If you like a good Pale Ale but wish that you could take the malts down a notch at times, try to get your hands on a cold glass of 420 Extra Pale Ale from the brewers over at Sweetwater. It's a light and breezy spin on a west-coast style American Pale Ale, and the Cascade and Centennial hops are given just as much room to shine as the Midnight Wheat, Munich, Wheat and Two-Row Pale malts. It pours a light golden color with slight haze, and the aroma will grab your nose with intense citrus and floral hop notes. Those notes carry through to the flavor, and you can expect slightly sweet malts to get in on the action as well.
Georgia Brown is an American Brown Ale that you can relax with at the end of a long day. While it offers rich flavor and smooth texture, it's more on the light side than you might expect for a dark beer. The ABV is just under six percent, so you might enjoy more than one at a party or while toasting good times with someone special. Expect a nutty flavor that blends in caramel and coffee notes with just a hint of spice. The 70-80, Carapils, Chocolate, Two-Row, 40L, Black and Munich malts will hit your palate first with their bold sweetness, but the Willamette and Columbus hops chime in with just enough bitterness to provide adequate balance. Would you expect anything less from a Great American Beer Festival gold medal winner?
Bring a lot of spice into your life with a Hop Whoopin'. This American IPA from O'so Brewing will keep you on your toes with intense herbal spice and citrus highlights courtesy of the Nugget, Summit, and CTZ hops. You can expect a clean base created by the Two-Row malts, but don't count on much sweetness from this brew. That base offers some strong tropical fruit and floral aromas and flavors, but it's the citrusy hops with herbal highlights that take center stage. You can look forward to heaps of spicy character, and each sip ends on a dry note with one bitter Whoopin' that tends to linger on your tongue. Keep in mind that this beer includes some yeast sediment that settles to the bottom of each bottle or glass.
If you appreciate a beer that is as easygoing as your best drinking buddies, you may appreciate Hopdinger. This is an American Pale Ale that you can combine with a variety of foods. It goes well with any relaxing social occasion as well as laid back times at home. With an ABV of 5.4 percent, this is a smooth beer that may tempt you to indulge in more than just one drink. It starts off with a rise of fluffy foam that wants to stick around for the party. It hangs around in the form of delicate lacing while you enjoy the layered aroma. Expect your nose to feast on everything from citrus fruits and berries to florals, pine, and herbs. The Two-Row, Caramel and Munich malts create a satisfying flavor base with some caramel goodness lingering in the background. The palisade, Centennial, Summit, and Cascade hops pop in with a faint bitterness that blends into the malty sweetness, creating a well-balanced brew just waiting for the good times to start.
Spinning in circles may typically leave you dizzy, but the Fish Brewing Company is turning it all into fun. Vicious Circle has become one of the brewery's most popular red ales. Perhaps that's because they allow the Cascade and Herkules hops to take a more dominating role than is expected from most American-style red beers. The recipe also calls for a blend of six malts, and the final product is a well-balanced brew that may make spinning in circles rewarding. The Vicious Circle experience starts with a burst of light tan foam rising to the top of your glass. That is followed by a complex aroma that balances floral and citrus hops with a subtle fruity sweetness. You can expect the same balance from the flavor along with a bit of fizz.
Mudshark Porter is a complete show-off when it comes to versatility. It's the perfect addition to the dessert table due to the heavy dark chocolate aroma and flavor, yet it's so beautiful in a glass that you might consider it the final touch for the main dinner table. It pours a dark brown that almost appears black, and flashes of deep amber add another layer of interest. The light brown foam bubbles to the top of your glass just as your nose picks up the blended aroma of coffee, chocolate, and floral hops. The flavor is rich with coffee but delivers an underlying sweetness that may turn this American Porter into your favorite late-night treat.
