That new IPA you can't get enough of that seems different than your tried and true favorites might be packed with Mosaic hops. A Pale Mosaic from Hops & Grain in Austin, Texas is a great example, starting with a German Pale Ale base along with Vienna malts. They then employ Oregon grown hops, followed by dry-hopping with the vibrant hop variety known as Mosaic. The outcome is a crisp, clean IPA with plenty of citrus that is only eclipsed by the subtle, clean packaging.
It's finally time to comfortably drink beer outside again. And with this change comes a shift in preference for many. Deschutes Hope Slice IPA not only pairs well with the outdoors, but brings a light, sessionable vibe to the table as well. Brewed with Meyer Lemons, it's a crisp, light IPA with a subtle citrus flavor that only weighs in at 4.5% ABV — ensuring your next outdoor drinking session lasts long enough to soak up the sunny afternoon.
Almost every brewery has a coffee infused beer in their lineup. But no-one does coffee in beer better than Founders Brewing. Sumatra Mountain Brown Ale is the latest to be bottled and joins the already stacked Founders lineup. It's an Imperial Brown Ale made using caramel, flaked barley, and chocolate malt. Add in the rich, Sumatra coffee and you've got a 9% ABV beer that's the third release in Founders specialty lineup for 2016.
Beer and baseball have always gone hand in hand. And now, with the release of Anchor Orange Splash Lager, they are linked at the hip even more. The first ever MLB craft beer collaboration, Orange Splash Lager tips its cap to the hometown San Francisco Giants. It's a refreshing citrus forward lager that is perfect to tip back as you root on the Giants, or your favorite team as the baseball season gets underway.
Just when you think the best IPAs on the market are set in stone, something comes along and shakes everything up. Julius IPA from Tree House Brewing in Massachusetts isn't brand new, but it's gaining momentum and new devotees every day. With 1.6 Oz per gallon of American hops, this IPA is about as citrus-loaded as you'll find. It's almost as if the beer is infused with orange juice. Add to that notes of passionfruit and mango and you're on a hoppy, tropical trip that you won't want to end.
The latest addition to the year-round lineup for Hopworks Urban Brewery is a love letter to the Pacific Northwest. Hopworks Gear Up IPA is a Northwest-Style IPA brewed with organic malted barley from Oregon, naturally filtered water from the Bull Run Watershed, and local hops from Oregon and Washington. Even the label pays tribute to the local area, featured abstract Pacific Northwest landscapes along with the gear required to get outdoors and enjoy a new adventure. Gear Up is also the first 12 oz. six pack can for Hopworks, and hits store shelves in April.
When some breweries open their doors, they can barely see past the first week. In the case of Taft's Ale House in Cincinnati's Over The Rhine, they were planning for their first anniversary before they opened shop. Taft's Ale House Old Wooden Tooth Beer is a Russian Imperial Stout that has been aging in bourbon barrels for the past year. It was then bottled in these beautiful 500ml bottles that come with a custom branded wooden box with a neck flag and label that are custom printed with 9 colors including a metallic copper ink on a cherry veneer label. If the beer itself is anywhere near as appealing as the packaging, you might need to make plans to be in attendance in Cincinnati for the release — which is slated for Opening Day.
New Belgium Brewing is 25 years old this year, and so is their flagship beer, Fat Tire. The New Belgium Fat Tire Riff Pack celebrates the iconic craft trailblazer, with 5 breweries collaborating with New Belgium to create new versions of Fat Tire. Included is Fat Funk Ale from Allagash Brewing, Fat Wild Ale from Avery Brewing, Fat Sour Apple Ale from Hopworks Urban Brewing, Fat Hoppy Ale from Firestone Walker, and Fat Pale Ale from Rhinegeist Brewing. Two of each beer, along with two original Fat Tire bottles, will be boxed together with a release happening this summer.
Two of your favorite drinks collide in the latest offering from Rogue Ales. Rogue Cold Brew IPA takes the distinct flavors and aromas of their Rogue Farms hops and blends it with cold brew from one of the best in the country, Stumptown Coffee Roasters. The coffee is cold brewed for over 12 hours, then double filtered for maximum balance. And the hops from Rogue are specifically designed to mingle well with the cold brew coffee, providing a balanced transition from one delicious flavor to the next. Available in April from two great Oregon drinkmakers.
