Beer for a year

December 31. 2013 12:26AM
By Derek Warren Weekender Correspondent

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With all the 2013 retrospections done and over with, it is now time to look forward. 2014 will bring us plenty of new and exciting beers, as well as the releases of our favorite seasonals, so it is the perfect time to take a look ahead to all that 2014 has to offer us!

January: Start the year off right by grabbing some of everyone’s favorite DIPA, Bell’s Hopslam. This over abundantly hoppy IPA has attracted a cult following and hits the shelves in January and quickly disappears until next year’s release, so be on the lookout! Sam Adams also releases its newest addition to the family, Rebel IPA. This is a fantastically well-balanced IPA and is the perfect IPA to pick up for friends who are looking to get into the style.

February: It is time to get romantic, folks, and what says, “I love you,” more than beer? Founders Imperial Stout is in season this month and is the perfect beer to go with that box of chocolate you picked up for your loved one. However, if you are truly in love, then Dogfish Head’s 120 Minute IPA is an obligation to get this time, as it hits the market in February. This 18 percent ABV behemoth IPA is definitely a sipper and perfect to enjoy together during the depths of winter.

March: This month, Brewery Ommegang releases its third beer in the “Game of Thrones” series. This time, the brewery releases a red ale entitled Fire & Blood and is made with pilsner, spelt, and rye malts. It’s hopped with spicy noble hops and spiced with ancho chilies for additional complexity, certainly something to help aid in the early winter thaw. Also be on the lookout for everyone’s favorite hopped-up Red Ale, Tröegs Nugget Nectar!

April: Founders is back again, and this time they unleash the massively popular KBS (Kentucky Bourbon Stout) back to the masses. Every year, this beer is hunted down and snatched up by its loyal followers, and with good reason – it is a fantastic stout and a must-have!

May: This is the best time to go for a Maibock. After all, Mai is German for May! The two best Maibocks that are readily available are Rogue’s Dead Guy Ale and Hofbräuhaus Maibock. The Maibock style is lighter and hoppier than the traditional bock style and is the perfect beer to enjoy during May.

June: Let’s just call this IPA month. Hunt down your favorite IPA’s, such as Stone IPA and Ruination IPA, Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA, Bell’s Two Hearted Ale, or Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA. There are endless amounts of IPA’s on the market, with new ones coming all the time, so just grab your favorite and beat the summer heat!

July/August: As the dog days of summer really kick in, it’s time for some great lawnmower beers. Treat yourself with some lighter refreshing beers like Anchor Steam Beer, 3 Guys and a Beer’d Shaving Cream Ale, and Reissdorf Kölsch to cool off!

September/October: We now enter into Oktoberfest and pumpkin beer season. The must-try Oktoberfests are Ayinger, Great Lakes, and Spaten. While the pumpkin beer market has exploded in recent years, there are some great go-to pumpkin beers, such as Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin and Long Trail Imperial Pumpkin, along with the new He Said Pumpkin Baltic Porter that was released by 21st Amendment in 2013.

November: Turkey time! There are endless amounts of great Belgian styles to have on the table this time of year. Try some bottles of Belgian Tripels (especially Unibroue La Fin Du Monde) or Bière de Garde (Southampton Biere De Mars is a great choice) – they are both great style choices. For a different flavor combination, try a Scottish Ale with your turkey – 90 Shilling from Odell is the premium choice if you can find it!

December: Time once again for that fat man to squeeze down your chimney! Crack open a cold one for the jolly old elf. Maybe you can drink some for him, just to make sure it’s fresh, of course! I hear the bearded one is partial to Delirium Noël, Tröegs Mad Elf, and St. Bernardus Christmas Ale. Santa definitely has good taste!

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