Your Favorite New Beer of 2013
2013 was a great year for beer. We saw a ton of expansion in the craft beer segment, with breweries popping up in every state. A lot more people got really into craft beer too, attending bottle releases, bottle shares, or beer festivals.
So what's your favorite new beer of 2013? It could be a beer brewed for the first time this year, something from a new brewery or simply a beer that's new to you. Tell us what it was, where you had it, and what you liked about it.
I'll go first:
The best beer I had this year was probably Goose Island's Bourbon County Rare. It's not a new beer by any means - it was brewed back in 2008 then aged for 2 years in Pappy Van Winkle 23 Year bourbon barrels. But it was the first time for me to try the beer, and it's hands-down the best imperial stout I've ever had. I was able to try it at an under-the-radar Goose Island event in San Francisco that I attended with some other MTBR guys. A truly spectacular beer.
What about you guys?
Nothing so exotic as JtMartino, but I did learn a few things about my preferences in 2013.
First, I don't like milk stouts. I tried a number this year, but I find them too sweet for my tastes.
Second, I keep trying new-to-me Belgians, especially the Abbeys, and though they are fine, I don't get too excited about them.
Third, I've ventured out and splurged on some more expensive beers this year for special occassions and whatnot. I can't find a lot of the heavy-hitters often mentioned on beer forums, but I have tried some more expensive barrel aged and European imports. I still don't think I've had one that was worth paying 3-4 times more than any number of really good, resonably priced craft beers.
Fourth, IPA is now my clear favorite beer style, at least for this year.
Here are some of the new-to-me beers I really enjoyed this year:
Hop Valley's DIPA
Double Mountain's IPAs, especially Clusterf**k
Elysian (sp?) Jasmine IPA & Saison De buff (which they did with 21st Amendment, I think?)
Southern Tier's Chokolat Stout
Founder's Breakfast Stout
Breakside's Aztec Barrel Aged
Breakside's fresh hop (can't remember name)
Pelican's Tsunami Stout
Great post SD! Always good to figure out your own palate and preferences - the more I drink, the more I narrow down what I think is the "perfect" beer.
So out of those great beers you enjoyed, was there one that stood out above the rest?
Oh, they are all pretty great, but I'll narrow down to 2 from different styles:
Originally Posted by jtmartino
First, Boneyard's RPM. I just think it's the best IPA I've had, at least under 8% abv. For other drinkers, it may not taste like what would be considered a traditional American IPA. "Floral" is the word many people use…it's dry hopped, right? I think it's the perfect "go to" IPA, at least if you live somewhere where it can be had regularly.
First in stout is the Southern Tier Chokolat (sp?). I've had many, many chocolate stouts, but this is the only one I've had that actually produces the mouth feel of a really good piece of chocolate.
10 Barrel Swill.
It was really good.
I was shocked how much I liked it - not usually my thing.
I was gonna stop by and see you, but the Jehovas witnesses came by. When they left I started drinking. Voicemail from Paul
Good call on the RPM - that's in my top IPAs for sure. Luckily you can find it just about anywhere on draft in Bend...it seems to have replaced Mirror Pond as the restaurant standard. Too bad their brewery expansion won't include a canning production line, although I foresee them contracting with another local brewer who is able to can their stuff (Worthy?)
Originally Posted by Slow Danger
Choklat is dessert in a bottle - really well done, and equally delicious with some vanilla ice cream in a beer float. Pipeworks Brewing makes a stout called Raspberry Truffle Abduction that quite literally tastes like raspberry truffles. Another fantastic dessert beer.
I had Swill this summer - super refreshing radler style, although not as sweet as Stiegl. I think the Berliner styles made by Tonya Cornett at 10 Barrel are their best beers, by far (and the ones taking home medals too!) If you get a chance to try Sparkle Party, check it out. Also, Bend Brewing's Ching Ching is worth tracking down - it's a Berliner with pomegranate, is award winning, and was relatively inexpensive last time I bought it ($4-6 a bomber.)
Originally Posted by debaucherous
Victory had a limited release this past summer called Liberty Bell Ringer. Available only on tap, It was a double IPA that was dangerously drinkable at 9.5%. I thought it was very similar to Heady but it was filtered. That was the best beer I've had all year.
