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 August here.
By no means a comprehensive list of everything new that came out in August (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!
The fruity character and slight tartness is different from the earthiness and Belgian characteristics of regular Saisons. You might have to do some work to find The Goat right now though, as it’s a beer Holy Mountain plans to only release once a year. Even if you have to wait until the next release, you’ll want to keep an eye out for this one, especially if you’re a fan of Saisons.
San Francisco’s Outside Lands music festival was this month, and once again Sierra Nevada was pouring its Outside Lands Saison. The beer, which it makes each year just for the fetival, is the perfect thing to grab between sets and beat the heat (read: cold), in the San Francisco summer. This year Sierra Nevada’s Beer Ambassador, Terence Sullivan, was pouring the festival brew from Sierra Nevada’s awesome solar-powered trailer.
Automatic is a seasonal pale released for the dog days of summer. It pours a little hazy, and lands on the copper side of yellow, with a thin white head that dissipates pretty quickly. The nose is subtle, but enticing, and all citrus. The malt bill is sturdy, providing a round mouthfeel before transitioning into something zippy on the backend. The Mosaic and Crystal hops deliver plenty of fruit; I get a bit of lemon, as well as something on the sweeter end of the citrus spectrum. Let the beer warm and the fruit comes out to play even more. It’s balanced and straightforward. It’s crisp and light. It’s the kind of beer you can go back to again and again.
In a word, this beer is aggressive. And it’s just the opening act for the brewery’s 20th birthday. Stone has two more anniversary beers planned for release soon: another IPA and a Belgian strong ale. Something tells us they’ll be just as aggressive as this double IPA.
Sweetwater is all in on this hop hash thing. Hash is basically super concentrated hop scraps that are collected after the pelletizing process. Think of hash as your favorite hop strain jacked up to 11, contributing incredibly fruity, bitter and resinous notes to the beer. If you’re looking for a single word to describe hop hash, it would have to be “dank.” And Sweetwater uses it in all kinds of beers, from year-round staples (Hash Session IPA) to big-bottle one-offs (Johnny Hash). Hash Brown, an “India Pale Brown” that lives up to hop hash’s dank reputation, is the newest in the lineup.
Wait, it’s time for Octoberfest beers already? Isn’t it just the end of August. Left Hands’s Oktoberfest started hitting store shelves this month. It’s a Marzen lager that’s full of biscuit notes up front followed by a subtle, toasty sweetness. The hops swoop in to finish the whole thing off with a dry, crisp edge. If you were in Germany, and it was fall, this is pretty damn close to what you’d be drinking. Look for it throughout Left Hand’s massive distribution footprint (37 states and counting) starting right about…now. In six pack bottles; 6.6% ABV.
Prison City Pub & Brewery’s Mass Riot won our blind tasting os 247 IPAs this month. In terms of profile, Mass Riot is a huge, massively tropical, unabashedly juicy hop bomb. Orange juice hits hard, as does pineapple juice and grapefruit candy. Resinous flavors on the back end help rein things in only the slightest bit, but this is definitely a juicy IPA first and foremost, and a moderately sweet one as well. One tasting sheet dubs it “Caribbean pale ale” for its tropical flavors, while another refers to it as “The Big Juicy.” In the finals, it was particularly beloved despite having a little bit of age on it, with one taster writing “Rich and fruity, cantaloupe and citrus, a beautiful combination.” Likewise full in terms of mouthfeel, it seems significantly bigger than its 6.3% ABV, with a body that goes on for days. It’s truly a decadent IPA, and we can’t wait until Prison City is producing a much larger amount of beer so we can taste it more often. In the meantime, we’d settle for just one more taste. It’s our #1 American IPA, out of 247.
Oskar Blues’ Ten FIDY is officially starting to hit store shelves in all 50 states. Oskar Blues describes Ten Fidy as “an immensely viscous stout loaded with inimitable flavors of chocolate-covered caramel and coffee underneath a smooth blanket of malt.” The beer is made with tons of two-row malt, chocolate malt, roasted barley, flaked oats and hops. And at 10.5% ABV, it will definitely leave an impression.
Our IPA list was so comprehensive, that it would be a crime to only include one of them in our top beers from the month. The Brew Gentleman Beer Company’s General Braddock’s IPA came in second in our tasting and is definitely a beer worth checking out. This is an absolutely fabulous example of northeastern/New England IPA, and it just goes to show that they can come from anyone, whether or not there’s necessarily a line out the door … although I assume there soon will be for this beer, if there isn’t already. Beautifully aromatic, with a perfumed head that throws out waves of orange and grapefruit zest, it’s creamy, juicy and vibrant, but not particularly sweet. The mouthfeel is ridiculously soft and supple, velvety in texture and without any rough edges. On a second pass, hugely resinous, sticky green hops stand out more on the palate, prompting one taster to write “I absolutely am in love with this beer.” From another: “Mega smooth and juicy.” It’s damn near perfect, and it’s time for the world to know it. Go out of your way to hunt this one down.
This is an old one, but a good one. One of the originals, we decided to review the brew this month, and found it’s still just as drinkable as it was when it initally launched. Everything about this beer screams “classic,” and it gets that classification not just because it’s old, but because it’s old and great. This beer is complex, balanced and incredibly drinkable. It’s the kind of beer we ourselves myself gulping instead of sipping.