Roundtable Discussion | This Year’s Memorable Beers
2014 was a year of good beers, but sometimes we have favorites that weren’t necessarily released this past year. We asked the PorchDrinking staff to name their most memorable beers. Little did we know, we’d get such a variety from all over the world!
Vanilla Double Cream Ale from Horse and Dragon. I drank it over conversation and laughter, catching up with my Beer Bettys and Fort Collins industry friends just before Thanksgiving. I just felt so content in that moment. Great beer is nothing without great people.
For me, it was a local Cleveland beer but it was righteous (and most likely, you’ll be able to find something very similar in your neck of the woods, and hopefully it’ll be just as great). Rising Star Stout from Bottle House Brewery. Using real coffee beans in the brewing process (from Rising Star, hence the name), this makes for such a rich but satisfying beer for the winter months! Tastes like I’m having coffee but in beer form. For me, total bliss. I had it on nitro a few months ago, and I was in heaven.
J.A.C.K. — a brew we had in Sweden with the Brooklyn collaboration. And it is only available there.
Everything from Brasserie Saint James, 2005 Double Bastard from Stone at Denver Rare Beer was ridiculously delicious but my far and away favorite would have to be Red Comet from Great Divide. Served up at their 20th Anniversary party under a blanket of thunderstorms. Maybe it was the moment, or maybe it was drinking the coveted sour after Chelsea M ran and brought back samples to us as we huddled under the only awning in what seemed like miles. This sour red/brown, unctuous ale flowed over the palate like a rapid over a rock in the river. Sweet, tanic, tart and full of body. I am thirsty now.
Ommegang’s Wild at Heart. I had read an interview with Alicia Moore (aka P!nk) about her new project and they mentioned some atrocious pineapple beer. I was going to make it my mission to find it but Wild at Heart was the first attempt and it was so good I stopped to keep pineapple in my good graces. Also, it’s the first(and only) beer I’ve had that mentions passion fruit as a tasting note where I could distinctly taste the passionfruit.
I agree with Cory on Brasserie Saint James. Although everything was good (even the Rauchbier that’s my least favorite style) but their plum lambic was the best. I also got to try Cantallion’s Fou Foune, which was amazing. Also, I got to try Firestone Walker’s latest Anniversary beer poured by David Walker. Getting to talk to him and so many other craft beer heroes has been an incredible experience.
That plum lambic was ridiculous.
And their 100% Brett beer. And everything else they did. It was seriously ridiculous.
Danny – I love Ommegang’s farmhouse saison, Hennepin. Yum!
My favorite beer of the year was Coolship Red by Allagash. I visited the brewery in Maine with my boyfriend’s family and we got the ultimate tour from Rachel, one of the brewery employees. She showed us the ins and outs of the whole operation and at the end, she cracked open a bottle of Coolship Red – a wild fermented ale aged on raspberries for 6 months and then barrel aged for another 2 years. It was perfection. You’ll hear more about this story soon in my brewery showcase….keep your eyes peeled!