Brian – Pittsburgh PA
Brewery/Beer: Roundabout Brewery – Black Possum
Location: Pittsburgh PA
ABV: N/A IBU: N/A
I like to start my list off with a local brewery (Pittsburgh in my case). While running
around town for Kevin’s bachelor party, we stopped at Roundabout Brewery. Cool little
venue with not much seating but perfect place to start the day. This porter pours black
and smells of cocoa, caramel and coffee. It has a full body with little carbonation and no
heavy taste. This ended up being the tastiest porter I had this year. I don’t drink a ton
of porters but this I would definitely have again.
Brewery/Beer: Revolution Brewing – Fistmas Ale
Location: Chicago IL
Style: Red Ale
ABV: 6.1% IBU: 31
This beer came to me over Thanksgiving/ Porksgiving/Thankmas. The in-laws
provided the six pack and I really enjoyed it. This red-ale is a good mix between a
spiced Christmas beer and red ale with the hint of an IPA. The hint of IPA is probably
why I liked this beer so much. It pours reddish orange and has a hoppy aroma.
Although this beer is spiced, the spices are tame enough that it doesn’t feel like you are
drinking potpourri. This beer was sweet, fruity, slightly spicy and well-hopped. I would
recommend for your next Christmas party.
Brewery/Beer: Boulder Beer – Dragonhosen Imperial Oktoberfest
Location: Boulder CO
ABV: 9.0% IBU: 34
I purchased this Oktoberfest to add some variety to my refrigerator. It caught my eye
because the art work and it is an imperial Oktoberfest. I’m always game for a high ABV
beverage. The beer pours a reddish brown and has a malty aroma. I enjoyed the
hoppy bite and malty sweetness. Drinking the beer provides you with the thick feeling
of a good fall beer. This was a lucky selection that is good on any fall day.
Brewery/Beer: Land-Grant Brewing Co. – Stiff-Arm IPA
Location: Columbus OH
ABV: 6.4% IBU: 54
I really wanted to try this beer because it was one of the first beers to be sold in Ohio
Stadium. Kevin was generous enough to bring me a sixer on a one of his visits. This is
brewed with All American hops that provide a citrus and pine aroma. It pours a hazy
orangish–red and has a hoppy bite. I liken this to a session IPA however this is far
superior in taste and drinkability. The hops level is not high enough that it fills you up
after two beers. I would classify this as an all-day IPA. As the logo might suggest, this
is sure to be my go to on college game days.
Brewery/Beer: West Sixth Brewing – Heller Heaven
Location: Lexington KY
Style: Double IPA
ABV: 9.5% IBU: ???
I enjoy a lot of IPAs and double IPAs throughout the year. It’s hard to narrow it down so
I do not overwhelm the list with them. However, the best IPA I had this year was the
Heller Heaven. It just happens to be a double which is a bonus to me. I received this
beer as the topper to my diaper cake (Wish I had a better picture of the diaper/ beer
cake). This beer is delicious and hides the high alcohol content. For such a hoppy
tasting beer, the smell is noticeably weak with hints of grass, pine and tropical fruit.
This beer pours a golden yellow color. Such a fantastic double IPA with a fruity hoppy
taste and it is perfectly balanced. This beer ranks highest on my list because its
drinkability and high alcohol content.
Linda – Pittsburgh PA
Brewery/Beer: Grist House Brewing – Smoke on the River
Location: Millvale, PA
Style: Grätzer / Grodziskie
ABV: 4.0% IBU: 20
Experience a wave of lush effervescence with a delightful tingle of lemon zest followed by a subtle oak smokiness that transitions into a fresh light bready sweetness that lingers. Admire the bright lemon yellow appearance, the fluffy white head is like a cumulus cloud sailing across a lemon yellow sunrise. This highly carbonated oak smoked Gratzer is a wheat session ale allowing you to cheers to your fellow beer lovers with multiple rounds of this beer which is also fondly known as Polish champagne!