Spencer Festive Lager is an American craft beer brewed with the heart of Germany in mind. It may remind you of an Oktoberfest beer, but it isn't seasonal. Whenever you feel like infusing your world with apples and something delightfully sweet, just pour a glass of this Strong Vienna Lager. Willamette and Perle malts combine with Carapils, Smoked, Vienna and Two-Row Pilsner hops to create a smoky flavor that features sweet caramelized fruit and just enough bitter hops for impeccable balance. The alcohol content and hops prevent the sweetness from becoming too strong, and the apple highlights are refreshing. It all starts with a fluffy head of foam and an apple-esque aroma accented by spicy hops, but remember that it also packs an ABV over seven percent.
If you appreciate purity in your beer, you may consider Spencer Trappist Ale among your favorite beverages. It's a part of the Trappist Classic collection from the Spencer Brewery and features a proprietary yeast propagated at a monastery. This yeast adds a unique flavor and aroma to this Belgian Pale Ale, allowing it to closely mimic the patersbier brews that were once crafted by monks in Belgium. The brewers at Spencer keep the ingredient list to a minimum so that the yeast, malts, and hops stand out in all their glory. The Trappist Ale recipe combines Willamette and Nugget hops with Caramunich and Two-Row Pilsner malts, and each batch is unpasteurized and unfiltered to allow the yeast to work its magic. The result is a golden brew with a fruity flavor that gives way to a touch of hops at the finish.
If you're tired of coffee beers that are more coffee than beer, you may fall in love with Sweet Baby Java. It's a satisfying beer with well-balanced hop bitterness and malty character, so it could stand on its own even without the infusion of coffee and the addition of peanuts. The recipe involves cold-steeping whole espresso beans, but many would argue that the malts and hops are what make it noteworthy. Expect an explosion of Golding and Fuggle hops along with highlights of six quality malts, including roasted barley and chocolate. It all comes together to create a Porter worthy of your most delectable desserts or your most rewarding morning wake-up call.
The DuClaw Brewing Company found a way to incorporate Mosaic, Simcoe, Columbus, Apollo, Centennial and Citra hops into one beer while keeping those quality hops on the gentle side of bitter. It all kicks off with Wheat and Pale malts, but the brewers would never deprive you of the juiciness that comes from those five quality hops. They just hop it up at the end of the brewing process to tame the flavorful beast. Expect a strong tropical aroma with hints of pine, herbs and citrus. That is enough to signal relaxation to your brain, but the hammer is dropped by a complex flavor that offers layers of tropical fruit, citric acid and strong herbs.
Give your soul an adventurous boost by indulging in a glass of Floating Fire. This Smoked Rye IPA pours an intense red that will deliver the experience of drinking liquid fire without the danger of burns. With an ABV of six percent, this is one fire that can light you up even if you only have time for one quick drink. When it's time to heat things up, expect an explosion of hops and caramel malts along with a subtle hint of smoke. This is a juicy beer that is dry hopped with hibiscus flowers as well as two quality hops. Is it time to drink on the wild side?
Are you ready to try a Belgian Witbier that refuses to sit nicely in one well-defined box? Just pour a tall glass of Fatty Boombalatty. The name may intrigue you, but it's the explosion of floral spice and herbal tones that will get you hooked on this Pale Ale with a Witbier twist. The Furthermore Beer Company is known for their creative names that are backed up by unexpected brewing practices and recipes, and they take the title for innovation when it comes to this bestselling brew. They start with a blend of Millenium and Perle hops. They spice it up by dry-hopping with hearty Perle hops and coriander. Then they add in Light Caramel, Two-Row Pale and Wheat malts to craft a satisfying beer that delivers a boom of spice and just the right touch of bitterness.
MooJoos is the dark brown beer that calls to chocolate milk lovers. It was first introduced as the flagship brew for Brau Brothers Brewing and remains the brewery's top seller today. The recipe was crafted in honor of chocolate milk, but it was elevated to please the taste buds of adult drinkers. This is a fusion of a Milk Stout and an Oatmeal Stout, so expect to pick up on notes of chocolate as well as coffee and caramel. The recipe includes lactose, a blend of seven malts and a combination of Willamette and Target hops. Get ready to change the way you think about chocolate milk forever.
