It’s a new year, which means you should be drinking a new beer, right? We’ve found nine beautiful beers you need to get your hands on this month, from seasonal release favorites to brand new concoctions from some of the country’s most beloved breweries.
Sweetwater Happy Ending
Atlanta’s biggest brewery has brought back its popular seasonal release, an imperial stout that’s loaded with hop character thanks to some dry hopping with Cascade and Simcoe. The beer pulled down the silver at the 2014 World Beer Cup in the American Style Stout category. Just be wary—it carries a hefty 9% ABV.
Bell’s rolls out their winter favorite Hopslam throughout the month of January, releasing batches each week in various states. The party starts today in Michigan and Missouri. Hopslam is brewed with six different varieties of hops before getting the Simcoe dry-hopped treatment. Bell’s claims it’s the most “complex hopping schedule” in their lineup. Oh, and there’s honey in there too.
Firestone Walker Sucaba
A perennial favorite from one of the country’s most lauded breweries, Sucaba is a barrel-aged barleywine that brewmaster Matt Byrnildson says is a blend of two separate beers—the end result is a “chocolaty, dark cherry dimension.” Look for it to hit the market January 17.
Foothills Sexual Chocolate
This year marks the 10th anniversary of Foothills Brewing’s Sexual Chocolate, a big, rich imperial stout. Cocoa, molasses, espresso, toffee, awesomeness…these are just some of the flavors you’ll pick up with each sip of this baby. And the label is awesome too. It’s also hoppy as hell, and weighs in at 9.75% ABV. The release party is scheduled for January 31.
Victory Anniversary 19
Every year Victory Brewing whips up a new beer to celebrate their anniversary. For their 19th time around, they’re very topical, brewing a session IPA. Not sure what to expect from this one, other than Victory managed to work Simcoe, Chinook and Citra hops into the brewing process and kept the ABV down to an extremely sessionable 4.5%. Word.
The popular Portland brewery is attacking 2015 with a handful of brand new beers right out of the gate. Tropicalia sounds the most promising. It’s an American farmhouse ale brewed with Lychee fruit and Peruvian peppers. I have no idea what those two things are, but I want them in my beer. Tropicalia will launch a new Fruit and Funk series for the brewery (look for five more in the coming months).
Great Lakes Barrel-Aged Blackout Stout
The Russian imperial stout gets the bourbon-barrel treatment, much to the delight of Cleveland beer fans. You’ll need a ticket ($40) to get the first crack at this beer directly from the brewery on January 26th. If you can wait another day, Great Lakes releases the beer to the general public.
Funky Buddha Maple Bacon Porter
Maple syrup, bacon, coffee, beer…these are a few of my favorite things. If you could figure out how to put a peanut butter cup in there, I’d marry this beer. Funky Buddha just released their popular porter over the weekend. It’s sweet, it’s salty, it’s roasty…get it while you can in 22 ounce bombers.
Ninkasi Expo 58
Named after the return of the World’s Fair after WWII, Expo 58 is a Belgian style pale ale (the World’s Fair was in Brussels in ’58) that Ninkasi says is “similar to a Belgian Tripel, but with a much lower alcohol percentage.” Expect a spiciness layered over biscuits, clove and bananas. Not bad, particularly since Expo 58 only comes in at 5% ABV. You can find it through February.