You wouldn’t think the craft beer biz is slowing down one bit by the number of new releases we receive at the ACB compound every week…And here are some beers we thought worthy along with some that we just didn’t love.
Firestone Walker Nitro Merlin (Paso Robles, CA) – First introduced as a draft-only release almost two years ago, Firestone Walker has finally developed a way to bring their insanely delicious nitro-laced milk stout to cans without relying on a Guinness-like widget. The brewery’s first canned nitro beer ever, Firestone Merlin Milk Stout cans come with a “Master the Surge Pour” instructional graphic to help you deliver a perfect pour.
Samuel Adams Sam ‘76 (Boston, MA) – In January Samuel Adams launched a new hybrid that’s a unique union of lager and ale. Born in Samuel Adams’ experimental nano brewery in Boston, Sam ’76 is the 4.7% ABV end product of two active fermentations – a base lager and a base ale – each with their own respective yeast strains. Maybe not a slam dunk…but definitely something you want to try at least once.
Sweetwater Hatchery Series #5 NE Style IPA (Atlanta, Ga) – The haze craze has swept the nation and it seems like every brewery feels obligated to brew their own version of these cloudy IPAs…SweetWater Brewing has a new Hatchery Series release out this month that takes on this buzz-worthy style and delivers a very decent a 7.5% ABV New England-style India Pale Ale with a restrained bitterness and a juicy, unfiltered mouthfeel.
Lagunitas Willettized Coffee Stout (Petaluma, CA) – Barrel aged beers can be a roll of the dice. Many of them wear their flavors like a badge to the detriment of the original ale and many just end up being too sweet. So maybe it was Lagunitas’ use of rye barrels in this year’s aging process that made 2018’s 11.9% ABV Coffee Stout so much more appealing…But whatever the reason, this one’s worth chasing down.
Sierra Nevada Hop Bullet Double IPA (Chico, CA / Mills River, NC) – Sierra Nevada is one of our favorite breweries and they get so much right that we’re seldom not on board. And to be fair we’re kinda over Double IPAs right now… so maybe we should return to their new 8% ABV hop-fueled spring seasonal when things warm up. Big? Yes. Hoppy? Def…Distinctive? Not so much.