Little Brother Local 947
An enticing nose fully melds mellow caramel with classy herbal hops, while the sip avoids overt fruit in an old-fashioned way that feels fresh and new, dialing up the bitter edges for interest and drying out nicely in the finish.
ABV: 5% IBUs: 40 Loc: Greensboro, North Carolina
Montauk Arrowhead Red
Another commendable take in classical form, combining caramel-toffee malts with Noble, herbal-tobacco hops and polishing them into a crisp, clean, lager-like frame—assertive yet highly drinkable.
ABV: 5% IBUs: 23 Loc: Montauk, New York
MadTree Happy Amber
This West Coast–style amber from Ohio manages great drinkability for its strength, loading up on toasted-bread malt and orange-marmalade hops without ever getting too heavy or verging into austere IPA territory. Big flavors, wonderful balance.
ABV: 6% IBUs: 30 Loc: Cincinnati
Lawson’s Mad River Maple
This big, ruddy ale borrows a trick from breakfast stout’s adjunct game, as a malt-forward amber proves to be the perfect canvas for maple syrup—indulgent and comforting yet relatively dry, offering a hint of the familiar.
ABV: 8% IBUs: N/A Loc: Waitsfield, Vermont
Port Brewing Shark Attack
This West Coast double red is a resilient blast from a past decade, delivering big citrus-hop flavors rounded by rich crystal malt and fruit-forward esters—all balanced by formidable bitterness and a drying finish to drink well below its strength.
ABV: 9% IBUs: 70 Loc: San Marcos, California