My Go-To Beers of 2013:
As most of you probably know, I enjoy a beer from time to time (read all the time). That being said, it makes sense that I’d put together a list of my go-to beers of the past year, right?
Before we start, however, I’d like to clear a few things up:
- This is by no means a list proclaiming the “BEST” beers of 2013. I am just telling you guys what I liked this year and returned to again and again.
- I am from the Northeastern United States, so that takes some beers off the list, in terms of availability, for some of you.
- I am in college, so you will not be finding $25 single bottles on this list.
- I drink a lot of beer, so I know what I am talking about (most of the time).
- I like darker beers (aka Stouts over Hefeweizens), so take that into account when looking at my choices.
- I’ll break the beers down by category or style of beer, and that starts now:
India Pale Ale: Uinta Hop Notch IPA -
This is one of the most solid IPA’s I’ve ever tried, reasonably priced, not overly hoppy, and never disappointing. Also, it comes in cans.
Double IPA: Victory DirtWolf -
A truly incredible beer that brings forward notes of citrus, pine, and spice. Victory really knocked it out of the park with this new release.
Lager: Yuengling Lager -
What can I say? It’s not a craft beer, but I have to say it may be the most solid beer in America. It is the definition of a go-to, at $22 for 24 bottles of reliable lager. Always consistent in flavor, whether it be from a can, bottle, or tap. I don’t think there is a beer that I drank more than Yuengling this year.
Black Lager: Port Brewing Company Midnight Expression -
A local liquor store had 24oz. bottles on sale for three bucks; I tried one, and the next day, I went back and bought out all of the stock in the store. This beer turned me on to black lagers, a beer I will always reach for if available.
Hefeweizen: Harpoon UFO Hefeweizen -
Delicious, light, and it comes in a 12 pack of cans. Many of last summer’s nights involved UFO.
Stout: Guinness -
Over the past year, I’ve come to realize that there isn’t a beer that I enjoy drinking at a bar more than Guinness. It’s the most enjoyable beer that I can get on tap. It’s incredible. That’s about it.
Imperial Stout: Ballast Point Sea Monster -
In contrast to Guinness, this is the stout I’m looking to drink to get a bit rowdy. Bold chocolate, coffee, and currant notes with an ABV of 10%. This beer will get you to that place.
Pumpkin Ale: River Horse Hipp-O-Lantern -
River Horse just moved their brewery about five minutes off of TCNJ’s (my school’s) campus, and that was somewhat of a miracle. I got to try this pumpkin ale fresh at the brewery, and it was always my go-to for a darker ale in the fall at our favorite local bar. It’s not overly pumpkin flavored, and that’s the trick.
Belgian: Victory Golden Monkey -
There will never be a beer that means more to me than Golden Monkey. There will also never be a beer that I will reach for more quickly at the end of a long week or after someone declares that the night is going into “full-throttle might not make it back alive” type mode. This 10% Belgian style tripel has alway been there for me when the need to get reckless is strong.
Special Belgian: Allagash Black -
Currently, this is my favorite beer. It is a Belgian style stout. I don’t know what category that really falls into, but it is perfect. Strong roasted malt, dark chocolate, and subtle coffee make up the flavor profile of this beer, and it goes down so damn smooth.
More after the jump: