Belgians are known around the world for their brewing expertise. One thing that sets the Abbeys and the Trappists apart is the water they use to make their fine brews. Well it just so happens that the water on a small farm in Ohio is nearly identical to that of Wallonia, Belgium, where Belgian Ale originated. Rockmill Brewing took advantage, setting up their brewery on a small farm plot nearby and are creating some fantastic Belgian beers. Included in the small collection is their take on the Belgian Dubbel ($14). A few sips of this sweet, malty gem will have you asking for more, and wondering if you aren't drinking something straight from Belgium.
When it comes to well known craft breweries, there are few with a reputation and reach equal to Dogfish Head Brewery. The Delaware-based brewers are craft pioneers and have never been afraid to push the boundaries of beer styles. By now you've likely met their 60 Minute IPA or their 90 Minute IPA, but you may not have had an encounter with big brother 120 Minute IPA ($12) yet. Dogfish has been brewing this beast for over a decade, but the supply is always limited, and those with access aren't always up to the challenge. If you crack one open fresh, it's less of a hop bomb than you might expect initially, but the IBU intensity will sneak up and bash your palate at some point during a tasting. Grab a couple bottles if you can, share with a friend or set some aside to age like a fine wine.
The brewing history in our hometown of Cincinnati goes way back. Combine that history with our current beer soaked culture and some special things can happen. Rhinegeist Brewing is one of the newest additions to a growing craft scene in Cincy, and their newest creation is called Saber Tooth Tiger ($15). The double IPA hits with a full bouquet of citrusy hop aroma after it pours an inviting amber colored nectar. It's a smooth criminal taste wise, with plenty of flavor and just enough Saber Tooth hop bite that finishes crisp and clean. But don't be fooled, at 95 IBU, this is a palate wrecker that will have your tongue tingling after a session. Hunt down a growler before it goes the way of the Saber Tooth Tiger.