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Ring In The New Year With January’s Best Beers


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Happy New Year to all you beer lovers! It’s a great time of year for beer. Winter is still in full swing, which means deeply spicy winter ales are all the rage. It also means breweries are putting out some serious stouts and porters — the dark stuff if you will — to keep us warm as the snow (or rain) falls throughout January.

Below, we’ve compiled a shortlist of some of the best beers being released and available this January. Some of them are easier to find and have larger distribution; some of them you’ll have to travel for and do a bit of sleuthing to uncover.

Either way, a good beer is always worth the effort! Happy hunting!

HOP BULLET Double IPA — SIERRA NEVADA

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This one’s all in the name. Hop Bullet gives you a blast of hop with every single sip. The double IPA is hopped with Magnum hops and then hop-deepened with lupulin dust (the hop equivalent of weed shake). It’s a bold, pine-forward ale with hints of citrus in the background and a hefty eight percent ABV to keep you tipsy ’til February.

POT & KETTLE Oatmeal Porter — TRILLIUM BREWING

Trillium is brewing some great beers out in Massachusetts. Their Pot & Kettle Oatmeal Stout is brewed with cold brew coffee for a maximum of bitter, creamy, and stout-y goodness. The beer weighs in at a hefty 7.5 percent ABV and packs a wallop of dark roasted coffee, cocoa, burnt caramel, and sweet vanilla. It’s a stout that’s sure to put a smile on your face.

MIC-CZECH Pilsner — BOOMTOWN BREWERY

Winter also means it’s time for great lagers and pilsners to fill your fridge. The autumn harvests that turned into late fall brews have had time to mellow in, well, lagers where they’ve turned into the world’s best beer. Mic Czech is a great example of the traditional style with German leaning roots and Czech precision. There’s a bready/maltiness up front with a floral burst followed by a stark hop bitterness finishing this one out. It’s a crowd pleaser.

COLD SNAP White Ale — SAMUEL ADAMS

Cold Snap is the perfect beer to drink during that lovely weekend surprise snow storm. You know the ones; where going outside is a best left for the snow plows. The beer is spiked with wintry flavors like orange zest, plums, hibiscus, and spices. This blends nicely with the very mellow and malty white ale.

Don’t expect any hop bitterness here. Expect malt, spice, and all things nice.

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THE FIX Imperial Stout — ELYSIAN BREWING COMPANY

While many craft brewers have veered into the super-serious world of taking themselves very seriously, Elysian has kept their sense of humor and, most importantly, wonder when it comes to their beer. The Fix is a shining example of that. The imperial stout has a nice dose of Stumptown Coffee and cocoa nibs to give the beer the prerequisite coffee and chocolate notes. Where the beer shines is in its ability to weave those flavors into a decent level of hop bitterness and creamy malt. It’s a smooth ride that’ll warm you up every time.

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WILLETTIZED Coffee Stout — LAGUNITAS BREWING COMPANY

Bourbon barrel aged beers will make or break the fledgling beer lover. The flavors are bold with a capital B and pack heavy-hitting ABVs. Lagunitas’ Willettized spends a lot of time in Willet bourbon and rye barrels where it soaks in lots of smokey notes, chocolate hints, vanilla sweetness, and hits of dark coffee. Add in the 11.7 percent ABV and you have yourself an advanced bottle of beer on your hands. Be warned, that level of alcohol requires sipping with a little pondering on the side — save the beer funnels for the lager.

LOVELY, DARK AND DEEP Oatmeal Stout — BREWERY OMMEGANG

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Happy Friday, friends! Enjoy the weekend.

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Ommegang is probably one of the closet breweries America will ever have that matches the greats of Belgium. Their Lovely, Dark and Deep is a testament to their signature style of great house yeasts and precision brewing. There’s a creaminess at play here that elevates this beer above so many. Everything is balanced to the nth degree — the chocolate, the coffee, the sweetness never overpower.

This is the beer all other oatmeal stouts should be judged by.

PRESEASON LAGER — GOOSE ISLAND BEER COMPANY

You can’t beat a great lager. Goose Island’s Preseason Lager hits the sweet spot with aplomb. The beer celebrates the anticipation that, while it’s still January, spring is just around the corner. It’s also pretty tasty. The sweet malt is backed up by a nice, mellow hop bitterness that pulls this beer into quaffable territory. It’s easy to drink and tastes like you’re drinking something that’s been well-crafted.

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