While it generally has an alcoholic content of anywhere between 4 to 6 percent, there are brands … Description: If you’re a fan of John Cusack movies, then you know that Serendipity is a “happy accident.” Well, this is New Glarus’ “hoppy” accident—a beer brewed out of desperation after a severe drought knocked out some of Wisconsin’s fruit crops. The back end is slightly warm and boozy yet balanced and mellow with a mix of earthy spices. Brewery: DC Brau Brewing Company City: Washington, D.C. Okay, that’s two words. Many are speculating about why AB InBev is buying up American craft breweries in large numbers, all over the country: it is to gain back market share, it is to change the perception of what a premium beverage is, it is to put a throttle on the beer … You can find Buffalo Sweat at any liquor store worth its salt in the central states—just peruse Tallgrass’ Beer Finder. It’s burly, pushing 10% ABV and 85 IBUs, but decadent with heavy notes of chocolate, raisins and coffee. Description: Ten Fidy pours as black and nearly as thick as motor oil from its beautiful can and will put to rest any preconceived notions you might have about “canned beer.” Dark malts, oats and barley give this a tasty malt backbone, but what really sets Ten Fidy apart from its imperial stout peers is the generous application of hops. Funky Buddha Maple Bacon Coffee Porter, 9. The beer blends well throughout the taste with a very pleasant finish—not overly … The first sip provides a nice mixture of dark fruit with a slight yet delightful cherry tartness. The results are one of the most drinkable bourbon barrel aged brews around. How Russian River is able to infiltrate every drop of liquid with such bold hoppiness—yet still offer a sweet caramel and malty back end—is mind-boggling.—Greg Eckert, Brewery: Revolution Brewing Co. City: Chicago, Ill. Have you ever tasted velvet? Brooklyn Brewery Lager… Brewery: Hill Farmstead City: Greensboro, VT. Brewery: The Alchemist City: Waterbury, Vermont Description: The Alchemist is famous for brewing Heady Topper (a double IPA you’ll see further down this list), but Focal Banger is Heady Topper’s more restrained little brother. A good winter brew, the White Russian has huge flavors of coffee and bittersweet chocolate, with notes of vanilla, sweet cream, and plum. “It’s a good bet that when Dickens’ Mr. Pickwick sat down for a pint, his beer would have been very similar to our Robust Porter,” says Smuttynose Brewing Co. of its dark and smooth porter. This gem can be one of the more difficult yet rewarding beers to find outside of California. Dating someone out of your league…this is what life is all about. Description: A sour that spends up to a year in oak barrels, then several months hanging out with fresh apricots, Cascade’s Apricot Ale dances that beautiful line between tart and sweet. Tatiana Ayazo/Rd.com, Courtesy Good People Brewing, Tatiana Ayazo/Rd.com, Courtesy Tony Marinella photography. The 36 Best Beers You Can Buy Online Or At Your Local Store 1 Modelo Especial. Drink it kind of warm, and let the notes of chocolate and leather (yes, leather) conquer your palate. Together, it’s a beautiful canvas. It’s tough to pen down Brown Shugga’s style, so beer geeks tend to just label it as a “strong ale,” which basically means it’ll knock you on your ass. Perennial Artisan Ales Abraxas Imperial Stout, 31. Description: Red’s Rye is a beer with disparate elements that are all in perfect balance with one another. There are some things in life that people simply have to experience first hand. Light in body but filled to the brim with the spicy character of Saaz hops, it’s both refreshing and complex. The Czech-style pilsener is crisp and refreshing, pretty much suited for any season. Description: Carver deserves your attention first because it’s a supremely crisp and drinkable lager, and second, because there are 200 pounds of local sweet potatoes in there, but none of the “sweet potato pie” spice you might expect. Unfortunately, that term has been associated over the years with the flagship products from breweries like Miller, whose conception of “pilsner” was nothing more than an American adjunct lager. Several times per year, a limited batch of extremely fresh beer is distributed among four lucky states and one U.S. territory—with a shelf life of about six weeks. Chocolate, coffee, some dark fruits, oats…but everything in balance. The 23-year-old craft brewery is updating its logo and all packaging with a cleaner, leaner look that communicates its heritage with a pointed focus towards the future. Packed with blood orange and malty flavors, this fruity beer may just convert those who don’t normally like IPAs. The hops are over-the-top and distinctly West Coast, which is important because they