From: Justin Gural
February 16, 2010
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One of the most comprehensive beer lists you ll likely ever drool over was featured in DRAFT magazine's January/February issue. Here are the top five, and feel free peruse the rest of the pack after the jump. If you're not thirsty now, you will be.
This beer remains king of its kind with back-to-back GABF gold medals in 2008 and 2009. There s some stiff competition in the American IPA category, the largest ever with 134 entries this year, but this brew continually proves to be truly exceptional, oozing an inspiring piney, citrusy, and floral hop profile.
Sierra Nevada made beer history this year when it crafted a large-scale-production brew using barley and hops grown right on the brewery s premise. Sure, it s a provocative story, but the beer simply blew us away: Estate s a swallow to behold with snappy hop character, lasting bitterness, and a light, fruity finish.
This Westchester, N.Y. brewery has turned heads the last few years with its lineup of intriguing sour beers; today, its Cuvee de Castleton is one of the finest on the market. Light, bubbly, and tart, the award-winning brew gets its spunk from wild yeast and Muscat grapes, and subtle oak notes from French wine barrels.
One of just a few carryovers from last year s list, this beer continues to be the one every beer drinker should stock in their fridge. The multi-award winning Kiwanda is light-bodied with gently toasted grains and an incredibly bright finish. Moderately bitter and perfectly balanced, there s not a more refreshing beer in America today.
Take three rock star brewers, add 1,000 pounds of coconut, 3,000 pounds of macadamia nuts, and 200 pounds of Kona coffee, and you ve got a recipe for utter awesomeness. As part of Stone s collaboration series, homebrewer Ken Schmidt, Maui Brewing s Garret Morrero, and Stone s Mitch Steele tapped Schmidt s award-winning porter homebrew recipe, filled it with fresh ingredients and aloha spirit to craft this swoon-inducing brew. A full coffee flavor s rounded out by beautiful coconut and macadamia swaths, creating a cohesive swallow; alcohol warms the chest, just like a good cup o joe.
By DRAFT Magazine