Ready to get adventurous with your next beer purchase? If you are, Love Child from Boulevard Brewing in Kansas City, Missouri is a great candidate. The fourth batch in their Love Child Series, this beer is a barrel-aged wild ale made by blending batches of beer, aged between 11 months and 5 years in whiskey barrels, wine foeders, and stainless steel tanks. The finished product is a funky, fruity, sour creation and defies simple explanation but is sure to push the boundaries of your palette and possibly turn you into a fan of sour beers, if you aren't one already.
One of the best kept secrets in the booming brewing state of Ohio can be found in Athens at Jackie O's Brew Pub & Brewery and one of the staples of their impressive lineup is Dark Apparition. It's a Russian Imperial Stout that quickly lives up to its name thanks to a midnight black pour. Eleven malts were used during the brewing process and they bring out rich flavors like chocolate, dark fruit, and molasses. With such a great flavor profile and a rich body, it's hard not to let this 10% ABV ghost sneak up on you.
One thing craft brewers are getting better and better at here in the US is brewing the traditional Belgian ales that pioneered the beer world so long ago. A great example of this maturation is found in Belgian Farmhouse Saison from Aspen Brewing in Aspen, Colorado. This straw colored beer brings some hops to the table, but the farmhouse yeast and effervescent mouthfeel are the real stars of the show. Judges at the World Beer Cup agreed this year, as it topped almost 100 other entries to win the Gold in the French and Belgian-Style Saison Category. In celebration of the award, a special run of the beer was recently released.
When you're tired of trying to chase down the next big thing in the craft beer world, it can be refreshing sometimes to turn to an old standby. Flower Power from Ithaca Brewing in New York is a perfect example of this, and helped pioneer the path for many IPAs that have followed. With a tropical jungle of a nose and a hopped up taste thanks to five different dry-hopping sessions, this bad boy not only is an old stand-by, but also stacks up incredibly well to the avalanche of IPAs that have been trying to keep up over the past decade plus.