really need to pop and stand out cleanly in order to hold up the IPA side of the bargain. What you need to know is pretty much right there in the title. Description: Only Three Floyds would have the balls to call a beer like this a “pale ale.” At 6.4% ABV it’s stretching the alcohol limits of the style, but more importantly it has the hop presence of an IPA and then some. These beers are investments in the future. Unlike some of the more subtle barrel-aged brews, this one gets right up in your face—it pretty much tastes like licking the inside of a barrel. This Imperial Porter is made in small batches during the fall, so make sure you get a pint before it’s all gone! It’s remained a classic example of the style, brimming with candy-like caramel sweetness and a backbone of West Coast hops. In addition to having one of the cutest names a beer has ever had, the Prairie Vous Francais has some other notable titles—like being rated the 5th Best Belgian Session Beer in the World by RateBeer. A brilliant harmony of the respective pine and citrus profiles give this single IPA the boldness of a double, with well-rounded bitterness you can drink for days. Rather, retailers may actually benefit from more people drinking craft beer as consumers explore and discover brands. Brewery: Wild Heaven Craft Beers City: Avondale Estates, Ga. As one of the first true “whales,” those beers that the truly geeky and dedicated go out of their way to track down at any cost, Dark Lord established the patterns and expectations that all the other whales have followed. Or bacon? Yes, or very nearly.—Jim Vorel. The bitterness is low. View a complete list of brands … The result is an ink-black chocolate bomb with layers of spice that’s so good, Westbrook decided to bring it back every May. Brewed with fresh local ginger and honey with aromas of cinnamon and vanilla, it’s a perfect craft beer to enjoy around the fireplace during the holidays. If you want to be really traditional about, pair this tasty brew with some fish and chips. For this imperial stout, they included a small amount of holy water, along with malt smoked on “the burning staves of hickory vampire-killing stakes.” Typically that would be the kind of thing that would turn me off of a beer, but once you taste this stuff it’s an easy indulgence to forgive. Game Day Valentine's Day Ship to Home Meat Pantry Natural and Organic Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Frozen Beer, ... Our Brands. The first sip overwhelms your palate like a double IPA, but the back end offers a more relaxed caramel and citrusy flavor.—Greg Eckert, Brewery: Ballast Point Brewing and Spirits? Every beer ranking site in the world puts Hanahpu near the top of the pecking order, and the hype is well-deserved thanks to the balance between cocoa, vanilla and chilis. It tastes like the wizened grandfather of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, and that’s pretty much what it is. It’s also the base to even more sought-after beers: the bourbon barrel-aged Kentucky Breakfast Stout and the maple-bourbon variant Canadian Breakfast Stout. Lucy has a smooth flavor from real English hops and malts, and notes of lavender and honey, perfect for enjoying in the sunny English countryside. Talk to craft brewers and you’ll hear it again and again: there’s still no better American pale ale; Sierra Nevada Pale Ale might even be the best craft beer being brewed today.—John Verive, Brewery: Allagash Brewing Company City: Portland, Maine Description: The Belgian witbier is the Rodney Dangerfield of the craft beer world—it gets no respect. This is a low ABV, summer beer, but nothing like the low ABV summer beers that you’re used to. Is it good enough to deserve that kind of attention and obsession? Michigan's reputation for great beers was largely built on a few brands that continue to be popular across the state — and far beyond it. SuperEIGHT is a collaboration between the brewers and Kodak—the … After all, there’s a horse with a boxer’s glove ready to knock you out on the label. Description: There are a lot of ways to do an imperial stout, but credit to St. Louis’ Perennial Artisan Ales for dreaming up a new one: The imperial Mexican hot chocolate stout. Trying to define craft beer is a difficult task, as beer can be very subjective and a personal experience. Tatiana Ayazo/Rd.com,Courtesy Maui Brewing Co. Tatiana Ayazo/Rd.com, Courtesy Grand Teton Brewing Co. Tatiana Ayazo/Rd.com, Courtesy 3 Floyds Brewing Co. Tatiana Ayazo/Rd.com, Courtesy Confluence Brewing, Tatiana Ayazo/Rd.com, Courtesy Tall grass brewing/Andrewzender. Description: I can thank Stone Brewing Co. for my introduction to the craft beer world. Most lawnmower beers you find are lagers, but this is a “fancy” lawnmower beer, so Saint Arnold