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 September 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!
Each summer, Indianapolis hosts Gen Con: An annual gaming convention where players, authors and more meetup for what the organizers call “the best four days in gaming.” Each year, Sun King partners with the convention to make a unique beer and attendees get the chance to vote on its name. For the 2016 installment, the name was actually voted on before the style or finer details of the beer were selected by the brewers. Overall, Twenty-Sided Rye drinks like a full-flavored and full-bodied amber ale. Sure, there’s some spicy rye character, but there’s also a solid dose of the malty sweetness an amber typically exhibits.
Oskar Blues put out a very limited amount of Barrel Aged Ten Fidy last fall. Like, 17 cans to half a dozen people. The rest of us were out of luck. But this year, OB is going big, releasing Barrel Aged Ten Fidy in really tall “stovepipe” cans nationwide, which means just about everyone reading this will be able to get their hands on a can in November. It’s still bitter as hell, but it’s more balanced after all that time hanging out in barrels, which manages to mellow out some of the harsh edges of the standard version. You get the coffee and cocoa, but also layers of vanilla and caramel, and plenty of action from that whiskey barrel too, which adds an element of astringency to the backend of the sip. And yet, somehow, it seems less boozy than the standard version.
The Great American Beer Festival was this month, which means we tried a ton of great beers Admittedly, I didn’t check out Cannonball Creek’s booth until after the awards ceremony where its session IPA ‘Trump Hands’ walked away with gold. Founded in 2013, the brewery’s name came from a creek in Golden, Colorado where the brewery is based. Once you get past the beer’s name, which is pretty solid in its own right, you’re left with a great session IPA. Clocking in at just 4.6%, this light-bodied brew balances citrus with German and American hops for a great, drinkable IPA. In addition to winning gold for Trump Hands, the brewery also took home a gold this year for its Solid Gold Belgian Golden. They’re definitely one to watch for next year.
Rogue makes a handful of tasty beers, from the kind of weird Chipotle Ale to the simple, malty goodness of Dead Guy. One of their latest concoctions, an IPA called Promise Gone Aw-Rye, eschews the gimmicks altogether and lands squarely in that “tasty” category. Overall, there’s great malt/hop interplay throughout, like a sophisticated dance between the ingredients. A give and take, like a well-executed waltz. Or the chicken dance. The result, of course, is an incredibly balanced beer that’s more subtle than you might expect from Rogue. It’s not a hop bomb. It’s not even a malt bomb. There’s no bacon in it, or beard yeast. It’s just a complex, well-executed IPA, which is probably something we’d all like to see more of from Rogue.
It’s only been a year since Ellison Brewery and Sprits first opened their doors to the public, but after their first bottle release, co-owners Aaron Hanson and Eric Elliot have made their intentions clear. They want to become the kings of hoppy beers in the state of Michigan. We get the sense that Ellison held back, creating a more subtle interpretation of the “East Coast IPA.” It’s approachable. Following that initial bite is a lingering orange taste, reminding me of what you get with Tree House’s Julius. For their first bottle release, it’s clear Ellison is going to be around a long time, but don’t get used to the bottle format. Ellison expects to release an assortment of hops to locals late next month in cans.
Wicked Weed was one of those breweries that constantly had a long line at GABF, no matter what session or what time you were trying to swing by. The Asheville, NC brewery was pouring a ton of its regular lineup as well as a handful of great sours from the Funkatorium. One of the standouts from the bunch was Cerise Mort. The barrel-aged sour is fermented with four pounds per gallon of Montmorency Cherries, and you can tell. This one was released in June exclusively at Wicked Weed’s Funkatorium bottle shop and is the perfect balance of tart cherries, brett, and oak. If you happen to come across a bottle, grab it!
With this Double IPA being 100% Citra hopped, you expect a heavy dose of fruit in the nose and Broz Night Out definitely delivers. There’s also a good amount of grassy earthiness from the hops. In fact, the aroma here is not unlike taking a whiff of Citra hops straight from the bag. It’s potent and dank, but it’s awesome. Citra hops are usually a crowd pleaser and The Veil used them to craft a juicy hop bomb here. Broz Night Out has very little bitterness too, so people who don’t like that quality about a lot IPAs might enjoy the flavor profile of this one.
Since its launch in 2014, Fieldwork has been putting out consistently amazing, typically one-off brews. One of its latest is its Fog Ripper Tropical Sour Ale. We had a chance to try the brew at a beer dinner in the brewery’s hometown of Berkley, California. There, the chef at Comal paired the colorful beer with a pollo pibil taco. Unlike your traditional sour, this one comes in a little sweet, with a ton of fruit flavor that likens it more to a fruit punch. It went perfect with our taco and is definitely something we’d like to see again.
Take your first sip and you’re hit in the mouth with a beer that’s bitter as hell and more than a little boozy. The hop profile is strong, delivering strong bitter notes like waves of black coffee. There’s a little bit of toffee and a tiny bit of cherry underscoring it all, but the main takeaway here is bitter and strong (like Russian winters?). And did I mention it’s boozy? Like Russian winters? It has a rich mouthfeel that softens a little as it warms in the glass, but not by much. This is the sort of beer that your granddad would say puts hair on your chest. There’s no pandering in this can. No sweet adjuncts, no heavy hits of caramel or vanilla…just roasty, bitter, boozy goodness.
The sweet notes are muted in this cider, which is exactly as it’s labeled: dry as the desert. While a lot of dry ciders come across light and ethereal like Champagne, Shacksbury’s Dry takes a left turn and ends up in a different destination entirely. Instead of going into the heavily-carbonated, whispy world of Champagne, the Dry delivers the much-more grounded experience of vinegar. Without the heavy notes of sweet fruit, the tart and acidic element that played a subtle role in the Semi-Dry steps forward and dominates this cider. It’s a little salty, a little astringent, and puckering on the back end as the cider disappears on your palate. And then you immediately want to go back for another sip to experience it again. Fans of sour beers take note: Shacksbury might have a cider for you.