Bigger isn’t always better, but here are a half-dozen beers we’re glad to be sipping on in 16-oz. cylinders.
Benchmark Table Beer: At just 4% ABV, this crushable brew from San Diego’s Benchmark Brewing Co. will make you appreciate the tallboy’s extra 4 ounces. Soft bready malt carries lemon and white pepper flavors through the refreshing, clean finish that immediately invites another sip.
Upstate XPA: A strong grassy and floral bouquet bursts from the dry-hopped session pale ale out of Elmira, New York. The bitterness is early and strong in the taste, paced by mossy, earthy hops, subdued pine and onion tones and grainy malt for balance.
Half Acre Lead Feather: The black ale’s aroma sports prominent burnt toast and brown sugar that nearly hide brief hints of wood smoke. Toast with charred edges comes through in the swallow, before a bitter charcoal trace gives way to nutty almond butter at the close. This beer would pair nicely with rich barbecue or a juicy steakburger.
Carton HopPun: An American pale ale brewed with Super Galena, Mosaic and experimental hops, HopPun features sweet orange and a touch of garlic that blend together for a borderline funky fragrance. Traces of white onion simmer through assertive bitterness that grabs hold early and never truly lets up.
Narragansett Innsmouth Olde Ale: Part of the Rochester, New York, brewery’s Lovecraft Series honoring author H.P. Lovecraft, the murky copper presents a rich nose of caramel, prunes, raisins and a whisper of sherry. The fruit notes fuse into an indistinguishable plummy flavor that’s joined by leather aboard a rich malt backbone and nearly chewy texture. With a nice, balanced finish, the brew is surprisingly easy-drinking, at least for a 7%-ABV old ale.
Peak Organic Super Fresh: Pungent dankness wafts up from the dry-hopped pilsner, with garlic, onion and airy floral characteristics all covering up even the slightest trace of pilsner malt. The sip rolls over a solid progression of hoppy tones: floral notes, zesty celery and spiciness slowly build.