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8 Great American Porters

Beer Reviews Jonathan Moxey 35 comments

I'm not convinced that porters get enough respect. They're often passed over at the bar by the hop heads and the sour crowd. They're not as sought-after as many higher-octane American stouts or their Russian imperial cousins. But why? Porters are complex and roasty, filled with chocolate and coffee flavors, yet most still manage to be sessionable. They're damn-near perfect when it's cold outside, and you'd be hard pressed to find a better beer with a meal. More

Serious Beer: American Saisons

Beer Reviews Jonathan Moxey 10 comments

Of the 17 American-brewed Saisons we tried, some were malt-focused, others spiced, some herbed, funked, hopped up, and some were all of the above. The best Saisons we tried were dry, highly carbonated, and had a balanced bitterness. More

Serious Beer: Bière de Garde

Beer Reviews Nick Leiby 5 comments

Bières de garde were traditionally brewed in the winter and spring, and made strong enough to cellar for drinking during the summer. Bières de garde often have an earthy mustiness that comes from indigenous yeasts in storage barrels. We tasted 15 different bières de garde from the US and France and judged them based on aroma, flavor, and overall drinkability. More

Serious Beer: American Pale Ales

Beer Reviews Liz Clayton 20 comments

Our team of hale ale tasters gathered an array of beers brewed in the beautiful American Pale Ale style in order to pick a favorite. With their caramel backbone and piney, citrus-hop freshness, there were more definitely more winners than disappointments. More

Serious Beer: Belgian Dark Strong Ales from American Breweries

Beer Reviews Jonathan Moxey 9 comments

There are few beers as substantial—and full of such deep, complex flavors and aromas—as Belgian Dark Strong Ales. These beers aren't to be approached lightly. The first sip demands your full attention, though subsequent sips may cause you to lose your train of thought completely. More

Serious Beer: Barleywine

Beer Reviews Liz Clayton 18 comments

These strong, high-gravity ales can be found across a dynamic range of depths and flavors, all a little daunting and intense in their own ways. Bittersweet, sometimes syrupy barleywines aren't for everyone, but a taste here and there can greatly expand your preconceived notions of beer. Here are a few tasting notes from my recent explorations of the style. More

Gift Guide: For Beer Lovers

Lauren Duffy Lastowka 3 comments

The best way to a beer lover's heart might be through a rare, delicious brew, but here are a few other gift ideas for lager lovers and ale aficionados. Be sure to watch shipping dates and order any online gifts soon! More

Serious Beer: The Best Pumpkin Ales

Maggie Hoffman 44 comments

Among my fellow beer nerds, it's not the need for long sleeves that makes it autumn. It's not the burnished leaves or the candy corn. The real reason to be excited for the coming of fall is the arrival of autumn seasonal beers. Here's a sampler of this year's pumpkin brews. More

Serious Beer: This Year's Oktoberfest Brews

Maggie Hoffman 22 comments

I set out this year to try some of America's best märzens. These beers are just the ticket for getting you into a fall mood. They're rich and crisp, reminiscent of cool fall breezes and rustling autumn leaves. Check out our recommendations—but also keep in mind that freshness is king. If your local brewery makes a märzen, check it out now. If they've got one on tap, order a steinful straightaway. More

A Pint With: Todd Haug, Surly Brewing Co.

A Pint With Maggie Hoffman 6 comments

I've been a fan of Surly Brewing Co. ever since my friend Lee of Hoptopia gave me one of his precious cans of Furious, an intensely brisk IPA with some rich Scottish malt thrown into the mix. (Thanks, Lee.) Who's behind this awesome Minnesota beer? A rock star. Literally. More

