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  1. #1
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    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?

  2. #2
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    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:

    Boneyard's IPAs
    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

  3. #3
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    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?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtmartino View Post
    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:

    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.

  5. #5
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    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

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slow Danger View Post
    Oh, they are all pretty great, but I'll narrow down to 2 from different styles:

    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.
    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?)

    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by debaucherous View Post
    10 Barrel Swill.
    It was really good.
    I was shocked how much I liked it - not usually my thing.
    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.)

  7. #7
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    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

  8. #8
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    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.

  9. #9
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    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.
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  10. #10
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    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 )

  11. #11
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    I will go with Great Lakes Christmas Ale. Absolutely delicious , and in my opinion, what a Christmas ale should taste like
    - MOOTS Mooto X
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    - Surly Pugsley

  12. #12
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    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

  13. #13
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    Alchemist Ouroboros.

  14. #14
    squish, squish in da fish
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    evil twin - molotov cocktail, imperial ipa 13%, bottled in 2011. the alcohol is well hidden in a nice bouquet of fvck you up!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfgiantsfan View Post
    Im not sure if this is an Oregon only forum
    Heck no. This is the Beer forum, all Beer qualifies!


    Another two beers of note this year was Bad Boy IIPA from Alpine and Puchevs Cobra BA Imperial Stout from Hanger 24.
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  16. #16
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    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 --

  17. #17
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    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

  18. #18
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    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.

  19. #19
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    Love the IPA's

    Favorite list for 2013 has been:
    Lagunitas IPA
    Racer 5 IPA
    Lumberyard IPA
    mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, BEER!!

  20. #20
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    New to me beers: Heady Topper, Sierra's Hoptimum, Bell's Hopslam, Fegley's Hop'solutely, and several others I can't remember...

  21. #21
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    Stones ruin 10 IPA and knee deep sumitra. Other favs lagunitas sucks, stones oaked old guardian and flashs palate wrecker.

  22. #22
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    Just had my first DC Brau On the Wings of Armageddon... Delish.

  23. #23
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    I really enjoyed Freak Of Nature DIPA from Wicked Weed.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Your Favorite New Beer of 2013-photo-7-.jpg  


  24. #24
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    My sister just shipped me some Heady Topper for the holidays.. good stuff!!

    Stone Ruin 10 is a beast, damn tasty..
    BBZ

    Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy - Benjamin Franklin

  25. #25
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    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?

  26. #26
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    I think I remember reading in Beer Advocate that Wicked Weed was funded by friends of the Dickinson brothers who were willing to invest in the brewery. I also got my hands on some Heady Topper this year, its a fantastic beer!!

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtmartino View Post
    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?
    Ah, you took BC Rare, so I will take Hill Farmstead Everett as my favorite new to me beer of 2013. The most deliciously balanced Porter I have ever tasted!

    New for 2013, I think, was Lagunitas Rye Barrel Aged Cappuccino Stout. Spiking your coffee with a touch of whiskey? Yes, please.

    How long has Prairie Artisan Ales been going? I think they were founded in 2012, but most of their stuff is pretty much as new as could be for 2013. My favorites from them would be 'Merica, Prairie Hop, Puncheon, Funky Galaxy... I know, that's copping out, because I'm not choosing 1 favorite from them. But at least I came up with a brewery!

  28. #28
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    Stone RuinTen
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    My new favorite brewery: Founder's. Man, everything I've had of theirs has been awesome. I could really go for some Breakfast Stout...at 11:30am on a Tuesday.

    Biggest letdown of 2013: New Belgium Brewery. I thought Fat Tire was supposed to be the nectar of the gods. Meh. OK, I'll try some of their other offerings. Ranger IPA? Eh. Trippel? Passable. Their stuff is being pushed out like crazy in supermarkets and liquor stores here. I really don't see why, it's just mediocre.

  29. #29
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    I visited the Knee Deep Brewing Tap Room in Auburn, Ca. I really enjoyed the Simtra 3x IPA. Best IPA value of the year, General Sherman IPA from Tioga-Sequoia Brewing, can be had for $3.59/22 oz. Sierra Nevada Narwhal is tasty

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoinkMobb View Post
    Stone RuinTen
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    Dieu du Ciel Rigor Mortis Abt (aging some of this right meow)

    My new favorite brewery: Founder's. Man, everything I've had of theirs has been awesome. I could really go for some Breakfast Stout...at 11:30am on a Tuesday.

