8 Standout Beers For 2023

Écrit par abadmin

There have been some great beers this year from breweries large and small. I love doing a “best of” list because it lets me relive some of the best beer memories of the year. I also love reading and hearing about other people’s best beer lists because there are hundreds of thousands of beers made around the world and each person’s tastes can vary.

Some of these beers I’ve chosen harken to a trip or place or some were drank in front of my television. Beer (in moderation, of course) can heighten even the most mundane experience or it can transport you to a place, either from the past to the present. That’s why beer is so great.

Without further ado, here are some of the best beers I had in 2023, in no particular order.

Samuel Adams Wicked Fenway IPA

I drank this at Fenway Park on a particularly chilly night on the Sam Adams deck in right field while the Red Sox played the Toronto Blue Jays (the Sox won on an Alex Verdugo walk off home run). This hazy IPA was perfectly crafted and smooth with a full mouthfeel and sweetness I really enjoy from New England IPAs. I also love that it’s only 5.5% ABV, which is very low for a hazy IPA.

Soul Barrel Wet Hop Pale Ale

As a New Englander, I don’t get to drink a lot of wet/fresh hop beers, a style of beer that uses hops picked and thrown in the boil kettle as fast as possible, giving the beers a more nuanced flavor than using pellets/dried hops. This style is popular in places like the Pacific Northwest where access to fresh hops is easy. But I was in South Africa during their hop harvest season and so got to try Franschhoek based Soul Barrel’s version while having dinner in South African wine country. The beer ticked all the boxes of what a fresh hop beer should be: drinkable, bright, and fresh. I still think about this beer.

7 Vidas Black Out Pastry Stout

The most surreal beer drinking experience coincided with the imbibing of this beer. 7 Vidas (“seven lives” in English), is a brewery from Peru but I drank this on a river cruise in Southern Chile while a DJ played 90’s hits from Fatboy Slim. The 15.8% imperial stout was barrel aged in bourbon barrels for 23 months and then toasted coconut and vanilla was added prior to packaging. This style of “pastry stout” is very popular and it’s awesome to see breweries from all over the world make excellent versions of this style.

Ten Eyck Tmave Pivo

I am thrilled that dark lagers are becoming popular in the United States, particularly the Czech dark lager, which reminds me of smooth version of a porter or stout. Maryland based Ten Eyck’s Czech dark lager is one of the best version I had this year and I wasn’t alone, the beer won bronze at the World Beer Cup this year, known also as the “Olympics of beer competitions.”

pFriem Family Brewers Czech Lager

Oregon based pFriem is making some of the best lagers in America and if you find yourself in Hood River, the pFriem tasting room has a lovely vibe where you can watch the kite surfers along the Columbia river while you enjoy elevated pub far. Their Czech lager is a lovely version of the style and it was perfect with a hamburger and fries. If you are living in the Pacific Northwest, pFriem should be on your radar.

The Veil Flooded West Coast Double IPA

The Veil is known for their hazies and fruited sours but it was their west coast Double IPA that caught my attention while visiting Richmond, Virginia in March. I find that breweries that focus on hazy IPAs tend to make lackluster bitter IPAs but Flooded was bright with citrus and pine. It was nearly a damn perfect version of the style.

Oskar Blues Dale’s Double IPA

Oskar Blues’ Dale’s Pale Ale has been a staple since its release in the early 2000’s in an aluminum of all things, a wild concept back then. I remember seeing the cans in the window of a liquor store when I lived in Boston and balked at the idea heartily (boy, was I wrong!). Oskar Blues has taken the Dale’s brand to other beer styles, including Dale’s Double, a high octane stunner that may be one of the smoothest double IPAs I’ve had in recent memory.

Austin Street Kölsch

Portland, Maine based Austin Street makes some of the best drinking beers in Maine. Anytime I find myself in Maine, I usually gravitate towards Patina, their hazy pale ale but when I was there in June, I went for their kölsch, a golden ale style that hails from Cologne, Germany. The words “easy drinking” have never been used so much when I had this on a warm, sunny day in their tasting room. It brought me right back to the streets of Cologne.

Cheers to more good beers in 2024 and beyond.

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