Stone Brewing cares so much about how fresh their beer is, they named one of them after the date they want you to consume it by. We usually don't like people telling us what to do, unless they are telling us to drink "devastatingly fresh" beer. Enjoy By IPA ($8) clocks in at 9.4% alcohol by volume and smacks you in the nose with fresh citrusy floral aromas. The sooner you open it the sooner you get the grassy, resiny hop bite, which is a challenge to even the most experienced hop heads. Stone is rolling it out to different states one batch at a time, and it's pretty clear there's no better time to consume a bottle than now.
There are some beers that work best before a meal and others that pair nicely with your main course, and then there are beers like Mexican Cake ($10), that fit best alongside whatever you might be having for dessert — or as the dessert itself. Up and coming Westbrook Brewing out of Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, celebrated their first anniversary way back in 2011, and for the first time brewed this delectable imperial stout that is aged on cocoa nibs, vanilla beans, cinnamon sticks and fresh habanero peppers. It was a big hit, big enough that they've brought it back now due to popular demand. So seek out a bottle or two, and skip dessert in favor of some of this after-dinner brew.
You read that right, it's called Beard Beer ($7). We know a lot of craft brewers sport a shaggy mug, but had no idea that one decided to use a yeast strain from their beard follicles and actually brew, bottle and sell it. Well, Oregon's Rogue Brewing, also known for odd one offs like Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale, have taken the next step in eccentric brewing ideas. Wild yeast strains are a common ingredient for craft brewers, but this is the first one we've heard of that grows from a brewmasters face. Nobody likes finding a hair in their beer, but if you're like us, you might just be curious enough to give this one a try.