Brewery/Beer: Ballast Point Brewing Co. – Grapefruit Sculpin
Location: San Diego, CA
ABV: 7.0% IBU: 70
Obsessed with novelty, I rarely order a beer more than once when there are beers on the menu yet to have been discovered. Grapefruit Sculpin earned my loyalty with it’s crisp freshness. I found myself drawn back to it many times over the summer months.
Brewery/Beer: Insurrection Aleworks – Sedition #3
Location: Heidelburg (South of Pittsburgh) PA
ABV: 6.3% IBU: ???
This India Pale Ale is hopped with Citra and Mosaic and fermented with their house ale yeast strain. Both lush and silky, each sip was bursting with fruitiness and ending with a slight tang. Generous in aroma and juicy in the mouth, you will find yourself craving for more. Living up to the name- Sedition #3 is provocative and a few of these could easily lead to some rabble-rousing!
Brewery/Beer: Brasserie D’Achouffe – N’Ice Chouffe
Location: Achouffe, Belgium
Style: Belgian Strong Ale
ABV: 10.0% IBU: ???
Looking to keep warm this winter? Then snuggle up to this complex christmas beer imported from Belgium. Delight your senses with the delicate fringe of off-white foam atop a lavish deep ruby-red pour. Enjoy the wafting aroma as it draws you through many intriguing notes, followed by a balanced yet complexly rich taste. Interestingly, this beer is spiced with thyme and curacao.
Brewery/Beer: Helltown Brewing – Kriek
Location: Mt. Pleasant, PA
Style: Sour Ale
ABV: 6.0% IBU: ???
We ceremoniously opened this bottle conditioned unfiltered Kriek that was brewed in 2011 and bottled in 2014 to savor during a relaxing evening around the campfire. Complex with subtle nuances of oak and tartness that provided balance to the fruit. This sour ale aged in oak casks with cherries was the perfect compliment to an fire-lit evening in our backyard wilderness!
Ron – Richmond VA
Brewery/Beer: Rogue Ales & Spirits – Pumpkin Patch Ale
Location: Ashland OR
Style: Pumpkin Ale
ABV: 6.1% IBU: ???
Despite this being a little bit darker than the average pumpkin I drink it was still smooth and had just the right about of spices.
Brewery/Beer: Blue Mountain Brewery – Spooky
Location: Afton VA
Style: Pumpkin Ale
ABV: 8.2% IBU: 22
I was excited to find another Virginia based brewery that was brewing a pumpkin, this particular one is a Imperial pumpkin ale with natural chocolate flavor from cocoa nibs and stick it in a bourbon barrel so it had more spices that usual but was still extremely smooth.
Brewery/Beer: The Lion Brewery – Stegmaier Pumpkin Ale
Location: Wilkes-Barre PA
Style: Pumpkin Ale
ABV: 5.5% IBU: ???
This one is a little different in that in addition to the standard pumpkin spices, they also brew it with brown sugar so this one is a little sweet than your average pumpkin making it extremely smooth.
Brewery/Beer: Buffalo Bill’s Brewery (California) – Black Pumpkin Oatmeal Stout
Location: Ukiah CA
Style: Pumpkin Ale
ABV: 7.5% IBU: 40
I found this at my local at beer store and typically I wouldn’t pick-up a Pumpkin Stout, I’m really glad I did. Despite a relatively high 40 IBU’s it was not bitter at all and went down extremely smooth.
Brewery/Beer: Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery – Ze German Pumpkin
Location: Richmond VA
Style: Pumpkin Ale
ABV: 5.4% IBU: ???
For those that don’t know, Rock Bottom is a small chain brew pub with local brewmasters. The first time I had this one, I was stunned at how well done it was and I immediately requested a growler fill and I even influenced my non-pumpkin loving friends to also pick some up.
(Most pictures saved from untappd.com. The ones that weren’t we saved from other wordpress sites about beer which will never notice their pictures.)