Your favorite top three craft beers from 2011.Trying to keep it short !

For me,

  1. The November release from KRBC, Citra, amazing complexity and the most insane nose of any beer I had this year. By far the best DIPA I had in 2011.
  2. Alpine Beer Co. Nelson. Nelson Sauvin hops are amazing, like sipping a glass of world class Sauv-Blanc. Stunning beer.
  3. Fresh Port Brewing Co Mongo. When its super fresh there is nothing than can compete with the tangerine, mango and tropical fruit this bad boy delivers, even at 8.5 abv this drinks like a session beer.


  1. Hands down the best beer I’ve ever had - Hoppin’ Frog Barrel Aged Naked Evil BBW Belgian-style Barley Wine-style Ale - a bit pricey at $20 per but absolutely worth it. I’ve never had a beer with so much complexity to it.

  2. Bell’s Hop Slam - Huge hop nose but extremely balanced. Looking forward to the next release in February.

3)Three Floyds just came back to Ohio this year so I’ve been tasting through their beers and most of them have been really solid.

Hop Slam is on my must have list this year!

Port Mongo
Flying Dog Raging Bitch
Belhaven Best ( I know not a craft beer but while in Scotland and on draft…)

Being an IPA freak … I Hardcore U is the best IPA I’ve ever had the pleasure of tasting.

  • Mikeller Brewdog I Hardcore U
  • Ninkasi Maiden the Shade
  • Firestone Walker Double Jack

Just checked untappd – here’s my top 3 by checkins.

  • Ninkasi Total Domination
  • Double Mountain Hop Lava
  • Walking Man Knuckle Dragger

In no particular order:

Tyranena Hop Whore (from tap)
Great Divide Bourbon Barrel Oak Aged Yeti (sitting in bottle for about a year)
Sun King Java Mac (Scottish Ale infused with roasted coffee beans. Won a Gold at 2011 GABF)

First batch is allegedly hitting my local shop tomorrow…can’t wait!

Weyerbacher 2011 Riserva
New Glarus 2010 R & D Gueuze
De Dolle 2004 Oerbier Riserva

1, Pliny on tap at the brewery and in growler
2, Headytopper
3, Lauginitas sucks Holiday ale

Hops anyone?

I am envious, doubt we will see much out here.


Fresh Pliny is sooo good, especially on tap, Beechwood has it often. Yesterday, I was in Bristol Farms picking up some ground chuck for the grill and decided to check their inventory. There was a lone bottle of Pliny, I checked the bottle date and it was 12/29/11 Sweet, fresh Pliny, as I put it in my basket the beer clerk asked me if I wanted more,he thought he had some more in the back, out he comes with 2 more fresh bottles, said here you can have all I have, $ 4.99 a bottle, so unexpected.


Leaving my beers out of it:

  1. Unpasteurized/unfiltered Pilsener Urquell - brewed in open-topped oak fermenters, aged in pitch-lined 100HL casks, and served out of the cask in the caves under the Brewery. Pilsener the way it tasted 100 years ago - delicious.

  2. Klosterbrau Bamberg Schwarzla - The perfect Schwarzbier. Malty, roasty, dark chocolate, a hint of espresso, smooth, and perfectly balanced. I’m not usually big black beer fan, but this was incredible.

  3. Southern Oregon Pin-up Porter - Too many U.S. porters get their color from chocolate or black patent malt. This uses a good lashing to British Amber and Brown malt to achieve the proper color without the burnt/roasted notes that shouldn’t be there.

Cheers to Pliny, but:

  1. Blind Pig IPA (on tap at RR)
  2. Pliny the Elder (on tap at RR)
  3. Port Mongo (on tap, Maloney’s Pub in NJ)

Port Brewing - Mongo
Jolly Pumpkin - Noel de Calabaza
Mikkeller/Brewdog - I Hardcore You

That list could easily change if you were to ask me the same question thirty minutes from now.

In fact, it’s been 20 seconds since I wrote that last sentence, and I’m already wondering which one I would cut in favor of Goose Island’s BCS … pileon

According to Untappd I have quite a few of 5 Star ratings, so I’ll go off memory and say:

Allagash Brewing Company Curieux (Allagash Tripel Ale aged in Jim Beam barrels for 8 weeks) OMG!

Kelso of Brooklyn Recessionator barrel aged Bock - Amazing

Lagunitas Brewing Company Wilco Tango Foxtrot (WTF) - No words necessary…best bang for the buck in the US.

BTW, any thoughts to separating US brews from European ones? [dontknow.gif]

Yeah, that’s a stunner, isn’t it!?! I’d really like to see one of those with 5+ yrs on it.

BTW, any thoughts to separating US brews from European ones?

[thumbs-up.gif] … then our lists can double! [grin.gif]

OK, I’ll break mine apart so I can add a few that I later remembered.

Unfilter/Unpasteurized Pilsner Urquell
Klosterbrau Bamberg Schwarzla
Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier (at the Brewery)

2007 Deschutes Abyss
Logsden Seizoen Bretta
Southern Oregon Pin-up Porter

Fresh Mongo in my top three as well, Quinns in the Shore has is it often on tap. Not the same beer fresh vs bottled and Most Mongo in stores now is from the August bottling.


Schlernkerla absolutely blew my mind, best beer and food experience of a 10 day trip to Germany back in March. Slow cooked boar with spaetzle and blaukraut with a fresh pour of Rauchbier, absolutely heaven. Bamberg is such a beautiful town.

Goose island BCS rare


Three Floyd’s zombie dust on tap