Cascade and Centennial hops are leading the herd when it comes to this light amber brew with an ABV of 7.3 percent. SheepHead is an American Strong Ale that delivers an herbal aroma with hints of citrus and floral touched off by grassy highlights. When you take your first sip, expect those herbal hops to deliver a strong bite, but the Chocolate, Crystal, Wheat, Aromatic, Pale and Special malts provide a sweet balance that keeps the bitterness in check. The flavor is bold enough to stand up to spicy foods or your sweetest deserts, so have fun pairing this complex hoppy brew with your best meals.
When you're dressed to impress and want to serve a meal guaranteed to do the same, add the Devil to the table. This is a Belgian Strong Golden Ale that pours into the glass with an attractive golden tone and a strong pile of rich foam. The brew is slightly hazy and offers a strong aroma when you give the glass a swirl. The spicy, herbal hops will greet your nose along with a touch of sweetness and something peppery in the background. Each batch is brewed with 500 pounds of Belgian candi and cane sugars along with Duvel yeast and 2,000 pounds of Franco-Belges Pilsen malts. Devil's Advocate Ale has an ABV of nearly nine percent and can easily overpower weak flavors, so pair it with your spiciest meals.
If you're searching for a well-balanced beer that goes down smooth and is easy to pair with a variety of foods and snacks, look no further than Heavenly Helles Lager from the Church Street Brewing Company. This is a clean Pale Lager that offers a foundation of crisp cracker with just the right amount of citrus and spice to create a well-balanced flavor profile. The recipe combines German Hallertau, Tettnang and Hersbrucker hops with Briess Carapils and Best Malz Pilsen malts, resulting in a light beer that is always refreshing. With an ABV of 5.4 percent, many beer enthusiasts can splurge on Heavenly Helles without it going to their heads.
Copperhead Ale is technically classified as an American Amber Ale, but it has a smoother consistency than many red ales. The drinking experience begins with a tall head of fluffy foam. The beer is light amber with impressive clarity. The flavor presents a light sweetness from the combination of Pale Wheat, Two-Row and CaraMunich II and III malts. You'll also pick up on nutty and toasted qualities, but those layers are balanced by Tradition, Bravo and Select hops. The hops add a spiciness that tames the sweet malts beautifully. With an ABV of 5 percent, this is the type of brew that you enjoy with an Italian sub or another light meal.
Gypsy Lager is the type of beer that you bring to a cookout or a tailgating party. It's the type of brew that you might open when you want to do nothing but relax and forget about the stress of daily life. This Helles Lager pours sunshine yellow as the white foam piles at the top of the glass. It offers satisfying clarity and a spicy aroma with layers of lemon, floral and sweet malts. The flavor starts out quite malty, but the spiciness of the hops provides balance. You may even detect a touch of apple in the flavor.
If you enjoy smelling your beer just as much as you enjoy drinking, sink yourself into the River Days experience. The aroma is like a spicy fruit salad loaded with citrus and laced with floral and herbal undertones. The citrus infusion continues when you lift your glass to your lips, but the flavor also includes malty sweetness and hints of something toasted. This complex flavor comes from the combination of Willamette, Cascade, Chinook, and Columbus hops with Crystal 70/80, Two-Row Pale and Carastan 30/37 malts. This is a session IPA topped with a heap of light foam.
Are you ready for a sensual drinking experience? Jamaica Red Ale from the Mad River Brewing Company will please your eyes with a deep, rich red color and a tall head of fluffy foam. That foam dies down as you drink, but it clings to the glass with sticky lacing. This American Amber Ale will also please your sense of smell with a combination of sweet malts and citrusy hops. The Black Patent, Crystal 70/80, Two-Row Pale and Wheat malts interact nicely with the Columbus, Willamette, Chinook, Summit and Cascade hops. This produces a complex flavor with lots of citrus and robust sweetness. It also packs a punch with an ABV of 6.5 percent.
