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  Country: Belgium  
  Style: Saison  

Fantome Saison
Soy, Wallonia, Belgium

Brasserie Fantome is a small brewery located in an area of farmland noted for their classic saison style of farmhouse ales– of which Fantome produces several versions. Fantome Saison is bright and golden in color with waves of citric acidity and fruit character. Hints of oranges, peaches and strawberries cruise around this 8% ABV effervescent ale. The definite musty quality caused by the Brettanomyces yeast highlights the fruit flavors that stand out on the palate. A constant trading of leather and hay for orange and apple plays over the tongue. Fantome Saison is a complex and immensely fruity take on the saison style.

Fantome Saison

 

  Country: United States  
  Style: IPA  

Firestone Walker Double Jack
Paso Robles, California

Master brewers at Firestone Walker Brewing Company first attempted to brew an Imperial IPA and came out with this winner of multiple beer awards. Double Jack is part of the Proprietor’s Reserves Series. Amber or copper in color and resting at a 9.5% ABV. The Double Jack has a long, malty finish with tons of pineapple and pinecone up front. Typical California IPA citrus flavors sprinkle through the malty cream base— making this ale a real creamsicle. The malty middle aptly hides the alcohol and the bitterness. Firestone Walker accurately describes the beer as “Huge tangerine, grapefruit and juicy fruit aroma blossom over the herbal blue basil and malt earthiness of this aggressive beer.”

Firestone Walker Double Jack

 

  Country: United States  
  Style: Imperial Stout  

Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout
Grand Rapids, Michigan

The CBS is a new addition to the Founders Brewing Backstage Series. A combination of fine, imported chocolates and coffees formulate this richly flavored Imperial Stout. Aged in bourbon barrels that have most recently contained pure Michigan maple syrup. CBS is extremely smooth, inordinately sweet and exceptionally rich. The body is as thick as a milkshake and just as creamy. The molasses-like quality of the maple honey flavor interplays nicely with the bitter chocolate. An ample bite of bitterness comes in on the end, providing the perfect accompaniment to a fine cigar.

Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout

 

  Country: Germany  
  Style: Wheat - Witbier  

Fritz Briem 1809 Berliner-Weisse
Gräfelfing, Germany

Fritz Briem is a professor at the Doemens Institute, an internationally operating education and consulting enterprise for the brewing, beverage and food industries. Briem worked hand-in-hand with Weihenstephan, the acclaimed Brewery and Brewing Institute, to re-create a recipe dated back to Napoleon’s invasion of Berlin in 1809. The 1809 Berliner-Weisse replicates a style originating in Berlin that was called the “Champagne of the North” by the invading force. The style is very low in alcohol, with a pronounced, fizzy head and lactic tartness. A lemon-like tang and aromas of bubble gum and apples fly over this tart, bubbly ale. 1809 is unfiltered, unpasteurized and fermented in traditional open fermenters and horizontal lager tanks. 50% of the mash is wheat malt. The wort is placed in the fermenters and pitched with yeast and lactic acid bacteria at 64° F.

Fritz Briem 1809 Berliner-Weisse

 

  Country: United States  
  Style: Lager  

Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold
Cleveland, Ohio

The Dortmunder style of lagers are usually modeled after pilsners, but a little darker in color, a bit more pronounced on the sulphurous taste, and a somewhat sharper hop bite. It has a very distinct, soft, rounded character. The Great Lakes Brewing Company's Dortmunder Gold is a smooth lager with a delicate balance between sweet malts and dry hoppy, floral flavors, and a grainy finish. At 30 IBUs, look for a subtle hop kick. Winner of the Gold Medal in the World Beer Championships every year from 1994 to 2011.

Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold

 

  Country: United States  
  Style: Traditional Ale  

Hair of the Dog Adam
Portland, Oregon

Hair of the Dog Brewing Company is a small brewing outfit producing unusual beers using traditional craft brewing techniques. The Adam is the brewery’s first beer. It is a re-creation of an “Adambier”, a style of altbier brewed in Dusseldorf which uses top-fermenting ale yeast. The Adam is much like stock ale—, very malty and extremely high in alcohol— great for aging in the cellar. Made with northwest hop varieties, organic pilsner malt, and a collection of specialty grains. A very thick brown, almost black color with an off-white head. Aromas of leather and chocolate abound. The flavor is of the dark fruit variety— figs, black cherries, and raisins. Slight smoke lingers on the back end. Adam is sweet and warm with its 10% ABV.

Hair of the Dog Adam

 

  Country: United States  
  Style: Porter  

Hill Farmstead Twilight of the Idols
Greensboro, Vermont

A unique American porter from the Hill Farmstead Brewery. This ale is a collaboration with Grassroots Brewing in Fano, Denmark, where Shaun Hill, owner and brewmaster of Hill Farmstead served a stint as head brewer at both Fano Bryghus and Norrebro Bryghus. Twilight of the Idols is a “Winter Porter”, with cinnamon spicing added, as well as vanilla beans, chocolate and coffee beans. The beer is dark brown in color with a nut brown colored head. Vanilla and coffee are dominant, bringing about a subtle French vanilla aroma, while the spice enhances the holiday-themed pick me-up.

Hill Farmstead Twilight of the Idols

 

  Country: United States  
  Style: Wheat - Witbier  

Jolly Pumpkin Calabaza Blanca
Dexter, Michigan

Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales produces sour versions of many typical beer styles. Calabaza Blanca is a bottle conditioned, sour, wheat ale, spiced with orange peel and coriander. Brewed in the biere blanche tradition of Belgium, with a sour twist. Rather acidicly pungent, the hazy yellow, pale colored ale has a huge white head and sour flavors over a relatively smooth malt back. Evident is a funky taste of apples, bubble gum from the wheat and an ever-present sour linger.

Jolly Pumpkin Calabaza Blanca

 

  Country: United States  
  Style: IPA  

Kern River Citra DIPA
Kernville, California

In the southern region of California’s Sierra Nevada mountain range is the small town of Kernville, where a small brewpub produces tasty IPAs that only recently became available in bottles. The Citra DIPA is a hazy, pale colored masterpiece of hops and malt balance. The key ingredient is the Citra hops from the Yakima Valley in Washington State. Juicy fruit sweetness presides over a ton of earthy pinecone flavors, with an aroma redolent of mangoes and ripe fruit. If it were possible to squeeze a pinecone into a glass, this may be what it would taste like. Caramel malts give this ale its chewy and thick body. DIPA has a bitterness reading of 75 IBUs and an 8% ABV. Kern River DIPA took home a Gold Medal in 2011 at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Colorado. One of the best Imperial IPAs in the U.S.

Kern River Citra DIPA

 

  Country: United States  
  Style: Pilsener  

Lagunitas Czech Pils
Petaluma, California

About half an hour to the north of San Francisco, Lagunitas Brewing Company produces mostly hoppy, West Coast ales that do not compromise flavor and bitter bite. However, their spin off on a Bohemian Pilsner is rather spot on. A pure golden color with a creamy off-white head exudes aromas of grains, bread and floral bouquets. The first sip is slightly spicy and crisp with a sweet malty finish reminiscent of a warm loaf of bread. The bottom-fermented yeast that survives at low temperatures leaves this beer at 6.2% ABV. This higher alcohol is a deviation from Czech beer traditions and is common among American craft brewers who usually create much stronger takes on the Pilsner style.

Lagunitas Czech Pils

 

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