The craft beer industry is in the midst of a boom, something that goes without saying these days. In 2008 there were 1,574 breweries. As of 2014 that number has grown to 3,464. That is a lot of new beer!
While it is a great time to be a beer drinker due to the amount of choice, the sheer volume can become overwhelming. Even more so, there may be some great beers released without any awareness brought to consumers.
These delicious new beers can slip through the cracks, but thankfully many of us are on the lookout for them. Here is a short list of newly released beers that are worth checking out and if you don’t see them on shelves or in bars yet, request them — it will be worth your time and patience.
1. Anchor Brewing Company- Double Liberty: Anchor’s Liberty Ale is the beer that many credit as spearheading not just the IPA craze, but also craft beer in general. There are numerous brewers who credit Liberty Ale as being the gateway beer for them to get into brewing. Double Liberty is the brewery’s foray into the popular DIPA category. The 90 IBUs are on full display with a solid malt backbone to keep this beer both perfectly balanced and highly drinkable. The 8.2 percent ABV is perfectly hidden, but this beer does lead to one question. What took so long?
2. Oskar Blues- IPA: The canned beer craze started with Oskar Blues and it’s a tradition the brewery carries through to today. Their latest release IPA proves the brewery is not happy just resting on past successes, but is instead heading for even more. This 6.43 percent ABV American IPA has a wonderful balance of pine, citrus and tropical hop notes with a crisp malt backbone. The balance within the beer is breathtaking and showcases the talents of the brewer. While there is no shortage of IPAs on the market hopheads will most definitely want to make room for the newest one in town.
3. Stegmaier Brewing Company- Grand Hoppa: Our own local Stegmaier Brewing Company put their heads together and came up with a brand new series of beers called the Cellar Series. The series will feature small batch beers that are a little more “eccentric” then the brewery’s standard line of beers. The first release in the series is Grand Hoppa and it packs one hell of a punch. The 8.9 percent ABV, 110 IBU Double IPA is most definitely for the hop loving craft beer drinker. A veritable hop bouquet is led by spicy and tropical fruit hop notes with a wonderfully semi-sweet solid malt backbone. Extremely easy drinking and another must try DIPA that is both local and delicious!
4. Terrapin Beer Company- Liquid Lunch: Liquid Bliss is a peanut butter infused porter that is a huge fan favorite from Terrapin but the brewery has decided to kick things up a notch with their latest Side Project release. Liquid Lunch is an American Porter that features not only peanut butter, but also a hefty dose of jelly as well. The raspberry jelly flavor sits front and center with backing notes of peanut butter and smooth chocolate from the malts. While this does sound odd to many beer drinkers, it is surprisingly delicious and should be tried before being judged, but get it fast because it is a limited release!
5. Avery Brewing Company- Perzik Saison: Avery is a brewery that is no stranger to strong and aggressive flavors in their beers. However, their latest summer release is a bit more delicate and is a refreshing saison that has been brewed with fresh peaches. Saisons are always a solid choice when looking for a refreshing beer during the summer months and the addition of the perfect summer fruit, peaches only makes this beer more thirst quenching. The 6.4 percent ABV and availability in cans generates thoughts of relaxing poolside while enjoying this invigorating beer.
It is hard to constantly be on the hunt for new beers, especially when it seems a new one is release every minute of every day. However, if you are diligent the payoff can be both rewarding and very tasty!
Derek Warren is a beer fanatic, avid homebrewer and beer historian. Derek can be heard weekly on the Beer Geeks Radio Hour at noon every Sunday on 103.1 FM with past episodes available on iTunes.