This year was a great year for craft beer overall, but some brews are real standouts and deserve special recognition. Here are my Top 5 Beer Picks for the 2012…
Flat 12 Half Cycle IPA – Flat 12 does an American style IPA with the same IBU rating as a double IPA, but with a potency of a single. Flat 12 has not only blown me away as a brewery, but their Half Cycle IPA is one of the best IPA’s to hit the market this year. It’s a single IPA, hopped like a double, with an over-the-top hop character that’s a bit spicy, citrusy, piney. Light in color, but not on flavor, this big boy is dry hopped with a pound of high alpha American hops in every barrel.
B.O.R.I.S The Crusher – Talk about a huge stout that has everything from those big chocolate and coffee notes down to the subtle oatmeal. Boris stands for Bodacious Oatmeal Russian Imperial Stout and it will crush you like no other stout! Named for its intensely deep roasted and full bodied flavor and extreme weight of barley used to make it, Boris The Crusher will crush your taste buds.
Boulevard Sixth Glass – My favorite Belgian Quad is the Sixth Glass from Boulevard Brewing Company. This is a symphony of flavors that most anyone can appreciate and enjoy. This quadrupel ale is a deep and mysterious libation, dark auburn and full-bodied with a deceptive sweetness.
New Albanian Jaxon – Jaxon is an amazingly underrated barley wine from New Albanian Brewing Company. It has sweet malts with a complex mild hop flavor that makes this barley wine a treat not only for the colder months, but year round. Malty and slightly sweet. This is one of the most underrated Indiana barley wines to be found.
Goose Island Pepe Nero – Goose Islands Pepe Nero is my favorite from their line of Belgian ales; it is aged with peppercorns to give it a twist at the end with some mild spiciness to tickle the back of your throat and keeps you coming back for more. With an aroma of roasted chestnuts and a mysteriously dark, mahogany hue, Pepe Nero is a farmhouse ale brewed with black peppercorns. The roasty sweetness melds into a lingering, earthy, black pepper finish that is ideal for pairing with grilled meats and roasted vegetables.