We might be heading into 2018 with an uncomfortable level of uncertainty in our world (will the feds shut down your favorite dispensary? Will a crazy man start a nuclear war?) but one thing you can take to the bank is that the beer will be great this year. Because beer just keeps getting better. If you don’t believe us, take a look at the results from our monthly blind tastings in 2017. The competition was fierce and the winners blew our minds. After perusing some of the 2018 beer release calendars from some of the larger craft breweries in the US (and cyber stalking some of the smaller breweries we love), we’re psyched for the new year. Here are 10 new beers we’re looking forward to drinking in 2018.
Does the world need another New England IPA? Yes. Yes it does. New Belgium promises the new unfiltered IPA will be all kinds of pineapple and guava with a smooth, easy finish. It’s 7.5% and joining the year-round cadre of Voodoo Ranger and it’s actually available now.
Great Divide has an incredible 2018 planned, with several new beers. They’re doing a lot of barrel aging (even introducing an oak aged IPA), but they’re also introducing this light gose, which is brewed with guava and passionfruit. It’s hitting shelves in April. We’re still not over the gose trend, so were excited to see a new one on the market.
We’ve had a lot of fruit beers in our day, but a cantaloupe beer? Those are few and far between. Melonious Blond is a blend of sour wheat ales and blonde ales aged up to 14 months with cantaloupe and summer kiss melons. I’ve never had a cantaloupe sour before, but if anyone can do it, it’s Cascade. They’re releasing it late this winter in bottles and draft.
Bits and Bobs is a new rotating seasonal brew, where Reuben’s Brews takes all of the knowledge they’ve gathered from the previous year and creates a new spring seasonal release. The 2018 Bits and Bobs will be an IPA that features Strata hops, a strain the team experimented with in 2017. My favorite kind of experiments are the ones you know will work out, so I’m on board.
If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that Stone Brewing is really subtle. Ahem. Like with the name of this beer. Yep. Subtle. As for the beer, it’s a double IPA brewed with peaches. Duh. Look for it in May. If impeachment isn’t your bag, you’ll be happy to know that Stone is coming out with a bunch of new IPAs in 2018. Because they’re Stone. And that’s what Stone does.
Want more fruit beer? Dogfish Head has you covered. This one is a collaboration with The Flaming Lips, so you know it’s gonna be weird. They threw the whole fruit basket at this beer, adding passionfruit, dragon fruit, pear juice, yumberry (I’m actually not sure that’s a real thing) to the kettle so you get “an explosion of fruit in every sip.” Personally, I could use more fruit in my diet, so…Look for it in April.
Okay, technically this isn’t a new beer, because it’s been available on tap at the brewery before, but a canned version of Nitro Merlin Milk Stout is a pretty big deal so we’re psyched. It’s a widge-free nitro can that’s pressurized directly with nitrogen via a liquid nitrogen drip machine. Side note: Liquid Nitrogen Drip Machine would be an awesome name for a beer. It promises to be rich and creamy, and it’ll actually be out this month.
Odell calls this a “fresh grind ale” because they grind whole cone hops to release the lupulin inside. The result is a beer that’s supposedly extraordinarily dank and aromatic. Think of fresh ground coffee beans versus processed coffee beans. At least, that’s the hype coming from Odell. And the hype has us excited. Rupture is a new year-round release from Odell in 2018, available in cans.
I’m pretty sure Left Hand is brewing this beer specifically for my wife. The brewery is introducing a new seasonal series of nitro beers in four packs of cans in 2018. The series is packed full of nitro goodness, with a Blackcurrant Cream Ale and Belgian Dubbel slated for different parts of the year, but this Chai Milk Stout has our name written all over it. The Chai is the first of the nitro series to be released this year, so look for it soon.
The Asheville based brewery partnered with Dry and Bitter Brewing Company from Copenhagen to whip up this IPA that’s brewed with local honey and double dry hopped with Citra and Simcoe Lupulin Powder. As always, distribution will be limited, but these guys know a thing or two about IPAs, so we’re psyched. The beer comes out this month.