Some amazing beer from the last couple of years have turned my palate into a selective grouser. I had to recalibrate myself in 2019, which meant getting out of the dark (Stouts and Porters) and focusing more on IPA’s and other styles. Fortunately, I was able to capture some of the elation I had in my early days of discovering craft beer. A few new states, including a large swath of the Deep South and Yellowstone Beerfest in Cody, Wyoming were some of the highlights and opened up new territory for me from Cali to Idaho.
Here are my top 5 from the past year:Carnaval IPA from Wood Grain Brewing, Sioux Falls, SD. A New England style with freshly roasted cinnamon pineapple. You can’t taste the 8% ABV, which is scary for a beer that tastes this good. The pineapple isn’t overbearing and the added cinnamon gives this a juicy unique flavor. (watch out Pseudo Sue, you have competition here).
Hazey Love DIPA – Upcountry Brewing, Asheville, NC. A tasty double IPA. Bright and green citra heavy with galena and ahtanum hops galore. Tread lightly as this is above 9%.
Debaser IPA- Gravely Brewing Company, Louisville, KY. Love the citra hop profile. Fruity nose and clean smooth drinking. On a side note the old school audio room at this brewery will blow your mind and your ears.
IFR IPA, Jubecks New World Brewing, Dubuque, IA. Excellent mouth feel with juicy ripe melon and citrus notes. If it seems I’m a little biased (Jubecks was on my list last year) it’s because I’m rarely, if ever, disappointed with the beer from this place.
Cross-Eyed-Owl Brewing, One Shoe Porter -Decatur, AL. A dark roasted oat flavor that has a smooth finish and a hearty bite. Just don’t ask the staff to play “Sweet Home Alabama,” for the zillionth time or you might end up on the street.