A ‘Definitive’ Guide to the Best Beer of 2016

2016 best beer header

Ask friends and family. Look around the Internet. Talk to a stranger on the street. It seems just about everyone is over 2016.

But it wasn’t all bad, right? We drank some good beer.

With start of a new year, it’s time to reflect on the great ales and lagers we enjoyed in 2016. Just kidding. It’s only IPAs and imperial stouts.

What has become an annual tradition, I’ve compiled a collection of “best” American beer lists as a way to better determine some ground breaking brands found across the country. For all the subjectivity that goes into creating lists to rank our favorite movies, TV shows and more, I try to find some objective consensus to provide a clearer view of what pleased the palate of drinkers.

To do this, I found a collection of 15 “best beer” lists from a variety of sources, from social media to prominent magazines. Criteria for selection was simple: a list had to focus on 2016 releases (new beers or new, annual brews) with a preference toward a wide geographic representation.

That left me with 155 total beers to analyze with several clearly separating themselves as 2016’s best.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Trick or Treat: October 2015 Beertography

pumpkin-camera

The favorite holiday of ghouls and ghosts is nearly upon us, so let’s have a wonderfully topical collection of beertography to celebrate Halloween.

Below you’ll find a collection of spooky(!) and scary(?) beertographs from my archives you may also have come across on my Instagram page, Twitter account or even Untappd. If you like these, you can find more beertography on Instagram or in my running archive.

I hope you’ve got your Sexy Beer Bottle costume finished…

Big Boss Zombie – The Drinking Dead

Big Boss-zombie-beer-beertogrpahy-walking dead

Left Hand Wake Up Dead – Rise and Shine

beer-beertography-left hand-left hand brewing-wake up the dead-stout-russian imperial stout-alarm clock-colorado

Troegs LaGrave – Rest in Peace

troegs-lagrave-belgian-beer-beertography-cemetary-photo-picture

Brewers Art Resurrection – Zombeerfied

resurrection-beer-beertography-redemption-martland

Fullsteam Igor – Going Bump in the Night

fullsteam-igor

Happy Halloween!

saranac-pumpkin-beertography

Here’s hoping November offers inspiration. As always, you can go back to see previous beertography posts:

Bryan Roth
“Don’t drink to get drunk. Drink to enjoy life.” — Jack Kerouac

Header image via petapixel.com

A Labored Effort: September 2015 Beertography

bud_camera

Labor Day has passed, the white clothing is tucked away and the last vestiges of summer are gone. Good a time as any for a new collection of beertography.

Below you’ll find some of my recent photos, which you may also come across on my Instagram page, Twitter account or even Untappd. If you like these, you can find more beertography on Instagram or in my running archive.

Let’s see what this month had to offer…

Harpoon Take 5 – Lazy Labor Day

harpoon-take 5-session ipa-ipa-india pale ale-beer-craft beer-beertography-web

AC Golden Colorado Native – Natural Habitat

ac golden-miller coors-coors-colorado native-lager-beer-craft beer-beertography

Troegs Java Head – Celebrating National Coffee Day

troegs-java head-coffee stout-beer-craft beer-beertography-web

Duck-Rabbit Milk Stout – No Crying Over Spilled Milk (When There’s Beer)

duck rabbit-milk stout-stout-beer-craft beer-beertography

Good People Bearded Lady – Ready for a Trim

good people brewing-bearded lady-wheat ale-beer-craft beer-beertography-web

Here’s hoping October will continue to offer inspiration. As always, you can go back to see previous beertography posts:

Bryan Roth
“Don’t drink to get drunk. Drink to enjoy life.” — Jack Kerouac

Refreshed and Ready: Post-Vacation July 2015 Beertography

bud_camera

Summer is here, and I can tell because I’ve been on vacation for almost two weeks, ignoring Real Life Responsibilities, but not completely forgetting about my beery habits.

Even though I’ve been silent in words, my mind has been active, brainstorming new ideas to share with you.

