Sometimes the best recipes are tucked away at home, and need exposure to really shine. Xocoveza Mocha Stout is an example, as this year's winner of the American Homebrewers Association-sanctioned competition provided the recipe for this tasty collaboration with Stone Brewing, who assisted in the process and gave it the wider audience it deserves. It's meant to mimic a Mexican hot chocolate, and hits the mark with chocolate, nutmeg, and just enough chile pepper to provide some warmth at the end of a sip.
It's no secret that some of the best IPAs come from the West Coast. Many are big and bold but not enough are both great and easy to drink. Point The Way IPA is Golden Road Brewing's ode to Los Angeles, where they brew it and several other beers. The 5.9% beer was re-imagined last year by a brand new brewmaster and is now finds itself in the class of some West Coast heavyweights. An optimal sipper for the beach, or any occasion where a crisp, clean IPA is called for.
There aren't very many breweries with as solid of a reputation for brewing Imperial Stouts as Goose Island in Chicago, and the latest to hit shelves continues that tradition. The Muddy is a new Imperial Stout celebrating the 1940's blues scene in Chicago, brewed with black licorice and Belgian dark rock candi sugar. The 9% ABV hides nicely in this rich, chocolatey brew along with some dark fruit and subtle licorice notes — making it an ideal sipper heading into fall.
Take a step away from traditional pumpkin beers this fall and seek out Autumn Maple from The Bruery. Brewed with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, vanilla, molasses, maple syrup and 17lbs. of yams per barrel, it's not lacking in flavor and punch. A great pairing for a fall feast or let the 10% ABV help warm things up a bit on a cool fall evening.