It’s the end of another year and that means it’s time for countless “best of” lists. So, here’s one more. We had a lot of great beers this year. We were fortunate to travel to some cool places like Spokane WA and Northern Idaho, Madison and New Glarus Wisconsin, Denver and San Diego. There’s great beer here in the Southeast, but traveling exposes you to a lot you normally wouldn’t get to taste.
Here’s June’s top five beers of this year, in no particular order:
- Ale Asylum Hopalicious Pale Ale, Madison WI – Eleven separate additions of cascade hops? Yes, please!
- Three Floyds Yum Yum American Session Ale, Munster IN – Lots of juicy hop flavor but light enough on the palate to be a great summer beer.
- Hoppin’ Frog BORIS the Crusher Oatmeal-Imperial Stout (Batch #100), Akron OH – Russian Imperial Stout is one of my favorite styles and this one blew my mind! Smooth and silky with a taste of coffee and chocolate.
- Odell Myrcenary Double IPA, Fort Collins CO – This is a dangerous one! It’s 9.3% ABV and so refreshing and balanced that it can get you before you notice!
- Wicked Weed Genesis Blonde Sour, Asheville, NC – You can’t go wrong with anything coming out of Wicked Weed and their venture into barrel aged American wild ales is a nice, smooth sour ale.
Here’s my favorite beers of 2014, I couldn’t keep it to five, so my list that goes to 11:
- Samuel Adams Kosmic Mother Funk Grand Cru, Boston MA – Some say Sam can’t make good beer anymore. They’re wrong. This was my favorite of the year.
- Yazoo Embrace the Funk Idomitus Dolium Old Ale, Nashville TN – My favorite ETF beer from my home town brewery.
- Stone w00tstout 2.0 Imperial Stout, San Diego, CA – So glad I got to try this at Stone, it never made it to most of the country.
- Westbrook Mexican Cake Imperial Stout, Charleston SC – A very special beer because this beer was the last bottle I got from the late Curtis McArthur. We lost him New Year’s Day 2014 and miss him dearly.
- Lagunitas Sonoma Farmhouse Sour, Petaluma CA – The Lagunitas crew brought a very rare keg to the Beer Bloggers Conference. My second favorite of the year, right behind the KMF.
- Oskar Blues Home Skillet Black IPA, Longmont CO & Brevard NC – One of the best BIPAs I’ve had. Love the style and hope they make more of this.
- Societe The Bachelor IPA: Sorachi Ace, San Diego CA – A single hop American IPA with the lemony, tropical Sorachi Ace hop flavors.
- New Belgium Oscar-Worthy Coffee Sour Ale, Fort Collins Co – Some people say things about NB that others say about Sam. They are also wrong. Coffee and Sour? Somehow it works. Very well.
- New Glarus Moon Man Pale Ale, New Glarus WI – New Glarus gets lots of props for their sour and fruit beers, but this may just be the finest pale ale I’ve ever had. Drink it fresh and I think you’ll agree.
- Cantillion Vigneronne 2012 Lambic, Brussels Belgium – It’s Cantillion, ‘nuff said.
- White Labs Frankenstout, San Diego CA – Not a brewer, but a yeast company with a taproom. This stout was made from the 8th generation of 96 combines yeast strains. So many flavors!