But in the meantime, let’s enjoy our monthly tradition and get around to a roundup of beertography.

Below you’ll find some of my recent photos, which you may also come across on my Instagram page, Twitter account or even Untappd. If you like these, you can find more beertography on Instagram or in my running archive.

Let’s see what July had to offer…

Turk’s Head Lager – Drinking in Paradise

turks head-lager-turks and caicos-caribbean-beer-craft beer-beertography

Harpoon Take 5 – Staying Relaxed

harpoon-take 5-session IPA-IPA-beer-craft beer-beertography

New Belgium Long Table – Pull Up a Chair

new belgium-long table-farmhouse-beer-craft beer-beertography

Troegs Cultivator – From Mother Earth to Bottle and Back Again

troegs-cultivator-bock-helles bock-beer-craft beer-beertography

Allagash Century Ale – 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall, on the Floor for 100

allagash-century ale-saison-beer-craft beer-beertography

Here’s hoping August will continue to offer inspiration. As always, you can go back to see previous beertography posts:

Bryan Roth
“Don’t drink to get drunk. Drink to enjoy life.” — Jack Kerouac

Celebrating Earth Month: April 2015 Beertography

earth day header-beer

…and now for something completely different.

This week has been all about research and reporting, but with today marking the start of a new month, it’s time for a regular beertography roundup.

I wanted to give April a theme thanks to Earth Month, a time to celebrate the seasons and the world around us. So in lieu of all new beer photos, I’ve gone through and selected some of my favorite “environment” themed shots to highlight, with a few new ones included in the mix.

Below you’ll find a collection of photos, which you may have come across on my Instagram page, Twitter account or even Untappd. If you like these, you can find more beertography on Instagram or in my running archive.

So let’s put on our ceremonial robes, pray to Gaia and see what our April offers…

Continue reading

A Winter Tale: February 2015 Beertography

blog-bud-can-winter

February has almost gone by, which means it’s time for my monthly roundup of beertography.

As the grip of Old Man Winter took hold of North Carolina this month, it left me with something different for February’s collection: a theme.

So below you’ll find some of my recent photos celebrating several weeks in something akin to a winter wonderland. But, you know, with beer.

In addition to what you see here, you may also have come across photos on my Instagram page, Twitter account or even Untappd. If you like these, you can find all beertography on Instagram or in my running archive.

Let’s see what February had to offer…

Brueprint Midnight Brue – Night Comes Early

web-brueprint-midnight-stout-beer-beertography-winter-photo-picture

A strong stout only seems fitting for frigid weather, until…

Troegs Blizzard of Hops – The Accumulation

web-troegs-blizzard of hops-hop-ipa-beer-beertography-winter-photo-picture

Which satisfies until things get ugly…

Great Lakes Blackout Stout – Drinking in the Dark

web-great lakes-blackout stout-stout-beer-beertography-winter-photo-picture

The only thing left to do, as the cold creeps in and saps your warmth, is to pack it in and pack it on…

Wicked Weed Indulgence – Hibernation Libation

web-wicked weed-indulgence-sour beer-tart-asheville-beer-beertography-photo-pictureWhile we can blame a rodent for our never-ending winter, I wish you and yours warmth, merriment and something nice to sip by a fire…

web-beer-stout-beer-beertography-winter-photo-picture

Here’s hoping March is just as fruitful as the last few weeks. As always, you can go back to see previous beertography posts:

+Bryan Roth
“Don’t drink to get drunk. Drink to enjoy life.” — Jack Kerouac

Goodbye, Summer: August 2014 Beertography

bud_cameraIt’s the end of the month, which means it’s time for my regular roundup of beertography from the last few weeks.

Below you’ll find some of my recent shots, which you may also come across on my Instagram page, Twitter account or even Untappd. If you like these, you can find all of my beertography shots on Instagram or in my running archive.

All my shots are taken with my iPhone 5 unless otherwise noted. The space where I shoot my photos – around the house – offers somewhat limited opportunities for pretty backdrops, which is why I try to get inventive with my photo ideas.

