It’s entertaining (and a little daunting) to look back at the beers that were new to me over the course of 2013. After looking at the list it’s pretty obvious that I prefer hoppy brews, but a few styles other than IPAs did make the list. Regardless, it was a pretty good year for tasting, and a growing craft beer industry likely means it will get better.
18th Street Sinister IIPA
Sinister has a fair share of bitterness, but
the flavor doesn’t end there. A moderate sweetness helps balance this beauty
Black Husky Sparkly Eyes IIPA
This amber-hued brew Pembine, Wisconsin
somehow melds potent spruce, citrusy hops, a fair amount of bitterness and
sweet malt. The mix of flavor works perfectly.
Brew Dog Hardcore IIPA
The only non-domestic craft brew on the list.
Big malt and big hops combine to make this Scottish import one tasty IIPA.
Coronado 17th Anniversary IIPA
I stumbled across this during a recent trip
to Los Angeles. It mixes a big citrus flavor with mild bitterness and a sweet
caramel malt finish. It was the standout on a West Coast visit that had plenty
of beer highlights.
Deschutes Fresh Squeezed IPA
The combination of Mosaic and Citra hops is a
delicious one and creates a brew that’s big on citrus and fruit flavor. This
might be my favorite IPA of the year, and it’s only $7 for a 22-ounce
bottle--an absolute steal.
Goose Island Bourbon County Series
Proprietor’s and Backyard Rye
I thought I’d group these two despite them
being completely different. I actually liked the dark chocolate berryness (is
that a word?) of the Backyard a little better than the subtle coconut of the
boozy Proprietor’s, but I’m banking that the Proprietor’s I have stored away
may age better. These two might be the best beers I tried in 2013.
Lakefront 25th Anniversary Imperial Pumpkin
I’ve always liked Lakefront’s Pumpkin Lager,
but the 25th anniversary edition took it up a notch. Brandy barrel aging adds a
booziness and warmth that is absolutely perfect for a fall seasonal.
Lone Pint Yellow Rose APA
The small Texas brewery nails it with this
single malt, single hop APA that oozes with fruity Mosaic hops. Big, juicy
fruit flavor hides the 6.8 percent ABV.
New Glarus Strawberry Rhubarb
I have to admit that I was skeptical about
this one, but I should have trusted the geniuses at New Glarus. (I won't doubt
them again). The fruit flavor is pronounced but not overwhelming, which results
in a refreshing brew.
Surly Furious IPA
Another malty IPA, but this one isn’t bashful
with the hops. Nice balanced bitterness made me wonder why I waited so long to
try this gem from Minnesota.
District 14 Brewery and Pub in Bay View looks
like it will be in full swing early in 2014. I’m looking forward to that.
Beer Pulse posted this hilarious blurb last week. The response letter by Exit 6 Brewery is
Tuesday, Dec. 31: It’s New Year’s Eve, head
to your favorite craft beer hotspot. Before you go there stop at Romans’ Pub
(3475 Kinnickinnic Ave.) for a tapping of the extremely rare Bourbon County
Cherry Rye Stout along with a 2011 New Belgium Cocoa Mole from 6 to 10 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 4: Taste “new arrivals” at
Three Cellars (7133 S. 76th St.) from 1 to 4 p.m.