So this year, I promised I would read books instead of watching TV, only drink on Saturdays and yell at my kids less. Like most people in America, I’ve already faltered on my New Year’s resolutions. It’s just that they’re so damned hard to keep up. TV is so much fun to watch. How does anyone get through a Tuesday without drinking? And have you ever met my kids? They need to be yelled at occasionally. So I’ve come up with a New Year’s resolution that I can actually see through to the end. Drink more beer. More specifically, drink more new beer. I suggest you join me in this resolution, because as they say, it’s easier to stick to a commitment if you have someone to hold you accountable. I think these six new beers are a good start to the new us.
Firestone Walker’s 805 isn’t a new beer by any means, but the brewery is going to distribute the beer outside of California for the first time ever starting this month. 805 is a blonde ale with a low ABV (4.7%) and the dominating characteristic of “subtle,” and yet the ale has grown to be FW’s most popular beer in their local market. People have even started bootlegging it across the border. Imagine, smuggling a blonde ale. Starting in January, you can leave the smuggling days behind you, at least if you live in Nevada, Texas or Arizona, where FW will now distribute the beer you’ve all been dying to get.
Cincinnati-based MadTree is kicking off 2016 with a chocolate, raspberry stout that uses cocoa nibs from the Dominican Republic. MadTree first brewed the beer for Valentine’s Day in 2014, releasing it as a draft only option in their taproom, but the beer quickly sold out and fans clamored for more. You can pick up cans of the beer this Thursday (January 7) or wait until next week, when MadTree distributes the beer throughout Ohio and Northern Kentucky.
Speaking of chocolate, the boys at Monday Night Brewing, in Atlanta, have whipped up a new version of their popular Scotch ale, Drafty Kilt. This iteration uses cinnamon and cocoa nibs for notes of spice and, well, chocolate. Think of this as your go-to winter Scotch ale. Look for it in six packs of bottles starting this month.
Yep, more Nitro, baby. Left Hand is adding to its Nitro portfolio with this smooth version of a coffee porter set to be released in their Colorado taproom at the end of January. The brewery will begin distributing the beer in February. Set your iPhone calendars, because Hard Wired Nitro looks to be a keeper, with notes of coffee and toffee coming at you through that signature, nitro silky smooth texture. Look for it in 12 ounce bottles.
Ninkasi is adding a couple of beers to their year-round flagship brews for 2016, starting with Helles Belles, a German-style Helles Lager that’s a bit of a departure from the super-hoppy beers the Oregon brewery is better known for. I haven’t had it yet, but Ninkasi promises Helles Belles is a light, crisp beer with plenty of sweet, toasted malt. They’ve never lied to us before, so I believe them. Find it in a beer store near you beginning this month.
Boulevard sourced some serious coffee from Colombia to give this new beer notes of chocolate, toffee, honey and raisins. All totaled, the Missouri brewery used 2,400 pounds of fresh-ground coffee for this porter. The base beer has a blend of pale, caramel and chocolate malts as well as a helping of wheat to keep things smooth. Look for bottles of the beer to hit shelves mid January.