Dec 18, 2012

Favorite Beers of 2012

Along with the freshly posted Year In Review, it’s also time to note those brews which stood out over the past twelve months. In no particular order (chronological in terms of post date perhaps) here are a few of my favorite beers. Please note that some of them were sent to me by breweries or other representative agencies for the specific purpose of review on this site. Most of them, however, I purchased with my own, hard-earned money.

Flying Dog Wildeman Farmhouse Ale
A wonderfully funky and hoppy Belgian IPA. Loved this beer and the crazy-assed video that helped announce it.

Karl Strauss 23rd Anniversary Old Ale
I’ve had barrel-aged barleywines, stouts and IPAs, but I believe this was my first barrel-aged old ale. It was one of the smoothest barrel influenced beers I’ve had in a while.

Birra Amiate Contessa
I don’t drink much beer imported from Italy, but if I had access to this one on a regular basis that would certainly change.

Sweetwater Brewing 15 Years of Heady Beers
This is a finely crafted and appropriately hoppy celebratory barleywine. It’s one of the best beers I’ve received from this Atlanta brewer.

Brasserie Dupont Posca Rustica
The gruit is another style of beer that I don’t come across too often, but this one from the maker of my favorite saison was delicious.

Brewdog Old World Russian Imperial Stout
They may be known for their more extreme products, but this Russian Imperial Stout was spot on.

Williamsburg Alewerks Bitter Valentine
Their Cafe Royal aside, this is probably the best beer from this relatively local brewery I’ve had the pleasure of drinking.

Brasserie Dieu du Ciel Solstice d’Hiver

It’s crazy how much beer I drink from Quebec, but out of all of them, this has been, by far and away, the best. A super flavorful barleywine that was decadent and rich.

Maui Brewing Coconut Porter
This is the first beer in a very long while that was easily capable of living up to the hype that preceded its arrival in my area.

Odell Brewing Shenanigans
Funky, layered and complex without completely confusing the palate, this beer was impressive.

Sixpoint Bengali Tiger
Sixpoint Brewing has the IPA dialed in with this hoppy treat. I have some in the fridge as I type this that will be cracked open later on.

Devils Backbone Eight Point IPA
I’ve had this beer plenty of times over the past couple of years before finally finding it in bottle just this year. An amazing beer from an amazing Virginia brewery.

Mikkeller Big Worse
This was the best Mikkeller beer I had this year. So much so, that I had to buy more of it to stash for a later date.

Boulevard Brewing Dark Truth Stout
Products from this brewery have only just been available about half the year in Virginia, but they certainly made a splash with this beer.

Gouden Carolus Easter Ale
I think this one may have supplanted the Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw as my favorite beer from these Belgian masterminds and was probably the best beer I had all year.

Sierra Nevada Brux Domesticated Wild Ale
The cork almost left a dent in my forehead, but I survived to enjoy a wonderfully tasty and refreshing brew.

Allagash Odyssey
Allagash makes some amazing beers and this one keeps that trend chugging along with a smooth barrel influence.

Leinenkugel Big Eddy Imperial IPA
I loved this company’s Big Eddy Imperial Stout, but this IPA was out of this world.

The Bruery Tart of Darkness
WHAT!? It looks like a stout, but drinks like a gueuze!? Mind blowing.

Sierra Nevada Narwhal Imperial Stout
Where as this beer been all my life. I may have a new go-to imperial stout now that this one is readily available in my area.

So there are my favorites of 2012. Parring down an additional 31 reviews over last year was a challenge to say the least, but I think this list summarizes the year up nicely. Any one else enjoyed one of the above beers or have one I should look out for next year?

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