    Biggest letdown of 2013: New Belgium Brewery. I thought Fat Tire was supposed to be the nectar of the gods. Meh. OK, I'll try some of their other offerings. Ranger IPA? Eh. Trippel? Passable. Their stuff is being pushed out like crazy in supermarkets and liquor stores here. I really don't see why, it's just mediocre.
    New belgium has been a let down from the beginning.. I also don't find anything of theirs that I like. I did have an interesting conversation with a bartender at a high end belgian beer place and he told me that fat tire was modeled after a belgian amber (i forget which one), he gave be a taste and it tasted like flat tire so I guess they nailed it and that is not a style of beer that i like..
    BBZ

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  31. #31
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    doink i agree with you on the statements about founders and new belgium. new belgium is def over-rated and trippel is probably their best brew. i'm in MI so founders is a staple of mine. i'm def on the hunt on how to get some evil twin molotov cocktail. damn that shit is soooo good. if anyone knows where i can find it or they can find it, i will pay you good money to ship it to me, lol. MI doesn't allow internet sales of alcohol, lame.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoinkMobb View Post
    Biggest letdown of 2013: New Belgium Brewery. I thought Fat Tire was supposed to be the nectar of the gods. Meh. OK, I'll try some of their other offerings. Ranger IPA? Eh. Trippel? Passable. Their stuff is being pushed out like crazy in supermarkets and liquor stores here. I really don't see why, it's just mediocre.
    I'm a little surprised New Belgium is new to you and your area. They have been a market staple for 25 years in the West. I liken them to Sam Adams. All their beers taste like slight variations of the same base. I know it's not literal, but both of those breweries beers taste to me like they took the same base lager/pilsner and just added flavoring/color. I know it's terribly unfair to say that, but that's how those breweries beers work on my taste buds. I always read someone touting some new version of one New Belgiums or Sam Adams beers, and in moments of weakness I buy them. I'm almost always disappointed. To be fair, I hear great things about some of the beers you can get from both brewers that aren't often found outside the tap rooms. Also, a few of the New Belgium beers I've tried that are partnerships with other brewers have been pretty tasty.

  33. #33
    i'm schralping yer thread
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    Hmmm...no love for New Belgium around here. While I'm not a big fan of the Fat Tire (or pretty much any "amber" for that matter), NB does make a couple of killer hand-blended sours, including Le Terroir and Eric's Ale. And they really were at the front of the curve with their "green" practices. But that's not what this thread's about...

    One of my favorite new semi-local breweries (i.e., have to go over the mountains east of Seattle to get it) is Bale Breaker in Moxee, WA. Their Top Cutter IPA is fantastic and the Field 41 Pale is pretty good as well. Considering they only started producing this year, the quality and craft is outstanding, and I'm expecting big things from them in the future.

    It's also a great story of a true family legacy. The ownership team is Kevin Smith, his sister Meghann Quinn, and Meghann's husband Kevin Quinn. The brewery sits on a hop-field owned by the family that is part of the Loftus Ranches, one of the oldest hop producers in the Yakima valley started by Bale Breaker owners' Meghann and Kevin's great-grandfather. Loftus Ranches is still a major hop grower that has been responsible for a number of new varietals including Citra, Simcoe and Warrior.

  34. #34
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    Barleywine : Stone Old Guardian
    IPA : No-Li Jet Star Imperial IPA
    Stout : Firestone Parabola

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slow Danger View Post
    I'm a little surprised New Belgium is new to you and your area. They have been a market staple for 25 years in the West. I liken them to Sam Adams. All their beers taste like slight variations of the same base. I know it's not literal, but both of those breweries beers taste to me like they took the same base lager/pilsner and just added flavoring/color. I know it's terribly unfair to say that, but that's how those breweries beers work on my taste buds. I always read someone touting some new version of one New Belgiums or Sam Adams beers, and in moments of weakness I buy them. I'm almost always disappointed.
    I think it's a big marketing push to bring New Belgium to the Tampa area. I've seen their beers everywhere lately. I was intrigued and I tried a few of their beers, but was disappointed. Sam Adams is a good analogy, they seem to make slightly OK beers, but nothing I ever really think is that great. It seems like they both are going after a "let's try to please everybody" flavor in their beers. That kills any character the beer could've had.

  36. #36
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    Victory Dirt Wolf was my new 2013 fav

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