went with a Kolsch, a beer style that’s huge in Germany, but underappreciated here in the States. A good beer to pair with pork chops or something starchy, like focaccia bread or French fries. The first taste of Revolution’s Anti-Hero is one of those experiences, with a rush of citric hops that immediately morph into other flavors: The pine of your classic West Coast IPAs, along with the tropical fruits of many modern brews. It’s not complicated beer, just a solid foundation of toasty, caramelly red ale, carpet-bombed with Amarillo hops. Description: Hair of the Dog is one of those wildly creative, boutique breweries that specializes in bottle-conditioned beers that improve with age. Description: Legend has it that Brown Shugga was an accident—a sort of Frankenstein of a beer that took on a life of its own. I will mention that this winter release differs greatly depending on if you have it on tap or from the bottle. A massive, astoundingly rich stout, it pours down the throat with a viscous consistency like motor oil. Brewery: NoDa Brewing City: Charlotte, N.C. Crack it open and proceed with caution. Catch them while you can, because once they’re gone, they’re gone. Description: Beers like Wake n Bake are why we look forward to winter. Why not spice it with nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger? The Bruery’s Sans Pagaie (which means “without a paddle” in French; get it?) Initially released in 2009, and again in 2013, Duck Duck Gooze is an oak-aged sour beer that’s done in the Belgian Gueuze style of blending batches of young and old lambic beers and allowing them to ferment again. At least eight varieties of malt (plus oats) are used to create a complex and rich base for the roasty, chocolate-y 14% alcohol Russian imperial stout, and all that malt flavor is tempered by the bold oak and bourbon flavors from a year spent in the barrels. Do not pass up a chance to taste it.—Ian Anderson, Brewery: Russian River Brewing Company City: Santa Rosa, California Description: Sour beer and wild ales seem to be the next frontier for American craft brewers, and Supplication from California’s lauded Russian River Brewery is a showcase for just how transcendent these brews can be. —Greg Eckert. They forgo making anything easy or quick: all their beers are barrel-aged, including the heavenly Fuzzy Wild Ale. Brewery: Funky Buddha Brewery City: Oakland Park, Fla. Weighing in at 14% ABV, Alpine Great immediately delivers a powerful bourbon and caramel mix, with a dash of dark chocolate and a hint of vanilla that will linger and haunt your palate. We … With a mellow wheat backbone and aromas of sweet cranberry, this brew is a perfect compliment to watching the game after Thanksgiving dinner. Stick a wedge of lemon in it if you must, but either way this is the perfect brew to drink outside on a hot summer’s day.—Jim Vorel, Brewery: Capital Brewery City: Middleton, Wis. So why not an imperial pumpkin ale in rum barrels? (Definitely stop by next time you’re in Nashville!) Description: Another small Vermont brewery here, except instead of a superior IPA, we have a superior double pale ale. This list is not for you. Description: When we did our IPA Challenge, 64 of America’s finest India Pale Ales went head-to-head, March Madness-style, in a series of blind tests. Description: Gigantic is a fickle bunch known for only producing one-off beers. Brewery: Wicked Weed Brewing City: Asheville, N.C. Let it age and all of the chocolate, licorice, coffee and hoppy notes inside the bottle get even more pronounced. Learn about the most important milestones in the history of beer. Sweetwater Brewery Guide Beer (92) Light bready grain and floral hops in the nose gives this light lager more character than some, but on the tongue it's as easy drinking as easy drinking gets. On tap, the cherry flavor relaxes a bit, which allows the honey, dark chocolate, and the handful of spices to come to the forefront. Tatiana Ayazo/Rd.com, Courtesy Westbrook Brewing Co. Tatiana Ayazo/Rd.com, Courtesy Tennessee Brew Works, Tatiana Ayazo/Rd.com, Courtesy Reuben's Brews LLC, We are no longer supporting IE (Internet Explorer), tips on how to open a beer bottle without a bottle opener, the best festival or fair in every state in America, eight useful things you can do with beer besides drink it, the best comfort food in each of the 50 states, Here’s the scientific reason beer is such a mood-booster, the best states in America for road trips, the best bucket list item in every state in America, why you should grab a beer the next time you have a headache, the best road trips in the western United States, the truth about why beer makes you hungry, 5th Best Belgian Session Beer in the World by RateBeer, the most important milestones in the history of