Serious Beer: Tasting Belgian Fruit Lambic

Beer Reviews Maggie Hoffman 13 comments

If you haven't tasted a traditional Kriek or Framboise before, you're in for a surprise. They're funky and acidic, with hints of shoe leather and wet dog. These days, you'll frequently see fruit beers with added sweeteners and fruit juices—lots of folks love them, but we encourage you to try the real thing sometime. Traditionally sour fruit lambics may not be beers for beginners, but they're a palate-expanding experience we highly recommend. More

Serious Beer: Mostly Sour American Fruit Beers

Beer Reviews Maggie Hoffman 18 comments

While we're not really all that interested in who can make the sourest beer imaginable, we're thrilled at all the great, creative fruit beers coming out of American breweries. Some of these delectable examples are juicy, zippy, and full of real fruit flavor; others are funky and horsey, quite challenging for the beginner—and sometimes thrilling to the nerdiest among us. These aren't beers for chugging in front of a game; they're complex sips that demand your full attention. We consider ourselves very lucky to have gotten a taste. More

Serious Beer: Hefeweizen from Germany

Beer Reviews Maggie Hoffman 24 comments

Hefeweizen is a wheat beer, but for lovers of serious beer, what makes it exciting is the yeast. (Hefe actually means yeast in German, so this shouldn't be a huge surprise.) The special ale yeasts that are used to make traditional German Hefeweizen produce crazy flavors and aromas during fermentation—you can taste cloves and banana, spice and smoke, even traces of vanilla and bubblegum. More

A Pint With: Joe Short and Tony Hansen, Short's Brewing Company, Michigan

A Pint With Maggie Hoffman Post a comment

Of the many excellent IPAs of the Midwest that we've tasted, the Huma Lupa Licious from Short's Brewing Company stands out as an underhyped gem. So today we're checking in with Joe Short and Tony Hansen who head up the brewing at Short's. More

A Pint With: Tyson Arp, Nebraska Brewing Company

A Pint With Maggie Hoffman 4 comments

Our favorite beer at the New York Brewfest last weekend was Nebraska Brewing Company's Melange a Trois, a Belgian-style blonde ale aged for six months in Chardonnay barrels. We're thrilled to have Tyson Arp, the brewer of that delicious beer, here today to answer a few questions! More

Serious Beer: IPA from the Midwest

Beer Reviews Maggie Hoffman 37 comments

There's some great brewing going on in states like Michigan and Ohio, Wisconsin and Nebraska. This week, we gathered a sample of IPAs from the Midwest to review, and a few of them are truly top tier. More

A Pint With: David Flaherty, Terroir/Hearth

A Pint With Maggie Hoffman 7 comments

Ever wonder who decides what beers go on the menu at your favorite restaurant or watering hole? We did too, and then we met David Flaherty and found out all about it. (We also found out about his first time...drinking craft beer, that is.) More

Serious Beer: Colorado IPA

Beer Reviews Maggie Hoffman 9 comments

Many consider Colorado to be the epicenter of the craft brewing scene. There are over a hundred craft breweries in the state, and it's the home of the Brewers Association and the Great American Beer Festival. So even though we could only get our hands on fifteen examples, we weren't surprised to taste some truly awesome IPAs from the Centennial State. Check out our reviews and let us know your favorites! More

A Pint With: Scott Vaccaro, Captain Lawrence Brewing Company

A Pint With Maggie Hoffman 1 comment

If you live in the New York area, you may have spotted Captain Lawrence beers on tap at restaurants around town. We highly recommend you give them a try—next thing you know it, you may find yourself on the Metro-North train at an ungodly hour making your way the brewery for a special limited-edition beer release. We caught up with Captain Lawrence's owner and head brewer Scott Vaccaro for the latest in our brewmaster interview series. More

Serious Beer: 9 IPAs from Washington State

Beer Reviews Maggie Hoffman 15 comments

We continue our IPA explorations in the state of Washington. If you have a chance to visit The Evergreen State, be sure to seek out IPA on tap—many of the great ones never see a bottle. Keep reading to see if any Washington beers get included in our new Serious Beer Best IPAs list. More

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