Southern Hops’pitality is Lazy Magnolia’s copper-colored IPA, which is brewed with a liberal dose of six varieties of hops: Citra, Cascade, Centennial, Nugget, Simcoe and Summit. The hops dominate this beer, giving it a floral-citrus zing with woody and earthy notes of herbs, pine and tropical fruit. The lightly toasted malt offers a strong backbone for the hops, which allows it to be paired with both sweet and spicy foods.
Lazy Magnolia Brewing Company in Kiln, Mississippi, produces one of the most delicious and satisfying stouts in the South: Jefferson Stout. What makes this cream stout so special is that it is brewed with sweet potato, which blends with the cream and malts to deliver flavors of toast, mildly roasted coffee and chocolate covered caramel without becoming overly sweet.
Bent River Brewing Company in Rock Island, Illinois, is one of the best microbreweries in the Midwest, and Steamboat IPA is not to be missed. The beer pours a deep, coppery amber, and the citrusy, floral aromas of the hops are steadied with caramel malts. The hops provide flavors of fresh evergreen, pineapple and mango, which blend with the malts to create a well-rounded ale.
Paddle Wheel Pale Ale from Bent River Brewing is like a lighter version of the brewery’s IPA with added notes of spice and herbal hops. This relatively mild microbrew is extremely smooth, and the caramel flavor of the malts includes welcome hints of fresh bread and mild sweetness. A few fruity notes complete the balanced flavor profile of Paddle Wheel.
Alpha Male from Alphabet City Brewing is an American IPA that combines citrusy hops flavor with pungent herbal notes. The strong backbone of Alpha Male is derived from liberal doses of Vienna and pale malts, which are necessary to balance the orange, grapefruit and pine flavors of the hops. This is one IPA that goes great with spicy foods.
The founders of Alphabet City Brewing began their business in the kitchen at home, but today, the company is the premier brewer of kolsch-inspired German blonde ales in New York City, and among the company's top beers in this style is Easy Blonde. This beer is as complex in character as it is to brew, but its aromatic spiciness pairs with a wide range of dishes.
Smuttynose Brewing in Hampton, New Hampshire, brews some of the finest craft beer in the state, and its Baltic Porter is currently ranked the fifth best porter in the country. This beer is deep black in color, and it gives off aromas of dark chocolate, dried fruit, brown sugar and dark rum. It is also incredibly smooth with a wide variety of fruit notes, including berries, prunes, raisins and figs.
Vunderbar! from Smuttynose Brewing is styled after a German pilsner with aromas of lemon, pineapple and spice. On the palate, this light beer perfectly combines the flavors of the pale malt and Sterling hops, which is a descendant of Czech Saaz hops, with extra lemony zest. Vunderbar! pairs well with traditional German foods, such as bratwurst and spicy mustard.
Old Dominion Brewing in Dover, Delaware, is a favorite of the East Coast, and its Oak Barrel Stout is a selection not to be missed. This is actually a lighter stout characterized by semi-sweet chocolate and vanilla beans, which are added during fermentation. The hops flavor in this brew is subtle but nicely balances the smoky sweetness.
Old Dominion is not afraid to use hops, and this is readily apparent in the brewery’s Hop Lips IPA. This beer pours an eye-catching orange-amber with lacey white foam, and the nose is unmistakably that of citrus. The taste of Hop Lips is very close to its aroma and is loaded with notes of citrus zest, tropical fruit and pine.
D.L Geary Brewing in Portland, Maine, is one of New England’s oldest microbreweries, and one of its most popular beers is Hudson Red Ale, which pours a deep amber-red color while remaining incredibly crisp and clear. The malts in this beer provide flavors of caramel and toffee, but the floral and fruity hops creates an elaborate taste that defies comparisons.
D.L. Geary’s Hampshire Special Ale is a New England favorite that is as delicious as it is unique. It pours amber-red, has a creamy, khaki head, and perfectly combines highly malty flavors with a large dose of bittering hops. This beer is 7 percent ABV, so it is a sipping beer, and from your first sip, you will experience a smorgasbord of deliciousness that includes notes of grapes, apples, berries, figs and plums.
Weissbier is a style of hefeweizen originating from southern Germany, and Prost Brewing in Denver garnered a gold medal at the 2015 Great American Beer Festival (GABF) for it. The unfiltered haziness of the pour does nothing to cloud the scents of clove, lemon and robust wheat, and the taste includes both spicy and earthy notes.