Let’s see what August had to offer…

Cigar City Jai Alai – Juiced

cigar city-jai alai-beer-beertography-ipa-india pale aleTroegs Sunshine Pils – Waning Days of Summer

troegs-sunshine-pils-pilsner-beer-beertographyBlack Raven Wisdom Seeker – Thirst for Knowledge

black raven-wisdom seeker-ipa-india pale ale-beer-beertographyGuinness – A Perfect Pint

guinness-beer-beertography-stout-irish-ireland-pubHardywood Capital Trail – Let’s Go For a Ride

hardywood-pale ale-capital trail-beer-beertography

As always, you can go back to see previous beertography posts:

+Bryan Roth
“Don’t drink to get drunk. Drink to enjoy life.” — Jack Kerouac

Photogenic & Fermented: June 2014 Beertography

bud_camera

It’s the end of the month, which means it’s time for my regular roundup of beertography from the last few weeks. I was really happy with the amount of beertography I was able to capture in June. I don’t know what hit me, but I suppose I was feeling extra creative.

Below you’ll find some of my favorite, recent shots, which you may also come across on my Instagram page, Twitter account or even Untappd. The photos below are just a few of the ones I took throughout the month, but you can find all of them on my Instagram account.

All my shots are taken with my iPhone 5 unless otherwise noted. The space where I shoot my photos – around the house – offers somewhat limited opportunities for pretty backdrops, which is why I try to get inventive with my photo ideas and did some traveling this time around.

Let’s see what June had to offer…

Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout – Framed Perfection

goose island-bourbon county stout-stout-imperial stout-beer-beertography-photo-picture

Mother Earth Endless River – Back to the Source

mother earth-endless river-kolsch-beer-beertography-photo-picture

Troegs LaGrave – Rest in Peace

troegs-lagrave-belgian-beer-beertography-cemetary-photo-picture

Sierra Nevada Rain Check – Summer Storm

sierra nevada-rain check-stout-rain-beer-beertography-photo-picture(Above shot with Nikon D90)

Heineken Desperados – Riding Across Scorched Earth

heineken-desperados-tequila-beer-beertography-photo-picture

 

As always, you can go back to see previous beertography posts:

+Bryan Roth
“Don’t drink to get drunk. Drink to enjoy life.” — Jack Kerouac

Troegs HopBack Amber Ale

hopback web

As far as out-of-state brewery options go, I’ve been really happy to have tried a few, most notably Cigar City and Troegs.

During my recent trip to Delaware, I was able to get my hands on some more brews from Troegs, a Hershey, PA-based brewery that doesn’t distribute to NC. I really liked their Perpetual IPA and loved Flying Mouflan, so I was excited to give their HopBack Amber a shot. It’s a traditional American amber brew but put through the hopback process with whole-flower hops.

It’s got a 90 on Beer Advocate, which seems about right for this novel approach to a typically malt-forward beer.
Continue reading

Troegs Flying Mouflan

moufaln web

As with most pursuits in life, the more I’ve thrown myself into the world of beer, the more I’ve come to appreciate it. It wasn’t too long ago I was busy swilling Natural or Coors.

But as my tastes and palate have changed and matured, so has my appreciation for a variety of beers. I think I’ve hit that sweet spot with barleywines, which used to blow me away with their high ABV percentages, but now feel just right as a nice winter warmer. While I still love a heavily-hopped beer, the balance and malty sweetness of barleywines are great for offering a broad profile of aromas and flavors.

That’s one reason why I was excited to pop open a bottle of Troegs’ Flying Mouflan, a barleywine from the Pennsylvania-based brewery I acquired a few months ago in a trade with Scott from Beerbecue. I loved my initial exposure to Troegs with their Perpetual IPA, so I knew between that beer and the brewery’s reputation, I couldn’t go wrong.

Or could I? Let’s hit the jump and figure out how much my palate’s preference has changed over the years.
Continue reading