It feels like every time you turn around there's a new IPA or hop variety to sample. It's tough to keep up with for brewers, but Firestone Walker has a great solution in the form of Luponic Distortion IPA. Each release is an evolution of the previous one, with a new remix hitting store shelves every 90 days. Each one promises to be a crisp, clean, aromatic IPA, and should help the FW brewers stay one step ahead of hop fanatics.
Originally released in 2008 to mark the 12th Anniversary of Stone Brewing, Stone Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout is back for a special encore bottling. Due to a worldwide hop shortage in 2008, Stone brewed this stout to showcase the bitterness of unsweetened chocolate as opposed to the usual hoppy bitterness to mark their anniversary. Brewed again to celebrate Stone's 20th anniversary this year, it's a treat we never thought would see store shelves again.
The rich, creamy taste of a beer infused with nitrogen is a special experience. But typically, the experience is limited to stouts. Samuel Adams Nitro Beers include a Coffee Stout, but also add a Nitro White Ale, and a Nitro IPA to the line as well. Each can has a nitrogen filled widget that activates when you pop the top, bringing a rush of velvety smooth beer to your glass. A new way to experience beer styles from a craft innovator.
The latest installment in Upslope Brewing's Lee Hill Series could very well be the best. Upslope Barrel Aged Milk Stout is an imperial stout brewed using premium malt and lactose sugar. It's then placed in Maryland-style rye whiskey barrels for seven months. The result is a rich, complex beer with notes of cocoa, vanilla, and cinnamon — elegantly packaged in slim, 19.2oz cans.
A preferred choice during the winter months, an English style Barleywine provides warmth and flavor to help ward off freezing temperatures. Mash from The Bruery not only fits that description, but was also aged in bourbon barrels to make is even more attractive. It's sweet but not cloying with flavors like dark fruits, caramel, vanilla, toasted coconut, and toffee. Overall, it's a big beer. And at 12.5% ABV, it's a warming nightcap that's sure to thaw the iciest of palates.
The Mad Scientists at Sixpoint are at it again with their latest offering Sixpoint C.R.E.A.M. The new release is brewed with a blend of pilsner and two-row pale and crystal malts. It's then stored cool and blended with cold-brewed coffee from the good folks at Stumptown Coffee Roasters. It's a blonde ale but exudes all the aromas you'd expect from a great cup of Joe. Packaged in the signature Sixpoint slim 12 oz. cans at 7.2% ABV.
One of the first new IPAs of the new year is here, and it comes from one of the most trusted breweries around. Azacca IPA from Founders Brewing is made using one hop strand, Azacca. The new, experimental hop was created by Roy Farms in Yakima and is named for the Hatian god of agriculture. It's full of tropical fruit aromas and flavors, with a lightly bitter finish. It might be the best way to try out this new hop strand, especially when it comes from such a dependable source.
You're familiar with the Angel's Share of whiskey that evaporates into the wood during aging. The same applies to beer that spends time in barrels like Lost Abbey Angel's Share Beer. Angel's Share is a Strong Ale brewed with a truckload of caramel malt that helps emphasize the vanilla and oak flavors that make barrel aging so popular. After a year in oak, Angel's Share is bottled at 12.5% ABV and is a sweet, smooth beer with incredible balance.
California is the headquarters of the best hoppy beer on the planet. That also happens to be the state that Stone Brewing and Sierra Nevada call home. And now, the two breweries have finally collaborated for Stone + Sierra Nevada NXS IPA. Making NXS involved brewing two batches of IPA. The first batch was split in half, with 50% being aged in gin-infused bourbon barrels and the other half aged in rye whiskey barrels. Batch number two was a fresh IPA, which was blended together with the first batch to make a hopped up IPA unlike any you've tried before. Leave it to two of the pioneers in craft beer to join forces and create yet another IPA we can't get enough of.
When it's time to hunker down during a snowstorm this winter, you'd be hard pressed to find a better beer companion than Hibernation Ale from Great Divide Brewing. A tradition since 1995, Hibernation is an 8.7% ABV English Style Old Ale that will warm you from the inside out. Each batch is aged for three months before it hits shelves to balance out the intense flavors. Available in cans for the first time this winter.
When it comes to the holidays and a cold beer, many of us got our first sip from dear old Dad. Rhinegeist Dad probably doesn't resemble that first beer much, because it tastes good. It's a Holiday Red Ale with a blend of hop spice, citrus, and some caramel malts. It's a great representation of Dad during the holidays, minus the terrible jokes.
