Last updated: December 31. 2013 12:26AM - 914 Views
By Derek Warren Weekender Correspondent

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New Year’s Eve is typically a night of drinking and celebration, and the drinking, more often than not, includes champagne or wine to ring in the New Year. However, it should be known that there are an endless amount of great beers available to ring in the New Year with style. If you are typically a champagne drinker on New Year’s, then there is a beer to satisfy you. If you like wine, we have one, and if you normally enjoy some watered-down fizzy yellow beer, we of course have even better choices available! Here is a nice list of great beers to try this year that will have you starting 2014 the right way!

1. Brewery Ommegang – Hennepin: This Belgian Saison is a real workhorse in the beer world and can find itself at home on table of the fanciest restaurants or parked on your table next to a box of pizza. The high carbonation and 7.7 percent ABV make it a great alternative to champagne, and the light and refreshing character also make it a great beer to go to throughout the evening without tiring the palate.

2. Dogfish Head – Sixty-One: Dogfish Head has gained quite the reputation for IPA’s, with its 60 Minute IPA being highly regarded as one of the best and most approachable IPA’s on the market today. They are also a brewery that is certainly not afraid to experiment and expand upon set beer styles, so when you think about it, Sixty-One seems like a natural progression. Dogfish Head managed to combine their 60 Minute IPA with Syrah grape must (typically used to make red wine) to create Sixty-One, a deliciously hoppy red wine, or a winey IPA if you prefer. Either way you look at it, wine drinkers will love this beer!

3. Sierra Nevada – Celebration Ale: The name says it all. Celebration Ale is released every year just in time for the holiday season, and every year, hop heads rejoice. This beer was once regarded as the hoppiest on the market. While brewers have certainly managed to surpass this brew in the hop area, few have managed to create a beer as wonderfully balanced and drinkable.

4. Unibroue – La Fin due Monde: Translated, the name of this beer means “the end of the world.” Every year, it seems that someone comes out of the woodwork and declares that this is the year that the world will end, and every year it does not. However, you can enjoy this fantastic Belgian Tripel and toast to the end of the world whether it has been predicted or not. This award-winning beer quickly becomes the favorite of nearly all who try it, so this year, grab yourself a bottle and enjoy every last drop. You never know – this truly may be the year it all ends!

5. Chimay – Grande Réserve (Chimay Blue): Chimay is one of only 10 Trappist breweries in the world; this means that the beer is brewed by monks. So there is absolutely no better beer to enjoy and kick off a new year than one that has been brewed while the brewers pondered over the true meaning of life. Chimay Blue is a Belgian Strong Dark Ale with heavy notes of dark fruits and Belgian yeast. This is one of the best beers to have in your glass to toast to the New Year.

These beers simply scratch the surface of possibilities for New Year’s Eve enjoyment, but the main point is to not dismiss beer as an option. The wonderful complexities locked within those bottles can make for a wonderful and engaging evening with family and friends. Whatever you decide to imbibe on New Year’s Eve, please drink responsibly and safely! Happy New Year!

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