Top Fiver Beers of 2018
Vinepair has released their subjective (and totally incorrect according to some of us here at
BeerNexus) list of the top 5 beers of the year. Do you agree with them or us?
5. Wrench is one of several stellar IPAs from Industrial Arts, It is unique among New England-style
IPAs: It goes full haze, yet feels simultaneously restrained. The beer pours egg-yolk yellow without
mirroring milkshake thickness on the palate. It has intense aromas of peach and pineapple juice,
and adds a pleasantly bitter citrus pithiness. A hint of a spicy finish punctuates this NEIPA.
4. Crooked Stave’s Sour Rosé brings you a Brettanomyces-dosed and oak-barrel-fermented
with second-use raspberries and blueberries, Sour Rosé achieves a delightful subtlety compared
to other rosé brews. Wild-fermented and wildly compelling, this beyond-beer begs to be paired
with a cheese and charcuterie spread, or a roast chicken dinner. This is also the cult brewer’s
first 100-percent-oak-aged sour beer in cans.
3. Beachwood Blendery Funk Yeah Beachwood Blendery is extremely careful to state that
this beer is not a gueuze or lambic. However, it is as close to a Cantillon Gueuze as you’re going
to get that’s made stateside. Tasters were drawn in by this sour ale’s gueuze-gold hue and apricot
aroma. Its flavor was “a journey,” one taster noted, beginning with mouthwatering tartness,
opening up to oak and stone fruit, and finishing with a lemony zing. Funk Yeah took home a
gold medal from the 2018 Great American Beer Festival
2. Two Roads Sauvignon Blanc Gose unites two of our favorite things: gose and classic white
wine. On-trend with its tropical fruit notes (think passionfruit, lemon, and citrus), and expertly dialed
in with a tart, salty base, this new addition to the Tanker Truck Series is at once invigorating and
restrained, finishing dry with a crisp mineral finish. The series also includes Persian Lime, Plum,
Passion Fruit, and Clementine versions, all of which we loved. Until now, these beers were
fermented in a tanker truck parked outside the brewery, but come 2019, Two Roads’ sour brews
will find a new home in a new blending facility on the property, Area Two.
1. Sierra Nevada made an epic comeback in 2018. For years, its pioneering Pale Ale was
increasingly overshadowed by newer breweries’ trendy releases. With Hazy Little Thing, Sierra
Nevada was back in the limelight. This hazy IPA pours a cloudy golden orange and has tropical fruit
aromas of mango, pineapple, and ripe citrus. Its medium mouthfeel bares a telltale “juicy” essence
that’s both a nod to the trend and proof of Sierra Nevada’s enduring expertise with hops. This beer
is available in all 50 states and exceeded our expectations time and time again.
the crossroads of the beer world
All Day IPA - Now Contract Brewed
Founders Brewing announced production of its
most successful brand, All Day IPA, will fly the
nest to be contract-brewed at Avery Brewing in
Boulder, Colo., in 2019. The reason? Founders
and Avery are both partially owned by Spanish
brewing conglomerate Mahou San Miguel. This
automatically makes their partnership logical
and, ideally, lucrative.
Think of San Miguel as a rich, opinionated step-
parent. In its eyes, Founders is the star child.
Since selling a 30 percent stake to San Miguel in
2014, Founders has had a growth spurt. In 2017,
it grew 34 percent, producing close to 470,000
barrels of beer; in 2018, it expects to see growth
of 24 percent, to the tune of 580,000 barrels. A
majority of that production — about 350,000
barrels’ worth — is All Day IPA.
Avery’s report card is not so stellar. Its
production grew 18 % in 2016, to a little under
63,000 barrels; increased 2% in 2017, to a little
over 63,000 barrels; and in 2018, it declined to
report how much beer it produced. Not good for
a new, $27 million brewery with a production
capacity of 150,000 barrels per year, So Avery's
picking up the production of a hot beer makes
total financial sense.
Look For These in 2019
Trends to look for in the new year according to
beer experts - Infusions. More and more bars
are having a weekly “Randall Nite” for which they
infuse various ingredients into a beer to
generate a one-time-only, drink-it-fresh flavor
profile. Infusions range from obvious
combinations (caramel apples into an amber, for
fall) to more wacky experiments (unicorn cereal
to make a glitter IPA). Inspired drinkers can try
this technique at home by using a French press,
a device traditionally used for steeping coffee.
Start simple, with vanilla beans, cinnamon sticks
or fresh fruit, and then get more imaginative if
you wish. Flowers? Herbs? Doughnuts? It’s a
small batch, so why not have some creative fun?
Mixing. Similar to infusions, this practice is
inspired by the overall ingenuity of the craft
brews on the market. It's basically proportionally
blending two different beers to create a new
flavor profile or mixing a beer with other liquids.
Some drinkers dub this practice cuvéeing.
Founders Rübæus Raspberry Ale is one
example of a beer that’s often mixed.. Its
effervescent fruitiness can be used to enhance a
maltyporter or a rich Russian Imperial Stout; it
can also shine in a beer cocktail mixed with
frozen lemonade concentrate and vodka.