As per Tiffany’s suggestion I’ll do a list of my favorite beers of the year. Clearly this is going to be limited by what I’ve tried and my lack of brewing knowledge. Next year I promise to do better since I’m going to use craft brewers as my PhD pitch (holla!).

Beers I loved in 2012

1. Narwhal – Sierra Nevada

An imperial stout, so not for the faint of heart. I love the chocolate-y texture and taste that completely washes over me when I drink this. Unlike other stouts, this doesn’t leave as much of a bitter/acidic taste afterwards. I think this is available at Whole Foods, so if you get your hands on it try it as a float because I can imagine it would be perfection.

2. Ovila Dubbel Wine Barrel Aged – Sierra Nevada (partnership with Abbey of the New Clairvoux)

They aged the Ovila Dubbel in red wine barrels and the taste that comes out of that pairing is heaven in your mouth. A monstrous red wine infused dubbel that comes out so smooth. When I went on the tour they said you could only get it at Sierra Nevada (hence why it’s hard to find info on it), but if I had more sense I would have bought up as much as I could carry. It’s a different taste, but it’s fabulous. Also have brandy barrel aged, but this was my favorite.

3. IPA – Brains (Cardiff)

Unfortunately you can only really get this is select places in Wales. It was a fantastic IPA and I have to say I think it trumped the Sierra Nevada IPA in my book. Same flavors, but somewhat lighter and doesn’t leave as much of a hoppy aftertaste.

4. Ovila Golden Style Ale – Sierra Nevada (partnership with Abbey of the New Clairvoux)

I’m super biased toward this partnership (as you can see), but I’ve been religiously seeking out the Ovila brews and this is my favorite ale. Golden indeed, kind of reminded me of ciders in the crisp, fruity nature of it. Found at Whole Foods.

5. Ruthless – Sierra Nevada

Definitely not for people who can’t stand anything even slightly bitter. Rich rye flavor and amazing design. My first Sierra Nevada hoodie is the Ruthless label. (Also pairs well with Game of Thrones) (I went there)

Honorable Mentions

London Porter – Fullers – Another one you can only get in a certain part of the world, but considering I’m NOT a fan of porters this goes a long way in even getting mentioned.

Stella Artois – Because it was the only beer I could tempt my grandma to order in Belgium besides Heineken.