My favorite session beer of all time is one that is new to me in 2013 - Kona Bigwave ale
I suck at this kinda stuff but I'll throw out some that were memorable in 2013...
Alpine Keene Idea
Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien
SARA West Ashley
Madness and Civilization
and a bunch of others I can't remember.
New for me to try this year that were very notable:
Southern Tier, Creme Brule - This beer was amazing, like life changing amazing. I need more of this.
The Bruery, Black Tuesday - Very good, lived up to the hype of being a very powerful and complex BA Stout, purchasing it was a major pain however.
The Alchemist, Heady Topper - Earthy, good, not worth trading a big beer for.
Mother Earth, Sintax - Peanut Butter Stout, very good and as of Saturday available in bottles.
Those are just some quick highlights. When I have more time I might add to this list.
Ride Bikes, Drink Craft Beer, Repeat.
Bet The Farm IPA - by Grain Station Brew Works, the new brewery in McMinnville, Oregon.
So far, my favorite IPA (and as you may know, I live and breathe IPA's). The creamy butteriness make it a special treat.
I've only had it on tap, in-house, as I'm sure it's not bottled/canned yet. Doubt it's even in Portland area yet (or Bend )
I will go with Great Lakes Christmas Ale. Absolutely delicious , and in my opinion, what a Christmas ale should taste like
- MOOTS Mooto X
- Salsa Fargo
- Surly Pugsley
- Cannondale SL4 29
Im not sure if this is an Oregon only forum but I was in Graegle Ca this year and there is a new brewery up there. I'ts called The Brewing Lair and it had some great beers.
I had an Enjoy By 12-13-13 this year and it was great. My beer guy just got me a bottle of Abyss that I will enjoy on Christmas.
I'm sick of all the Irish stereotypes, as soon as I finish this beer I"m punching someone
evil twin - molotov cocktail, imperial ipa 13%, bottled in 2011. the alcohol is well hidden in a nice bouquet of fvck you up!
Heck no. This is the Beer forum, all Beer qualifies!
Originally Posted by sfgiantsfan
Another two beers of note this year was Bad Boy IIPA from Alpine and Puchevs Cobra BA Imperial Stout from Hanger 24.
Ride Bikes, Drink Craft Beer, Repeat.
Big IPA fan - I will go with Green Flash Palate Wrecker.
Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.
-- Robert Heinlein --
Just found it last week. Apis IV quad by Elevation Beer CO. At 10.7 ABV, it's got some bite to it. Little brewery at the base of Monarch Crest trail here in Colorado. Beers come in bombers or pint bottles.
Proud Tribe member since 1992 - looking for better singletrack to be ridden year round
For me, some notable new beers this year were:
Victory- Dirt Wolf
Green Flash- Green Bullet
Firestone Walker- Double DBA (2013)
That said, the best new to me beer I had this year was Abner from Hill Farmstead.
Love the IPA's
Favorite list for 2013 has been:
Racer 5 IPA
New to me beers: Heady Topper, Sierra's Hoptimum, Bell's Hopslam, Fegley's Hop'solutely, and several others I can't remember...
Stones ruin 10 IPA and knee deep sumitra. Other favs lagunitas sucks, stones oaked old guardian and flashs palate wrecker.
Just had my first DC Brau On the Wings of Armageddon... Delish.
I really enjoyed Freak Of Nature DIPA from Wicked Weed.
My sister just shipped me some Heady Topper for the holidays.. good stuff!!
Stone Ruin 10 is a beast, damn tasty..
Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy - Benjamin Franklin
Like a number of you, 2013 gave me the opportunity to finally taste Heady Topper. It was delicious.
I was also fortunate enough to get to sample 3 Floyds for the first time.--the Arctic Panzer Wolf DIPA. It was also really tasty.
A work trip to Cleveland meant that I encountered Fat Heads, and I wish that I could get their Head Hunter IPA on the regular.
^^Props for giving Wicked Weed some love. And in an effort to finish with some trivia, anyone know how that state-of-the-art brewery and restaurant was funded?
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