Ten Best Beers of 2012
Call me a yella chicken, but I am going to share with you the 10 best beers of 2012 in alphabetical order (That way nobody’s feelings hurt.) If you are using this as a guide for beers to seek out, you won’t go wrong with any of them. It was a great year for craft beer! Cheers.
Bootlegger’s Imperial Phoenix (Aged in Bourbon Barrels)
Bootlegger’s Bruery, most famous for their Knuckle Sandwich DIPA made an amazing bourbon barrel aged imperial stout this year. While it was a very small release, the beer is as good as heavy hitters such as Pugachev’s Cobra, Melange #3 and Stone Imperial Russian Stout aged in Bourbon Barrels. Let’s hope they have a bigger batch in the works so all you jealous readers can try it.
Cigar City Apple Brandy Barrel Aged Hunahpu
Cigar City somehow, some what made one of their brewery only treats available in super small quantities at two seperate events I attended this year. That just treat happens to by my favorite beer (Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout) aged in Apple Brandy Barrels. I love this beer, and like it a bit better than the whiskey and bourbon barrel versions.
Green Flash Rayon Vert
I recall being stuck on this beer for a good two months straight. I like this beer as much if not more than Orval, and was just such a beautiful beer. I’m not usually fond of Belgian style beers, but Green Flash made great use of their Brett strain to make what I would consider a future world classic.
Founders All Day IPA
Here’s a beer style that I wish every brewery in the world would make. It’s got most of what I look for in the IPA department, without being 7%.
Lagunitas Daytime IPA
Much like the beer listed directly above, Founders All Day IPA. A low gravity hop bomb. Lagunitas formulated a very small, super drinkable hoppy ale, and nailed it.
New Belgium Shift Lager
Folks may have looked past this beer as it’s a can of lager. It’s a can of great craft lager. It was perfectly hoppy, had unique yeast character compared to a regular pale lager, and super refreshing and drinkable. Definitely my favorite non sour New Belgium beer.
New Glarus Serendipity
New Glarus dubbed this beer a happy accident. Whatever the case may be, they’ve brewed a beer that is as yummy as Belgian Red and Raspberry Tart, if not better.
Russian River Beatification b5
Sorry if it seems like I’m rubbing it in for all of those who didn’t get to try this beer, but it is an amazing beer worthy of this list. Tart, sour, tropical, amazing brett funkiness. I was happy to see a decent amount for sale, so I didn’t have to feel guilty about drinking a bottle or two by myself.
Stone Enjoy By IPA
Stone has been known for their IPAs and use of hops for 16 years, and you’d think an old dog wouldn’t be able to wing a new trick. I’ve never been more happy to be wrong. Stone made Enjoy By XX/XX/XXX IPA, in which only a few markets at a time got a super fresh, super dank Double IPA that has been compared to the finest Alpines and even our beloved Pliny The Elder.
The Bruery Sans Pagaie
The Bruery does a great job with fruit lambic like sours, and Sans Pagaie is the best replica of a Belgian Kriek Lambic I’ve had to date. Between this and Filmishmish (An apricot sour offered to The Reserve Society), I feel I have suitable replacements for my Cantillon cravings.
Honorable mentions: Firestone XVI, Founders Boltcutter, Samuel Adams 10th Anniversary Utopias, Stone Ruination Tenth, Upland Gilgamesh, Boulevard Love Child No. 2, Eagle Rock Unity, Eagle Rock Ginger Saison, Stone Suitable for Cave Aging in Bourbon Barrels