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Staff Picks for Best Beers of the Month | March 2023

What We're Drinking
Brandon Cohran

April showers bring—wait, what the hell? It’s April? As in basically summer? Sheesh! At least the beer festival and baseball seasons are here. We’re back to focus and highlight some of the best beers from across the country that staff has enjoyed over the last few weeks—and no, no April Fools’ jokes here. Regardless of your constant plans or practically full fridge, be sure to grab these beers if you’re out and about.


Older Books Barleywine | Bardic Brewing & Cider

A flight of four snifters from Bardic Brewing and Cider.
Photo credit: Justin Pennel.

Get ready to fasten your seatbelts because Older Books is a 20% barrel-aged barleywine. Yes, you read that correctly—20%! It’s incredibly difficult to make a beer at such a high ABV and have it be drinkable, but Bardic did more than just make Older Books drinkable. Somehow, its brewers found a way to make the beer smooth, approachable and darn neat easy drinking. Definitely a fun one to try!


Grade 10 West Coast IPA | Cannonball Creek Brewing Co.

A photo of beer in a stylized Pilsner glass, photographed from above with a half-inch head on a Cannonball Creek coaster. A menu is in the background.
Photo credit: Britt Antley

Cannonball Creek is no stranger to making world class West Coast IPAs, and Grade 10 might be one of its best yet. Absolutely bursting with bright strawberry and pineapple juice and a hint of bitterness to remind you what style you’re drinking, Cannonball Creek continues to innovate under the mainstream radar.


Velvet Anxiety Imperial Stout | Fifth Street Brewpub

A moody photo of a dark beer in an old fashioned glass on a wood tabletop.
Photo credit: David Nilsen

On a recent warm February evening, my wife and I sipped on this decadent but deliberate beer on the brewery’s patio while day turned to night. The 12% Imperial Stout spent nine months aging in Heaven Hill bourbon barrels before resting briefly on direct trade cacao nibs from Mesocacao. Velvet Anxiety is both indulgent and self-aware, offering flavors of dark chocolate-covered raisins balanced out by toasty oak, dry roast, subtle acidity, and a cushioned punch of booze, all wrapped in—forgive me—a velvety mouthfeel.


Coastal Ale | Anderson Valley Brewing Co.

Coastal Ale is a brand new beer from Anderson Valley Brewing Company that I was lucky enough to get a chance to try at the California Craft Beer Summit. At 4.5% ABV, it’s the perfect beer to welcome in spring and drink all summer. Hopped with Mosaic, Ekuanot and Citra, the beer is crisp, clean and bright. I can envision drinking it with a plate of fish tacos or a bowl of poke. Sale of this beer contributes 5% of profits to the Surfrider Foundation, a coastal conservation organization.


Pink Fly IPA | Hop Butcher For The World


Still Sickles | Halfway Crooks Beer

Halfway Crooks is known for its phenomenal Lagers—and rightfully so—but Still Sickles is an incredible reminder that they’re among the best beer makers in the state regardless of style. This purposefully still barrel-aged Stout tips the cap to European traditions and showcases the bourbon barrel due to the limited carbonation on the beer. The layers of complexity achieved on this beer is an instant memory that won’t fade anytime soon. Simply put: Wow, Halfway, just wow.

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