2013 Crafted Pours Ale and Whiskey Awards
Best New Craft Brewery for 2013 – Prairie Artisan Ales
Two brothers from Oklahoma stormed the craft brewing scene with a slew of fantastic beer releases in 2013. Favorite releases included their hoppy and tart Prairie Hop Saison, Prairie Somewhere, a sour farmhouse-style ale, and Prairie Bomb, an Imperial Stout aged on coffee beans, vanilla beans, cacao nibs, and chili peppers. Special recognition for their in-house beer label artwork featuring images of the brothers and other Oklahoma pastimes, like noodling for catfish.
Cheers to the brothers as we look forward to a great 2014, with more innovative and flavorful beer releases from Prairie.
Trend-Setter Brewer of the Year Award for 2013 – Jack’s Abby and their line of India Pale Lagers
Located just outside of Boston, MA, Jack’s Abby was a pioneer of the IPL beer-style which erupted in popularity during 2013. Hoppy and crisp, IPL’s offer all the benefits of an IPA with a cleaner and crisper finish. Jack’s 2013 offerings included, Hoponius Union, their fantastic flagship year-round IPL, Kiwi Rising, a flavorful Double IPL brewed with New Zealand hops, and The ABC’s, a super-hopped 100+ IBU India Pale Lager, brewed with Apollo, Bravo, Calypso, and Simcoe hops.
Most Innovative Craft Brewer for 2013 – Trinity Brewing
This small craft brewery out of Fort Collins, Colorado released a barrage of unique craft beers. Little Death Ride was a Spiced Super Saison, brewed with chilis, pumpkin, honey, annato seed, and cinnamon, weighing in at a whopping 13% ABV. Red Swingline released as a Hoppy Barrel-Aged Sour Beer with 100 IBUs, and was flavored with coriander and tangerine zest. Then some feathers were rustled across the pond in the Belgian beer community, when they released their Seven Day Vert Gueuze, a quick fermenting sour ale brewed with raw wheat. The Gueuze style of beer has traditionally been reserved for unflavored barrel-aged sour lambics brewed in Belgium, with long aging periods.
Craft Brewer with the Coolest Craft Beer Names for 2013 - Against The Grain
This Louisville, Kentucky brewpub pushed out fun and innovative names for their craft beers in 2013, including Citra Ass Down - an IPA brewed with Citra hops, We Brett it Wrong - a Saison brewed with wild Brettanomyces yeast, and Boom Gose The Dynamite - a German-Style Gose wheat beer.
Best Barrel-Aged Sour Beer Release in 2013 - The Bruery Bottleworks XII
Released mid-summer, this Barrel-Aged Imperial Raspberry Wit was outstanding. Aging was done in oak red wine barrels with fresh raspberries and traditional witbier spices.
2013 Flavor Dominator Beer Award – Westbrook Mexican Cake
This award goes to the craft beer released in 2013 with the biggest explosion of flavors. Mexican Cake was a rich, dark, and spicy Imperial Stout brewed with cacao nibs, vanilla beans, cinnamon sticks, and habanero peppers. Also one of the highest rated beers on the CraftedPours website.
Best Collaboration Beer of 2013 – Cigar City and Mikkeller Life is Like
A Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Chocolate Cherry Stout brewed at Cigar City in Tampa, Florida. Rich, dark, and sweet with flavors of cherry, roasted coffee, oak, and bourbon.
Best Bourbon Barrel-Aged Beer Release of 2013 – Voodoo Pappy Van Winkle Black Magick
A monster Imperial Stout, at 13% ABV, with complex flavors of dark chocolate, oak, vanilla, and bourbon. Aged in Pappy Van Winkle bourbon barrels. Brewed in Meadville, PA at the Voodoo Brewery.
Most Popular HomeBrew Recipe for 2013 – BrewDog Punk IPA Clone
Garnering thousands of visits from around the globe, the bad boy brewers from Scotland spiked in popularity after their hit series on the Esquire TV channel. Also a very flavorful beer to brew.
Hop of the Year – Nelson Sauvin
This versatile hop grown in New Zealand works perfect for bittering, flavor, and aroma. Notes of white wine grapes, crushed gooseberries, tropical fruit, and peppery spice emerge in beers brewed with this hop. Craft breweries embraced the hop in 2013, and released some great beers during the year featuring its use, including Prairie Merica Saison, Drake’s Aroma Prieta IPA, Hopworks Tiger Tonic Wit, and Alpine Beer Company Nelson.
Whiskey and Spirit Awards
Irish Whiskey of the Year – Redbreast 12 Year Old Irish Whiskey
A premium single pot distilled Irish Whiskey from Old Midleton Distillery. Smooth and flavorful with notes of vanilla, honey, and toasted oak.
Bourbon of the Year – Four Roses Single Barrel
Distilled at 100 Proof in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky. Four Roses Single Barrel is exceptionally smooth with flavors of ripe plum, cherries, spice, and wood, with a long and lasting finish.
Rye Whiskey of the Year – WhistlePig Straight Rye Whiskey
Distilled and hand bottled at a small farm in Shoreham, Vermont, this rye whiskey offers complex flavors of orange, honey, caramel, spice, and oak.
Craft-Distilled Gin of the Year – Ransom Spirits Old Tom Gin
Distilled in Sheridan, Oregon from a base of malted barley and corn, then infused with juniper berries, citrus peel, coriander, and other botanicals. Aging is done for 6 months in French oak wine barrels.
Craft-Distilled Vodka of the Year – Volstead Vodka
From House Spirits in Portland, Oregon, this grain based vodka is made with pure Cascade mountain water and filtered through charred coconut husks. Smooth and creamy with some light peppery spice.
People’s Choice Cocktail Spirit of the Year – Sweet Tea Vodka
Cocktail recipes using sweet tea vodka were the most visited spirit recipes on the site during 2013. Versatile and refreshing, sweet tea vodka has become a very popular spirit in cocktails.