Combine eight of the most potent hop varieties, and what do you get? A wild Hop Orgy worthy of your most explosive mouth-gasm. The Shmaltz Brewing Company is known for crafting strong hop blends, and they over-delivered with this brew. The aroma kicks off the conversation with bold floral and citrus scents. The flavor then backs up the talk with bursts of tropical fruit. You'll taste mango, orange, pineapple and berries in a medley that your taste buds will crave. Of course, Victory, Maris Otter, and Caramel Pilsner malts give this American IPA some complexity with caramel and biscuit highlights in the background.
Easy on the eyes. Easy on the taste buds. Easy to pair with virtually any meal or late-night snack. The Brewers at Alphabet City knew what they were doing when they made their Blonde Kφlsch easy going. This is a German-inspired brew known for its crisp finish and clean profile, and it definitely delivers on taste. You'll pick up on bold floral notes backed by zesty citrus and just a touch of spice. Top it off by a bubbling straw appearance with an ample head of white foam, and you see what makes an Easy Blonde so alluring.
You can't have a Coffee Stout without a high-quality coffee, so the Crazy Mountain Brewing Company found one of the best. They brew their Snowcat stout with artisanal coffee from the Coda Coffee Company. That creamy goodness is combined with Magnum hops, rolled oats, roasted barley and a blend of Chocolate, Carafa-3, and Two-Row malts. The end result is a sweet brew that's good enough to wake you up in the morning or sing you to sleep at the end of a long day. The blend of bitter hops and sweet malts is done to perfection, and the coffee is never allowed to overpower the flavor.
To create a Black German Pale Ale, you need something German, something Belgian and something American. The Brewers at Crazy Mountain accomplished this by sourcing their hops, malts, and yeast from an international selection of premium-quality products. The end result is a deep brown beer with a tall head of thick foam ready to make you lick your lips in satisfaction. If you appreciate a bite of bitterness in your beer, you may fall in love with the way the bitter hops grow on your palate sip after sip.
Milk sugar is the secret to the rich sweetness found in every bottle of Oatmeal Milk Stout by the River Horse Brewing Company. The flavor of rich dark chocolate laced with caramel will rush your palate with a heavy load of dominant malts, but this is a well-balanced flavor that never overpowers. This is all preceded by a deep, roasted aroma with a ribbon of sweetness. The brew pours into your glass a deep black, and a generous layer of tan foam rises to the top. Only after you appreciate the beauty of the stout is it time to lift that glass to your lips.
You may notice the toasted malts first when you take a sip of Roly Poly Pils, but rest assured the bitter hops are ready to speak to you as well. This Czech Pilsner from the River Horse Brewing Company is made from Authentic Saaz hops straight from the Czech Republic as well as Hallertau, Chinook and Hersbrucker hops. Add a blend of Carapils, Vienna, Pilsen and Melanoidin malts, and you have a brew that boasts an earthy, herb-soaked aroma with just a hint of citrus fruit. Bring the glass to your lips, and you'll taste the toasted malts with a hint of caramel in the background. You'll finish every sip with a word from those bitter hops.
Sometimes you want something soft and gentle. Other times you want a Bell Ringer from the RJ Rockers Brewing Company. This American Strong Ale may come with a full mouthfeel that is soft and pleasant on your tongue, but it also comes with a high ABV just over 8 percent and an intense blend of Cascade and Nugget hops. The Caramel 60, Munich and 2-Row Pale malts may greet you upon first sip, but that biscuity goodness is followed by a kick of brown sugar and a bitter ending that you may feel in the morning. Pick up a Bell Ringer when you're ready for a good time and aren't afraid to get rowdy.
The next time you're ready to scream, "You Son of a ," pick up a bottle of pure South Carolina peach instead. Son of a Peach is an American Pale Wheat Ale with close to 6 percent ABV, and the brewers over at RJ Rockers use fresh peaches from their home state to create a juicy flavor that you can't fake with artificial ingredients. The peachy aroma advertises the juiciness to come, and the fruit is prominent in the taste as well. That taste is also infused with tones of caramel and wheat, so there is some complexity to this peach-inspired brew.