Since you're already drinking leading up to Christmas, you might as well do it in style with the Liquid Advent Calendar from Taft's Ale House in Cincinnati, Ohio. The box holds 24 16 ounce cans of Liquid Advent beer, a chocolate brown Porter brewed with cinnamon, chilies, cacao nibs, and roasted cacao husks from Maverick Chocolate Company, also from Cincinnati. It tastes as great as it looks, and if nothing else, it's a solid excuse to tip one back each and every day of the month leading up to Christmas.
While many breweries celebrate a special anniversary with a special beer, Breckenridge Twenty Five is one of the best we've come across. Breckenridge took their delicious Vanilla Porter and amped it up to to an imperial version at 9.8%. Then they let it mingle in Barbados rum barrels along rare, fresh, vanilla beans from Veracruz in Mexico. We can't think of a better way to celebrate a Silver Anniversary.
On special occasions, Samuel Adams releases Utopias, a unique concoction that pushes the limits of what you think of as beer. It's brewed in pretty traditional ways, using two-row Caramel and Munich malts and Noble hops. Then things get crazy, as the fresh beer is blended with a variety of barrel-aged beers — including old stock from every previous Utopias release — before some maple syrup is added, and then the whole blended batch is finished in a variety of barrels. Included are barrels that once held cognac, Armagnac, ruby port, sweet Madeira, White Carcavelos wine, and Buffalo Trace Bourbon. It's uncarbonated and meant to be savored like a fine cognac or whiskey, and tips the scales at 28% ABV. Easily the most complex beer you'll ever get your hands on.
For years, fans of the fantastic Ten Fidy Stout from Oskar Blues Brewing begged the brewers to can a barrel-aged version of the beloved beer. Well, Barrel-Aged Ten Fidy is finally here, and it's as good as fans dreamed it would be. Packaged in these 19.2 oz "stovepipe" cans, it takes everything you love about Ten Fidy but bigger, bolder, and even boozier at 12.9% ABV. Previously only a draft release, these cans are still tough to find, but worth every sip if you get your hands on a few.
It's amazing what happens when a beer spends time in a barrel. And Helldorado from Firestone Walker is yet another testament to that. This Blonde Barley Wine was named after an inspirational trip to Tombstone, Arizona, and keeps the line of fantastic barrel aged beers in the Firestone Walker barrel program going strong. At 13.2% ABV, it's made with just one malt and El Dorado hops before aging in the barrels. The results are rich and sweet, with honey and vanilla flavors up front, and toasted malt on the back end.
If it feels early for holiday beers, it's really not, as most are released at the start of November. The best ones, like Our Special Ale from Anchor Brewing, are picked over by the time you're in the holiday spirit, but thankfully no such feelings are necessary to enjoy this time honored brew. The 41st installment of this classic comes once again with a beautiful hand drawn label, unique for 2015. And the beer itself is always a winner. This year's recipe has fewer spices than usual — a nod to earlier recipes when the hop flavors were more pronounced, making it another unique holiday gem that's more than worthy of some of your fridge space.
When it comes to pioneering craft breweries, the conversation usually begins with Bell's Brewing. And after 30 years of delivering some of the best beers we've tasted, their 30th Anniversary Ale is ready to help kick off the party. The beer itself is a 11% ABV Imperial Stout, and not unlike its cousin Expedition Stout, it's dark, rich, boozy, and packed with flavor. It's a stout that actually lives up to the anniversary it was made to celebrate, and worth trying to track down this winter.
Beer drinkers and wine drinkers don't always get along, but Farmer's Reserve Grand Cru from Almanac Beer provides a rare chance for them to play nice. This ode to aromatic white wines was brewed using California-grown Muscat Blanc grapes along with an 10.2% ABV version of Almanac's Farmer's Reserve sour blonde. It was then aged in French oak barrels for more than one year. The result is tart, flavorful, and quite unique, but only available in the state of California.
As most beer lovers are already aware, some of the best beers on the planet are being brewed by Hill Farmstead Brewery in North Greensboro, Vermont. And while the entire line is special, Arthur is a standout Saison. Brewed using American and European hops along with their unique farmhouse yeast, Arthur is naturally carbonated and unlike any farmhouse ale you've tried before. If you aren't local, Hill Farmstead beers like Arthur are incredibly difficult to obtain, but worth every single ounce of effort should you succeed.