Prost Brewing is known for its German varieties, and this style from Dusseldorf is no exception. Prost Altbier pours a deep amber, upon which it radiates aromas of bread crust, light caramel and grassy hops. The taste is that of toasted malt with moderate hoppiness, and it pairs well with sausages and roasted meats.
Sweet Baby Jesus from DuClaw Brewing in Baltimore is one of the most unique beers on record. This chocolate peanut butter porter was first brewed in 2011 and is now the company’s most popular selection. It is made with an all-natural, non-allergenic peanut extract, and the taste is a perfectly balanced combination of dark chocolate and roasted peanuts.
DuClaw Brewing’s Neon Gypsy is a stylized IPA that pours golden copper with a long-lasting head. A total of seven varieties of hops are used in the brewing process, including Columbus, Chinook, Simcoe and Amarillo. The aroma is very citrusy while the taste is balanced with notes of pine. This beer goes well with spicy and fried foods.
16 Mile Brewing in Georgetown, Delaware, creates some of the most enjoyable beers on the East Coast, and Amber Sun Ale is no exception. This dark amber ale has a floral hop aroma, but the taste is that of caramel, bread crust and red fruits. The hop level is moderate but adequate enough to provide balance to the caramelized malts.
Along with its amber ale, 16 Mile Brewing makes an exceptional brown ale. Tiller Brown Ale is highly carbonated and has a strong flavor of toasted bread and caramel with notes of milk chocolate. This light sweetness, however, is offset by a mild hop character with earthy, spicy and floral overtones.
Cape Canaveral’s Florida Beer Company offers an unusual but delectable option with its Surplus Honey Citrus Ale. This unique ale is also the microbrewery’s signature specialty, and its robust pale malt flavor includes a subtle taste of sweet honey and citrus zest. A moderate amount of hops completes this honey-citrus American pale ale.
Florida Beer Company also brews one of the sweetest stouts available today. Sweet Stout has a rich head and smells of honey-roasted nuts and coffee with a hint of bacon, and on the palate, you can add dark cacao and dried fruit. The beer’s smooth and creamy character derives from the addition of oats in the brewing process.
Olde Saratoga Brewing in Saratoga Springs, New York, brews one of the finest IPA’s in the region. Saratoga IPA is crisp and has a clear copper color with citrus and floral aromas from the Cascade hops. Even though it measures 60 IBUs, the flavor is perfectly balanced with a unique Munich malt backbone.
Another favorite from Olde Saratoga is Saratoga Oatmeal Stout. The oats used in the brewing process work to smooth the complex malts, and the moderate hops flavor balances the sweetness to provide a nice finish. Pay attention to the notes of roasted coffee, caramel, and dark chocolate.
Sprecher Brewing in Glendale, Wisconsin, is known for brewing some of the finest German-style beers in the U.S., and its Black Bavarian is certainly no exception. This is a German schwarzbier, which is a dark pilsner, but it is on the heartier side. This beer has a sweet and toasty flavor and is moderately hopped to provide balance.
Hefe Weiss from Sprecher Brewing is made in the style of a traditional Bavarian weissbier, or wheat beer. It is unfiltered and cloudy with a sweet twang of banana and bubblegum balanced with a touch of clove and spice. The Mt. Hood hops provides an herbal quality with notes of lemon zest.
Belfast, Maine, is home to one of America’s great brewers, and one of its most popular beers is McGovern’s Oatmeal Stout, which won a silver medal at the World Brewing Championships. This stout is dark, dense and robust with hints of dark chocolate, scorched caramel and smoke. On the palate, it is surprisingly balanced and finishes with a hint of coffee.
Belfast Bay Brewing’s Lobster Ale is a red ale with a deep color that creates a large, beige head on the pour. The nose carries heavy notes of caramel and toffee while the palate is expertly balanced among toasted bread, caramel, toffee, and fruit. This beer pairs well with grilled pork, roasted chicken and French onion soup.
Hop Manna from Shmaltz Brewing is a clean IPA that pours a glistening golden color. The aroma is undoubtedly one of floral, citrusy hops with notes of cantaloupe. The flavor is hoppy through and through, but the malts provide much-needed balance and a hint of spice. The hoppiness lingers for several minutes, inviting imbibers for another taste.
Shmaltz Brewing proudly presents a craft lager like no other. Slingshot pours bright and golden with a generous, bubbly head while the nose includes herbs, citrus zest, and tropical fruit. The taste is biscuity, but carries notes of caramel, rye, and citrus. The bitterness is higher than most other lagers, but it remains extremely refreshing.