Have you ever tasted a beer and thought, "Now that's a true American IPA?" If not, you haven't tried Pick Axe IPA from Tommyknocker Brewery. With an ABV just over six percent and a flavor that confidently pronounces the presence of Summit, Bravo, Chinook, and Nugget hops, this is an American IPA that holds true to its roots. The foam bubbles up to the top of your glass and continues to linger in the form of lace as you sip your way to the bottom of the mug. The aroma bites of fruit and flowers with just a hint of caramel malts, and the flavor follows suit with tons of bitter and just a smudge of sweet.
The star ingredient in this American Brown Ale is high-quality maple syrup. It makes an appearance in the complex aroma and the double-hitting flavor, but it doesn't make the beer overly sweet. The Brewers at Tommyknocker Brewery knew what they were doing when they combined this star ingredient with Willamette and Perle hops and a blend of Chocolate, Crystal 75, Pale, Crystal 150 and Munich malts. This creates an intense color that has a reddish tint in the right lighting, so Maple Nut Brown looks just as good in a glass as it tastes on your tongue. If your favorite things start sweet and finish bitter, you're going to adore this nutty brown ale.
When you have a bad day and contemplate spiking your juice at lunch, fill your glass with Over-the-Rhine Ale. This English Pale Ale pours into your glass a soft, crystal-clear amber and is quite juicy when it first hits your nose. This juice will touch your taste buds with a blend of apples, pears, and brown sugar, but the fruit gives way to grassy citrus as the Galena and Fuggle hops take control of the finish. What starts out sweet must always mellow out in the world of well-balanced craft beer.
With an ABV of 4.5 percent and a simple recipe that calls for one variety of hops, this Irish Dry Stout is heavy on flavor and light on intoxication. Pour it into a mug or pint glass, and your mouth may water at the coffee-soaked aroma. It offers a promise of chocolate to come, and the flavor delivers just that. You may think that you're drinking a crisp cup of roasted coffee at first, but every sip finishes with notes of bold chocolate. This flavor profile comes from the combination of Galena hops with 2-Row Pale, Roasted Barley, Chocolate and Wheat malts. Who doesn't want to befriend an Irishman?
Take your favorite India Pale Ale recipe and give it a twist with British hops. You might come out with something similar to what the Clipper City Brewing Company now calls their Imperial Extra Special Bitter, otherwise known as an ESP. This brew delivers an intense flavor with prominent caramel and toffee tones, thanks to a generous helping of Chocolate, Caramalt, Pale and Crystal malts. Five varieties of hops are used to provide some balance, creating a brew that may help you weather any winter storm that comes your way.
Loose cannons are only good when they're a hazy golden color and fill your glass with a tall head of sticky foam. A little lacing that lingers to last sip will make a cannon even more enjoyable. This is exactly what the Clipper City Brewing Company delivers with their Heavy Seas Loose Cannon beer. Pine and citrus will bless your nose as you pour this beer into your favorite glass, and the flavor hits home with caramelized malts, hints of floral and a big zing of citrus. This Loose Cannon is packing Pale, Munich and Caramalt malts and a blend of six hop strains.
When the brewers at the Sudwerk Brewing Company got bored with the growing collection of India Pale Ales filling store shelves, they created the first rye-based India Pale Lager to hit the western United States. Rye of the Lager puts the dry spice of rye in the spotlight, but the combination of Amarillo, Mosaic and Simcoe hops offers a fruity characteristic that balances the aroma and flavor. Dry hopping and a lager yeast strain ensure that those flavors present themselves proudly. Break out the steak and loaded potato because Rye of the Lager is in the house.
If you enjoy savoring a premium beer and picking out the various flavors and aromas, you might want to mark a full day off your calendar when you get ahold of the Sudwerk Brewing Company's Ultimator brew. The aroma and flavor are intensely complex, featuring touches of chocolate, toast, brown sugar, caramel and sweet fruit. This is an 8-percent ABV beer that delivers the alcohol you crave wrapped up with a flavorful bow. This is the perfect beer to add to your collection of favorites or to store in the cellar, but it's also the perfect complement to rich deserts and a glazed ham.