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Paste's Top Beers of the Month: September 2017

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<i>Paste's</i> Top Beers of the Month: September 2017

When it comes to beer, there are a ton of choices out there, with more being added everyday. Each month, we round up some of our fave new finds. 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 August here.

By no means a comprehensive list of everything new that came out in September (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!


Sante Adairius Bright Sea Blonde and Love’s Armor

This month Jim Vorel tried two different sours from Sante Adairius in Capitola, California. Here’s what he said about Bright Sea Blonde: “Bright sea blonde is, at its heart, a Belgian blonde ale that was kicked up a notch in terms of complexity with the addition of lemon zest and grains of paradise, both in moderation. It was then aged in wine barrels with wild yeast, and the results are pretty sublime. Both myself and Paste editor Josh Jackson used the word “lovely” to describe the nose—soft and funky, but with plenty of bright citrus and cantaloupe fruitiness, and the suggestion of moderate tartness. It’s very inviting—I actually wrote the word “mouthwatering” in my notes, but I may just have been particularly thirsty at the time.”

And here’s what Jim had to say about Sante Adarius’ Love’s Armor: “On the palate, the first thing one notices (especially tasting these two beers side-by-side) is a considerably fuller mouthfeel. This beer is fairly tart, although like the other the initial burst of sourness seems to mellow on repeated sips. Vinous fruit flavors of black cherry and plum are stars, along with roasted nuts and chocolate. It’s very unusual stuff—you’d almost expect for it to be Valentine’s Day-themed, given the flavor combinations at play here. What impresses me is the degree of balance between all of its disparate elements—nothing is out of proportion or comes to dominate. It’s an almost perfect balance between elements of “strong robust porter” and “American wild ale,” with fruit. I’ve had a few other beers attempting to do this very sort of thing, but few of them have handled it with half as much delicacy. Fascinating beer.”


Schafly Oktoberfest

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It’s Oktoberfest season! We drank a bunch of them last year for one of our infamous blind tastings, but this year we rounded up a few we think everyone should be drinking right now. At the top of that list is Schlafly’s Oktoberfest.

Schlafly lets their Marzen ferment for several months in the way of the old timers, and fills the kettle with Munich-sourced malts and German hops. So you’re getting a traditional take on the style here. For something a little edgier, try their Imperial Oktoberfest, an 8% beer that’s not quite as sessionable.


Saint Arnold Brewing Icon Red—Marzen

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Another one on our list of great Oktoberfest beers was Saint Arnold’s Icon Red. This is authentic to the original Oktoberfest beer as you can get, using 100% Munich malt and a Bavarian lager yeast and hops grown outside Munich. It’s so German, it practically has an accent.


Brew Gentlemen Lou

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Brew Gentleman Lou took the number one spot in our blind tasting of 176 DIPAs this month. The nose of Lou is a thing of beauty, combining explosive citrus and tropical fruit influences with perfumey florals and resinous notes, backed by one of the most wonderfully pillowy and soft mouthfeels of the entire tasting. It was one of those beers where every taster has seemingly found something different to appreciate. Some of them were in love with Lou’s greener aspects, keying on the grassy/dank side to its profile, while others were all about the juice. You can hear the delighted confusion just reading tasting notes: “There’s a fruit finish I can’t place, but I just love it. It’s so lush and wonderful.” As far as we’re concerned, this is the best, most complex DIPA we had a chance to taste, out of a whopping 176. Congratulations to Brew Gentlemen—we sincerely hope you guys can deal with a whole lot more people suddenly interested in snapping up bottles of this beer. Put us on the list, will you?


Triple Crossing Interstellar Burst

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Triple Crossing Interstellar Burst won second place in our blind tasting. Interstellar Burst is a particularly stellar example of NE-IPA. Impossibly smooth and luxurious on the palate, it’s like drinking a cloud—except it’s a cloud of the best juice bar smoothie you’ve never deigned to pay $9 for. From one score sheet: “Ridiculously soft and juicy, tons of passionfruit and peach. Damn.” From another sheet: “I could drink too many of these—not a bad thing.” As the latter would suggest, perhaps the most impressive thing about Interstellar Burst is that it has that rare quality of drinkability that sometimes eludes even great NE-IPAs, which can be bogged down by a combination of chewiness and residual sweetness that rob them of a chance at being called “refreshing.” Triple Crossing is making some of the best takes on this style that we’re currently able to imagine.


Bottle Logic Fundamental Observation

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Bottle Logic caught the beer world’s attention when they released their first batch of Fundamental Observation (FO) in 2015, a barrel-aged stout, blended with Madagascar vanilla beans. When it comes to beer nerds today, the phrase “this is not as good as batch one,” is used way too often, however, batch three of FO might actually be Bottle Logic’s best batch. Batch three provides that huge vanilla aroma we fell in-love with when we first tried batch one years ago, just with a little less of that motor oil consistency. Following that aroma, you get the taste of oak character and milk chocolate. The crazy thing is that unlike batch one, you could probably find someone to share theirs with you without having to provide your first-born son.


SPON – Mourvedre & Sangiovese

In 2016 Jester King introduced us to Spon, a beer took almost four years to release. The inspiration for Spon came from a trip back in 2012 when Jester King visited Belgium’s famous Brasserie Cantillon. When Jester King returned to the states, they set out on a mission to brew a 100% spontaneously fermented Lambic inspired beer, following the traditional brewing methods. The Mourvedre & Sangiovese variant blends two-year old Spon and three-year old Spon. This blend was then aged on Mourvedre grapes from Texas and Sangiovese from Colorado, and was packaged a year before it was released on September 22nd, creating a funky enjoyable blend that needs to be explored.

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