beer, which US state holds the record for the most craft beers on tap, Here’s what your favorite alcoholic drink says about you, Do Not Sell My Personal Information – CA Residents. How crazy are Heady Topper devotees? The flagship White from Allagash may be America’s best example of the style that prizes complexity and drinkability equally. This Imperial IPA earns its name from the 90 minutes of continuous hopping that it goes through—a process originated by Dogfish Head. The brew starts as a funky golden ale that sees a secondary fermentation with sour cherries in used wine barrels, and all that time in the oak infuses the beer with vanilla and coconut flavors that are a perfect match for the tart fruit. Many smoked beers go overboard; this one strikes a beautiful balance where the smoke simply complements all the other flavors of an expertly crafted stout. This has more depth than most American lagers you’ll come across—more malty amber than crisp lawnmower beer. Look for it in February, just when you need a really big bottle of something burly.—Greg Eckert, Brewery: Clown Shoes City: Ipswich, Mass. The recipe changes slightly every year, but you’re guaranteed to find a malty, slightly spicy, incredibly vanilla treat inside each bottle. Here are 19 beers you should try right now. Brewery: 21st Amendment Brewery City: San Francisco, CA Description: These days it seems every 21st Amendment beer is as revered as the company’s distinctive art. And supplies never last. The Maui Brewing‘s easy-drinking Bikini Blonde is perfect for enjoying on a sunny day, or any day that needs a little sunshine in it. The vast majority of the country’s most popular craft beers are either produced by large-scale firms like Molson Coors and Heineken, or by independent brewers which those companies have … Description: What Bourbon County Stout is to barrel-aged beer, Sierra Nevada’s Bigfoot is to the American Barleywine style. Running a mile for time. It’s also pretty hard to do well, but Firestone Walker’s Wookey Jack makes great black IPA appear easy. Brewery: Saint Arnold Brewing Company City: Houston, Texas Description: What is that, a bishop on the label? Brewery: Toppling Goliath City: Decorah, Iowa Description: PseudoSue (named after the largest dinosaur fossil ever found) is a single hop beer, allowing you to explore the nuances of the Citra hop—but don’t expect an overtly bitter or hoppy brew. View All. Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine-Style Ale, 4. With notes of citrus and black pepper, it also has enough bite to please IPA lovers. So New Glarus blended a few different fruits for this beer and came out with Serendipity, a tart brew that knocks you out with cranberries and cherries and begs to be sipped over a cheese plate. The name and breakfast ingredients aside, you should not drink this beer in the morning. I adore the thrilling hop-bombs of my home state of California, but I think that the best IPA in the country is actually closer to the style’s English roots: Bell’s Two Hearted ale. The bourbon’s notes of vanilla and tobacco mesh with the spicy, bready yeast and bright herbaceousness of the golden ale; it’s a rare bourbon barrel-aged treat that’s more about subtlety than volume.—John Verive, Brewery: Lagunitas Brewing Company City: Petaluma, CA Description: Every Top 20 beer list should have something you can go out and buy right now, without searching obscure beer forums to find. Or have a meal that isn’t wrapped in bacon? City: Alpine, Calif. ? An unchallenging yet well-constructed beer … This is the beer that we put a lemon wedge in first. Brewery: Holland Brewing Company? This is a meaty coffee oatmeal stout, blended with locally roasted coffee that occasionally gets an added ingredient (like cinnamon rolls). Made with Maxwell Road Maple Grade A Dark Amber Maple syrup, Treehouse‘s Good Morning Imperial Stout is sweet and heavy, with a creamy head on top. Brewery: New Belgium Brewing City: Fort Collins, Colo. The hops are delicate with notes of floral hops and a little bit of spice. You’ve gotta pay homage to a classic like that.—Jim Vorel, Brewery: Firestone Walker Brewing Company City: Paso Robles, California Description: Bold and inky bourbon-barrel-aged imperial stouts are a common site at bottle shares and beer events; they’re a style that gets beer fans excited. It is complexity in a bottle. If you raised your hand, please go elsewhere. Brewery: Pipeworks Brewing Company City: Chicago, Ill. $8.99 Buy. The Lucky Bucket boasts that their Pre-Prohibiton Style Lager is “the smoothest, most flavorful lager this side of the Mississippi.” Twice filtered and dry-hopped, this additive-free beer throws back to a time when lagers were more robust than the mass-produced beers of the current century.