Paste's 10 Favorite Beers: May 2016

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Paste's 10 Favorite Beers: May 2016

When it comes to beer, there are a ton of choices out there, with more being added everyday. This year we’re rounding up some of our fave new finds each month. Some of the brews we did full reviews on, while others are just special gems we found on tap while we were out and about that we think you should know about.

Check out our favorite beers from April here.

By no means a comprehensive list of everything new that came out in May (we can only drink so much!), here are some of our favorites that we’d recommend you grabbing a pint of while you’re out with friends, or picking up a few bottles of at your local bottle shop.

Discover something new this month that you absolutely love? Be sure to tell us about it in the comments!


Hoof Hearted ‘Are We Having Fun Yet’

The nose of Are We Having Fun Yet? is full of earthy straw and hay notes — not unlike a saison or farmhouse-style brew. There’s also a hint of lemon and some hop aromas as well. A number of pale ales blast your palate with hop flavor, but this isn’t one of those. There’s plenty of that taste here, but this beer is balanced and very drinkable. It’s certainly a hoppy beer, but it doesn’t wear down your taste buds with bitterness. Our reviewer said it is one of the lighter bodied hop-forward beers he’s had, and while higher than your typical session beer, is plenty sessionable.


Green Flash Dia de Los Serranos

Dia de Los Serranos is a double stout that was inspired by Mexican mole recipes. Despite the big and bold bottle, spicy concept and double stout categorization, Dia defies its bold appearance and plays out as a more mild-mannered brew. Instead of a domineering burn, the heat is soft and smooth with a complementary zip. Much of the flavor of this stout comes at the tail, where the smooth chocolate and bitter coffee meet in the middle, interplaying for a clean and surprisingly clean finish.


Founders Sumatra Mountain Brown

Don’t let the brown ale label fool you, this is definitely as much of a sipper as the ABV indicates. The nose of Sumatra Mountain Brown would lead you to believe that you’re about to dive head first into a big sweet stout. However, the flavor isn’t overly sweet at all, instead offering a balance of roasted coffee, cocoa and a nice amount of that caramel sweetness from the aroma. The thing that stands out to me about this beer, is that it defies categorization. Although it’s labeled an imperial brown ale, it drinks more like a porter. There’s plenty of body here for a brown, even one that ticks the tape at 9% ABV.


Terrapin Watermelon Gose

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Goses are all the rage this summer, as are watermelon beers, so its no surprise that there are a few brews out there that fall into both categories. Terrapin’s Watermelon Gose incorporates sea salt, coriander, and watermelon into a brew that literally tastes like summer.


Gouden Carolus Cuvee Van de Keizer Blauw (Blue label)

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This month we did an epic side-by-side tasting of 32 of the best Belgian Quads out there, and Gouden Carolus Cuvee Van de Keizer Blauw came out on top. This is a truly beautiful Belgian dark strong ale, and one that’s been sitting right under many of our noses. Toasted malt and rye bread flavors are complemented by light cocoa, unusual to see in most of the Belgians … plus a dark, cherry/plummy fruitiness. The caramel/crystal malt character is extremely well-balanced by a drying finish, as most of the classic Belgians possess, which also does a remarkable job of hiding the 11% ABV.


Surly Xtra-Citra Pale Ale

Surly’s take on a hoppy session beer is loaded with Citra hop flavor and still ticks the tape at 4.5%. It has plenty of the citrusy flavors from the hops with a good amount of bitterness that doesn’t overpower or overwhelm the palate. The body is there as well, and we’d wager a lot of folks won’t know this is under 5% if they didn’t know better. If you’re a hop head looking for a full-flavored session beer, give this a shot before it’s gone for the year. You won’t regret it.


Almanac Tangerine De Brettaville

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We came across Almanac’s Tangerine De Brettaville during San Francisco’s annual Taste of Potrero event. The limited-release farmhouse ale is aged in oak barrels with tangerines and oranges, dry-hopped with Citra hops, and then bottled-conditioned with brettanomyces. It’s a delicious brew, and an amazing tangerine flavor, that you should absolutely taste for yourself if you come across a bottle.


Avery Callipygian Imperial Stout

On the nose, this beer is absolutely rocking the chocolate additions. It’s like nothing so much as an expensive chocolate liqueur, or perhaps chocolate-covered espresso beans, an aroma that suggests untold richness. Regardless, this imperial stout is a decadent treat, and boasts ridiculous cocoa flavors in particular. It is in some respects the beer that most artificially chocolate-flavored beers would dream of being. It will undoubtedly be too intense for some palates, but in small doses it’s sure to be a treasured dessert beer experience.


Cellarmaker Taco Hands

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For Cinco de Mayo this year, Cellarmaker once again made Taco Hands, a collaboration IPA it originally made with Tied Hands Brewing Company. The street food-inspired brew was one of the many we had on our epic tour of Bay Area beer spots. It uses flaked maize and actual taco shells to give it that “taco” flavor, and then spiced with cumin, coriander, sea sale, black pepper, pasilla chiles, cilantro, and lime zest from an astounding 140 limes. The result is the closest thing to a taco you’ll find in a glass.


Flying Dog Fever Dream Mango Habanero IPA

Fever Dream is a solid citrus-forward IPA with just a bit of spice on the backend to add a layer of complexity. The heat compounds a little as you make your way through the bottle, but it never reaches the point where you need to reach for a glass of water for a chaser.


Emily is Paste’s Assistant Drink Editor. You can follow her drinking some of these beers in rela-time on Twitter here.

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