse Pale Ale ($15) is light, refreshing with just a hint of spice and tartness. Each batch is aged in a different kind of barrel with a slightly different recipe, but if you aren't near the brewery or in the surrounding region, it's going to be difficult to find.
Zombies are all the rage nowadays (we were here before they were cool), but no TV show, movie, or video game compares to this zombie from Indiana. We're talking about Zombie Dust ($10), a beer made in Munster, Indiana, at Three Floyds Brewing. And to say it's the finest Pale Ale on the planet would be doing it a disservice. While it's classified as a Pale Ale, to most palates it has much more in common with a ridiculously tasty IPA. The tropical fruit aromas you can't miss are from the generous amount of Citra hops the beer was brewed with. The same hops provide a subtle but effective bite after you tip back your sample. So even if zombie culture isn't your thing, Zombie Dust could convince you otherwise.
Despite what some will have you believe, fruit and beer can make a wonderful couple. As evidence, we submit the downright fantastic Farmer's Reserve No. 3 ($10) from Almanac Beer Company. The California brewers draw you in with their classy bottle art, and keep your attention with this revitalizing, tart, wild ale. They employ coastal strawberries and high summer nectarines before aging this bad boy in white wine barrels for 12 months. So toss out your preconceived notions about how fruit and beer get along and add this to your list of summer beers to track down.
For those that crave their next hop fix, you might want to look to Ohio instead of the traditional hotbeds on the West Coast. Fat Head's Brewing in North Olmstead has quietly crafted one of the best IPAs around with their dry, piney, aggressively-hopped Head Hunter ($10). And maybe it's not so quiet of a process after all since Head Hunter has taken home medals at the World Beer Cup three years in a row. Ohio might not be a hop hotbed yet, but IPAs like this are getting more and more attention from hopheads.