When every year ends and before a new one begins, I like to do a recap of which beers stood out to me. With about 550 different beers drank this year, it wasn’t easy finding the ones that will fit in my top 10. That is why I have decided to make it a top 12 this time.
You will notice that a few of them were not actually released this year but for me, in 2014, this was my first time having them.
Also, keep in mind that I am not from the USA, so I don’t have access to everything. I do not travel very much but I do trade a lot.
Don’t hesitate to click on the thumbnails below if you wish to read my comments!
12- Carton Brewing – BOAT: session beers are more and more present in every brewery portfolio. This pale ale as has nothing to envy to others IPA. Very tasty, Very fruity and refreshing, especially by the beach !
11- Fiddlehead Brewing – Second Fiddle: when it comes to IPA/DIPA, Vermont comes first. And with this sweet double IPA, this one is no exception. Very fruity and bitter with a strong body. I am sure people will chase this one a bit more in 2015 !
10- The Rare Barrel – Proportional Response: i really like session beers. But I wasn’t expecting a sour session beer that tasty ! This one was my first from them and I completely understand the hype around their products. Strong body, full flavours and always nice artworks !
9- Wicked Weed Brewing: Located in North Carolina, this small brewery will continue to make more noise in 2015. I had a few of their beers in a trade while travelling for my summer vacations and their were all very tasty. I only had their sour beers, but this one was my favourite. The pairing from the fruits and the wine barrels was perfect. Every label is sick too !
8- Hill Farmstead Brewery – Le Sarrasin: a top 10 without a HF beer into it !? Impossible ! Even if this year kept Sean very busy with the building of their new brewery, he kept surprising us with delicate and tasty products, like this one. The only other brewery who knows how to get the grainy flavours out of his saison better them him, is in next spot !
7- Tired Hands Brewing – Parageusia 1: this year’s highlight for me was my Tired Hands tasting ( http://www.bit.ly/1uWlpJq ). So i had to put my favorite beers from them. Very complex, with a tart finish. I would be curious to let it rest for a bit to see how it would develop ! Thanks Jean again !
6- Cigar City Brewing – Double Barrel Hunahpu’s: this was maybe my best catch this year and I was very excited to try. And I was not disappointed. Very solid body on this huge double barrel imperial stout. The residual sugar was a bit too intense though, It was pleasant to compare it to the regular version the at the same tasting !
5- Revolution Brewing – Deth’s Tar: I was very surprise to drink this beer as I never had anything from them. They seems to be handling the barrel aging very well. This time, for a rare time, I was happy to drink this beer with only another person. That means I had more in my glass !
4- Ithaca Beer Company – Brute: thanks to my beer budy Oldp0rt on this one. We drank this one in a very relax friday night tasting. And it blows my mind !!! The mix of the brett and the 3 champagne yeast strains together was very nice. It is a must try for every beer geek, if you are one !
3- Bellwoods Brewery – Motely Cru 2014: this was released for their anniversary and they hit the bullseye with this beer. it was an IPA barrel aged for 14 months with brett. then dry hopped and refermented 2 months with champagne yeast. It is a celebration beer, tha’,s for sure ! Did I told you I like champagne yeast in a beer???
2- Surly Brewing – Darkness 2011: finally opend my first Darkness in 2014. This 2011 vintage blew up my mind. It is, by far, the best non barrel aged imperial stout ever drank. The roasted notes with the sweet chocolate aromas are insane ! I think I’ll be more patient and try to complete my vertical tasting for this beer !
1- Prairie Artisan Ales – Okie: another highlight this year was my Prairie tasting. And this whiskey barrel aged brown ale surprise us all. I heard it was one of the first of their bottles ever release. Very rich body, with toffee and hazelnut aromas. I understand why Prairie are such in high demand by every beer geek that we are !!!