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Critic's List: Alex Kidd’s Best in 2021

The driving force behind and the Malt Couture podcast shares his favorite beers of the year and unique views on current trends.

Alex Kidd Dec 4, 2021 - 7 min read

Critic's List: Alex Kidd’s Best in 2021 Primary Image

Top 10 Beers of the Year

Pulpit Rock Forelsket (Decorah, Iowa) Iowa did not disappoint with this decadent almond-cookie endeavor. It was a trip down the bakery aisle—dripping with macaroon, Girl Scout Samoas, shortbread, and a hint of heat from the barrel to scorch the snickerdoodle dough. Somehow, through incredible excess, balance is achieved.

Firestone Walker Dreamwood (Paso Robles, California) Firestone Walker gets back to its roots with a “Parabola County Rare” of sorts—an adjunct-free stout aged in Pappy Van Winkle 15-Year barrels, then racked into Pappy Van Winkle 23-Year barrels. It has phenomenal body and balance, crushing depth in the oak-wood profile, a luxurious chocolate-ganache leather interior, and a long, hot sustain like a cinnamon note from a Telecaster. 

McIlhenney Muntz (Alpine, California) The OG Alpine legend returns, with the McIlhenney team back at the helm brewing in the original space. This is a nod to the Alpine Nelson of its halcyon days, and it is every bit as good—West Coast IPA underpinnings with a light creaminess, Nelson Sauvin hops bursting with honeydew, fescue, tangelo, and raked underbrush. This beer singlehandedly undid all the damage that Green Flash wrought.

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