We've tasted a lot of beer, in a lot of places...but some flavors, whether simply and beautifully crafted or outright mind-blowing, stay with you. Here are some of our favorites, and the episodes in which they are featured:
In the New York area, when you go to a street 'coffee cart' and order a regular coffee, that never means black. It means 2 creams, 2 sugars. As they say at Carton Brewing, "A whole lot more like coffee ice cream than coffee." So, they made that:
The guys at Barrier busted their humps (and their bank accounts) getting a brand new production brewery up and running in Oceanside, NY... just before Hurricane Sandy struck. But there was one interesting survivor from the carnage:
They never let "beer should be this" thinking stop them at Short's Brewing in Bellaire, MI. We have had so many WOW moments at this brewery we've lost count, including with this beer which, believe it or not, truly resembles a mojito:
There's little to be said about this DIPA that hasn't been said already: What people really need to know is how good the folks to make it are, and how they view beer as an agent of change:
Wolverine State in Ann Arbor, MI specializes in Lagers, and also caters to HopHeads. Who knew that a clean finishing Lager could have such a faceplant of hops? A wonderful intersection of styles here:
This beer was originally supposed to be a one-off; then, just a seasonal. But it became so popular that Breckenridge decided to make it one of their flagship beers. A nitro version is now out in the marketplace, with an even creamier finish!
Jimmy grew up in Michigan, "The Great Beer State", and Founders has an incredible story. They make their Breakfast Stout with Kona Coffee and Belgian chocolate... and what happens when they put that brew in a Kentucky Bourbon Barrel FOR A YEAR? This:
Avery Brewing in Boulder, CO is another survivor; down to their last gasp back in the '90s, they began brewing the beer they'd always wanted (starting with Hog Heaven Barleywine) and the world began to beat a path to their door. Now, their barrel ageing program is one of the country's leading experimental playgrounds. Consider this wonderful barrel aged sour:
#6: Samuel Adams Utopias.
Is this actually beer? It is. Barrel aged to within an inch of its life and weighing in at a massive 22% ABV, this is a swooner:
Many Americans view Pilsner as that Boring Yellow Liquid that The Big Guys Make: At Oskar Blues, nothing could be further from the truth:
If there isn't a category for the style of beer you just brewed? You make one up. The folks at Boulder Beer were the first, for many things. Press play:
A crazy-ass Amber? Yes. Because it absolutely sets the bar for the entire style. The folks at New Belgium approach their jobs and their lives in brewing in an very refreshing way... and they make incredibly refreshing beer.
One of our favorite Big Porters of all time, made with a nod to one of our favorite writers:
Is this a 'white whale' beer? Yup. Years ago we braved the madness to sample this vinous, lovely brew... but what was more fun was meeting the folks who were associated with it:
This is not a beer, it's a bourbon, but...it was a beer. No, wait, it was in a beer barrel. That counts, right? To round out the crazy, they're really bringing the innovation at New Holland Brewing:
What crazy-ass beers have you had that you love? Drop us a line in the comments section. Cheers!