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16 bottles to give

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16 bottles to give

Present-hunting for a beer lover? Bring our list of giftable brews to the bottle shop.


The Lost Abbey Deliverance

Tomme Arthur’s latest is a big, boozy ode to barrel-aging: A blend of bourbon-barrel-aged Serpent’s Stout and brandy-barrel-aged Angel’s Share barelywine, it’s black, hot and (pleasantly) ominous.

Pisgah Vortex II

It doesn’t get smoother than this organic Russian imperial stout released twice a year; the beer effortlessly moves from ultraroasty to chest-warmingly boozy in one seamless swallow.

Posca Rustica

Belgium’s Dupont brews this sweet, modern version of an early Roman Empire dram with wheat, woodruff, bog myrtle and nearly 20 additional herbs and spices; this year, bottles finally hit the States.

Samuel Adams/ Weihenstephan Infinium

Champagne’s got nothing on the 2011 release of this collaboration beer: Belgian yeast supplies big banana esters, dry hopping lends a light floral flavor, and Champagne-style yeast conditioning provides the body of a bottle of bubbly.

Lightning Electrostatic Ale

Forget what you think you know about bière de gardes; this massive San Diego version doubles—no, triples—the fruity esters, bumps up the mouthfeel, inflates the ABV to 10% and spins the style on its head.

10 Barrel ISA

The best beer gifts aren’t always giants; this India-style session ale (read: a 5.5%-ABV IPA brewed with a hint of wheat) is completely mellow and totally on trend.

Hill Farmstead Art

Have a beer-crazy uncle? Gift this wonderfully rustic, wine-barrel-aged saison, an earthy-tart homage to the Vermont brewer’s great uncle.

Finnriver Dry-Hopped Cider

This semi-sweet cider dry-hopped with Cascades makes a thought-provoking gift for the hop fiend: The front of the sip is all sweet Washington apples, then green, floral hops step in and sweep the swallow clean.

Nebraska Melange a Trois

Snatch up whatever your bottle shop has left of this dynamic Belgian-style blonde. Fresh from a six-month nap in Chardonnay barrels, the 10%-ABV beer stings your cheeks with honeydew-lemon brightness, oaky tannins and a tart punch.

Deschutes The Abyss

The 2011 version of the iconic molasses-and-licorice-infused imperial stout blend is the last batch by genius brewer Larry Sidor, who struck out on his own this summer.

Shmaltz/Terrapin Reunion Ale ’11: A Beer for Hope

For the fifth year, a collaborative beer brewed in conjunction with Pete’s Wicked Ale creator Pete Slosberg benefits Myeloma and bone cancer research. This year’s brew is a dry, mole-like imperial brown ale loaded with chocolate and flecked with vanilla and chili peppers.

Alaskan Perseverance

You’d do well to wrap up Alaskan’s annual Smoked Porter, but be extra-generous and give this stout, too; it features the same house-smoked malts showcased in the porter, but includes fireweed honey and local white birch syrup.

High Water Hop Riot IPA

The latest and greatest in IPAs is this superdank, 7.3%-ABV version from Bay Area newcomer High Water Brewing. Each sip explodes with resiny, woody hops that make way for grapefruit notes so juicy, they quite literally make you salivate.

Goose Island Bourbon County Stout 2010

Grow one of the oldest vertical collections in craft beer with this 13%-ABV behemoth. Brewed in 2010 and just on shelves now, this bourbon-barrel-aged stout is oaky, smoky, chocolaty—and seriously hot with bourbon.

Bison Organic Gingerbread Ale

Burned the cookies? Bring this beer. The Berkeley, Calif., brewery packs a porter with clove, ginger and allspice notes, and gives it a bit of bitterness and a dry finish; serve with its namesake—or even better—with whipped-cream-topped pumpkin pie.

Yorkshire Stingo

The 2011 edition of this 100-point old ale is a perfect raisin-studded, wood-laced addition to any geek’s beer cellar.

+ONE CAN: Buckbean Very Noddy

Don’t let the simplistic can fool you: This limited-edition, imperialized version  of the brewery’s Black Noddy schwarzbier is a tongue-tingling study in malt intensity with a well-disguised 10.5%-ABV.


Brewery Travels

Brewery Travels: My Favorite Brewery/Beer from Each State

In my ongoing quest to visit breweries all across this great land, I have now surpassed the 400 mark, and they’ve been spread across 37 states and 175+ cities. To celebrate this landmark, I’ve put together a ‘Special Edition’ of Brewery Travels: A rundown of my favorites in each of the states visited so far.

CATEGORIES: Beer   Feature   Midwest Breweries   Midwest Feature   Northeast Breweries   South Breweries   Travel   West Breweries  


Why a Miller Lite Was the Best Beer I’ve Ever Had

I’ve worked in craft beer for nearly five years now. I’ve had the fortune to try some truly amazing brews: Pliny the Elder, Heady Topper, Bourbon Barrel Aged Expedition Stout. Supplication? I’ve got one in my mini-fridge. The reason I’m telling you this is because I want to frame my statements here properly. I’ve had good beer, trust me. The best beer I’ve ever had, though, was a Miller Lite.

CATEGORIES: Beer   MIDWEST   Midwest Feature  

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