Great Craft Beers Released in 2013
2013 was another great year for craft beer enthusiasts. New breweries and beer releases were announced every month, with exciting beer styles and flavors. There were way to many great beer releases to fit into this article without making it a novel, so we’ll instead focus on ten of our favorites.
Prairie Artisan Ales stormed into the Oklahoma craft beer scene and quickly grew a national fan base with their unique sour and wood-aged beers, along with other special offerings. We thoroughly enjoyed their Prairie Bomb, an intense Imperial Stout aged on coffee beans, cacao nibs, vanilla beans, and chili peppers. Dark, smooth, and flavorful, this beer quickly became one of our favorite evening sipping beers as cool weather arrived.
Jester King, out of Austin, Texas released their first fruit flavored, barrel-aged sour beer, a raspberry sour with intense fresh berry and refined sour flavors, named Atrial Rubicite. The beer was aged in oak casks with wild Texas Hill Country yeast and souring Lacto cultures. Distribution was very limited and the beer sold out very quickly.
Gulden Draak Brewmaster’s Reserve, an incredible Belgian Strong Ale age in whiskey barrels, with an ABV of 10.5%. Smooth, creamy, and flavorful, with bold notes of stone fruit, spicy Belgian yeast, and wood. The beer arrived just in time for the holiday season.
Cigar City, one of the nations top craft breweries, released Life is Like, a Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Chocolate Cherry Stout. The beer was a one-time collaboration with Mikkeller, with intense flavors of dark fruit, oak, milk chocolate, and bourbon.
Westbrook Brewing, out of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina had several exception beer releases in 2013. The one which stood out to us was Mexican Cake, an Imperial Stout flavored with cocoa, vanilla, cinnamon, and habanero peppers. Extremely rich and flavorful with a touch of chili heat in the finish. The beer had several releases with aging in unique wooden casks.
Victory Brewing’s DirtWolf Double IPA totally nailed the style. Brewed with whole flower Citra, Chinook, Simcoe, and Mosiac hops, it offered a perfect balance of intense hop flavor and bitterness.
It’s hard to compete with a refreshing Berliner Weisse in the summer heat, and Breakside Brewery one-upped the style by brewing a Passionfruit Sour. Fruity, refreshing, and sour, this beer was one of our favorite Summer 2013 craft beer releases.
Smoke and beer make a perfect match, and Blind Bat’s Vlad the Inhaler perfected the pair in their old-world version of a Polish Oak-Smoked Grodziskie/German Gratzer. Craft brewed with 99% house oak-smoked wheat malt on Long Island, NY.
Jack’s Abby, which specializes in craft brewed lagers, releases Sour Time Lager in July, a Wine Barrel-Aged Spiced Sour Wheat Lager. This unique beer was flavored with lemongrass, coriander, chamomile, and orange peel, the aged in oak wine barrels with Brett yeast and souring lacto cultures.
Night Shift Brewing, out of Everett, MA released Wild Queen, a Barrel-Aged Wild Saison, brewed with a portion of rye malt and aged in oak barrels with raspberries. Earthy, tart, spicy, and dry, the beer was full of flavor.
Just a small sample of some of the great craft beers releases in 2013. Looking forward to even more new and exciting beer releases in 2014.