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Oxbow Barrel Aged Farmhouse Pale Ale

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.

  • Fat Head's Head Hunter IPA Beer

    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.

  • Surly Furious Beer

    The craft beer canning craze continues to grow across the United States. One of the breweries that has embraced canning and also brews amazing beer is Surly Brewing Company in Minnesota. Their "Beer For A Glass, From A Can" tagline applies to all of their offerings, but the IPA they call Furious ($10/4-pack) has separated itself from the pack. The crimson colored nectar might look more like an amber ale, but don't be fooled, it's a smooth hop celebration that demands additional research. The only time you might find yourself Furious is at the bottom of each pint.