One look around any bar or craft beer seller and it is obvious there is no shortage of great beer.
While 2016 was filled with many disappointments and losses of iconic figures, the year had some upsides including some great new beers.
Here is a short list of many great new beers now available thanks to 2016. Grab some or all of these to celebrate New Years Eve and get ready for 2017.
Oskar Blues- Barrel Aged Ten Fidy: Ten Fidy is a sought after beer from Oskar Blues. This rich imperial stout is a bouquet of flavors with hints of chocolate, coffee and ripe red fruits intermingling for a true experience. The brewery has played with barrel-aged versions of this beer in the past, but this year it finally made it to cans available to all and the result is an absolute must have. The decadent notes of the bourbon barrel are a perfect fit. Be on the lookout for Java Barrel Aged Ten Fidy for an extra kick of coffee in the base version with an extremely smooth body that is equally delicious!
Avery Brewing- Vanilla Bean Stout: While many breweries experiment with barrel-aged beers, Avery has long been a frontrunner and they cemented their status with this 2016 release. Barrel-aged beers may not be an everyday beer for some, but Vanilla Bean Stout is a new year- round offering from the brewery and weighs in at an impressive 11 percent ABV. The alcohol is perfectly hidden with rich notes of chocolate and coffee matched with fresh vanilla bean and hints of toasted coconut with touches of whiskey making for balanced yet rich and filling beer.
SØLE Artisan Ales- Giant Juicebox: There was no doubt that SØLE would be on this list, but the which beer? Giant Juicebox seems to have it all. This is a beer with a juicy fruit forward aroma and taste. The 8.5 percent ABV is not apparent making for an unbelievably crushable beer. Juicy IPAs, aptly named New England IPAs, are all the rage in the craft beer world.
Stone Brewing Co.- Enjoy By Black IPA: Stone has been releasing beer in its Enjoy By IPA line for a few years and has begun broadening beers in the spectrum with the inclusion of a delicious black IPA in 2016. Many view black IPAs in a different light than standard IPAs, mainly due to the darker appearance, but the truth is fresh hops still matter. This extremely fresh black IPA has a huge hop bouquet with bright citrus hops backed by a thick creamy malt backbone. This is a great IPA during colder months.
Rushing Duck Brewing Company- Brux IPA: This world class IPA was initially released as a 4th anniversary beer and due to its popularity was quickly canned. The hazy quality of the beer immediately brings thoughts of juicy IPAs that are beloved right now. The addition of brux, a bacteria popular in wild ales, imparts a juicy quality to the beer and brings with it a cloudy haze. This translates to a fruit forward taste that leans more toward tropical and citrus notes while the addition of pink peppercorns deepens the taste experience with a slight spicy bite. This truly is a world class IPA and is certainly worth a trip to the Chester, N.Y. based brewery.
Derek Warren is a beer fanatic, avid homebrewer and beer historian. Derek can be heard weekly on the Beer Geeks Radio Hour at noon on Sundays on WILK 103.1 FM with past episodes available on iTunes.