Happy National Drink Beer Day! Thursday, September 28, 2017, gives us a chance to toast to our favorite beverage (as if we needed a reason). There is a slew of beer holidays during the year, and we at Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine like to celebrate every single one.
Whether you’re at work thinking about happy hour, at home brewing, or just looking for a reason to open a can or bottle, celebrate the day with one of these amazing beers– some of our favorites from each state. Though there are tons we could mention, we think these are perfect and available for a mid-week drink with friends.
Good People Brewing Company– IPA
The Heart of Dixie’s beer scene is better than you think. If you’re in the area for Drink Beer Day, try this unfiltered, dry-hopped IPA from Good People Brewing Company in Birmingham, or El Gordo, their extremely flavorful and full-bodied Russian imperial stout.
Alaskan Brewing Company– Alaskan Smoked Porter
As fall rolls in around the United States and temperature drop, warm up with this award-winning 6.5% porter with just the right amount of peaty smoke and chocolate notes.
Arizona Wilderness Brewing Company– Refuge IPA
As West Coast of an IPA as any. If you haven’t heard about these guys, check out our Breakout Brewer article from October 2016. These foragers love working with local ingredients, and their prowess is showcased in beers like Headin’ West, made with locally-sourced wheat and juniper berries.
Ozark Brewing Company– American Pale Ale
A sessionable American pale ale brewed with rye and produced year-round in Rogers, Arkansas. It may only be 4%, but this one packs a big hoppy bite.
Firestone Walker Brewing Company– DBA
The British pale ale and flagship beer that started everything for Firestone Walker back in 1996. It’s a 5% ABV California classic and a 5x GABF-medal winner.
New Belgium Brewing– Abbey
Colorado has a multitude of offerings that would satisfy any level of beer drinker, but we’d be remiss to leave New Belgium off this list. This 7% Belgian-style dubbel was one of the first beers ever brewed by New Belgium Brewing Company and is a fantastic representation of the style.
Two Roads Brewing Company– Two Juicy IPA
This New England-style DIPA brewed in Stratford, Connecticut, is about as juicy and hops-forward as it gets.
Dogfish Head Brewing Company– 90 minute IPA
How could we possibly mention Delaware without Dogfish Head? 90 minute IPA is one of the most historic and beloved Imperial IPAs in America with rich pine flavors, fruity citrus hop aromas, and a strong malt backbone.
District of Columbia:
Bluejacket– Mexican Radio Spiced Stout
We love Bluejacket’s IPAs, but this 7.4% spiced stout dusted with cinnamon spice, ancho chilies, and vanilla beans is perfect for September’s fall weather.
Cigar City Brewing Company– Jai Alai IPA
We could have picked any fantastic beer from Cigar City Brewing Company’s lineup– Good Gourd pumpkin ale, Marshal Zhukov’s imperial stout, or even Hunahpu– but why not mention the year-round gems they offer? This award-winning IPA is easy to find all over the state and a fantastic pick for Drink Beer Day.
Creature Comforts– Tropicalia IPA
A soft and balanced IPA from Athens, Georgia, that’s great for easy drinking and proof that hops don’t always equal bitterness (on the East coast anyway).
Maui Brewing Company– Mosaic Mo’ Betta
A seasonal DIPA from Maui Brewing Company with intense tropical and grapefruit notes that’ll have you feeling as though you’re on the island yourself. If you are on the island, this should be your go-to today.
Grand Teton Brewing Company– Teton Range IPA
We reviewed this 6.5% IPA recently for our August/September 2017 Annual IPA Issue, and it did not disappoint. You’ll taste the mango and papaya, but the surprising aspect was how pleasant the strawberry and blueberry notes were, too. This one was a hit.
Destihl Brewery– Dosvidanya Russian Imperial Stout
This boozy and full-bodied stout comes in at 12.5% so make sure to share this with friends. Dark chocolate, toffee, and black cherry flavors resonate, though it comes across the palate completely balanced.
Three Floyds Brewing Company– Zombie Dust
This will definitely get you in the Halloween mood. Our BJCP-judges rated this creative, dank, and resinous American Pale Ale a perfect 100 in our blind tasting.
Toppling Goliath– Pseudo Sue
A delicate pale ale with mild bitterness and intense aromas of citrus and mango. Toppling Goliath’s beers are feverishly chased all over the country no matter the style, and pseudo sue is no different.
Tallgrass Brewing Company- Buffalo Sweat
A creamy and sweet oatmeal stout with lingering flavors of chocolate chip cookies and espresso. And at 5%, it won’t have you regretting Drink Beer Day tomorrow morning.
Against the Grain Brewery– 35K Milk Stout
Don’t let their hilarious approach to marketing steer you away from how delicate and smooth their beers are. This 7% pitch-black milk stout brewed with milk sugar has just the right amount of cocoa flavors and coffee aromas.
Urban South Brewery– Holy Roller IPA
Urban South is on a mission to make New Orleans the southern capital of not just mixed drinks and bad decisions, but of beer, too. Hone of their best offerings is Holy Roller, a 6.3% bold IPA brewed with Citra and Mosaic hops.
Allagash– Coolship Resurgam
We were lucky enough to enjoy a lovely pairing dinner with this beer at our Brewers Retreat in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, thanks to Brewmaster Jason Perkins. The balance of sour and funk in this American wild ale is beautiful, and if you can get your hands on it, it’s unequivocally one of the most consistently great wild spontaneous beers brewed in America.
Flying Dog Brewery– Gonzo Imperial Porter
Brewed with respect for the infamous Hunter S. Thompson, Gonzo is a local (and national) favorite from Flying Dog Brewery with roasted chocolate, coffee, and vanilla malt flavors that balance its unique hop bite.
Cambridge Brewing Company– Flower Child IPA
A 6.5% classic IPA that blends pale and honey malts to balance the palate.
Bell’s Brewery Inc.– Two-Hearted IPA
It’s sitting on the top of almost everyone’s Best Beers list year after year. Two-Hearted IPA is a perfect vehicle for Centennial hops with notes of pine and grapefruit.
Surly Brewing Company– Hell
Not unlike a Zwickel Bier from Germany, Hell is unfiltered and fermented with lager yeast. American hops take a back seat to the Pils malt sweetness and fresh bread aroma. It’s dangerously drinkable
Lazy Magnolia– Southern Pecan Brown Ale
Lazy Magnolia is at the heart of the Mississippi beer scene. This award-winning brown ale is one of the first American beers brewed with whole pecans and is loved by people near and far from the brewery in Kiln, Mississippi.
Boulevard Brewing Company– Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale
Boulevard is known for making wonderful beers, and the magic that happened in Tank 7 when brewing this farmhouse ale is no different. Beginning with a big surge of fruity aromatics and grapefruit-hoppy notes, the flavor of this complex, straw-colored ale tapers off to a peppery, dry finish.
Uberbrew– Humulus Insani Imperial IPA
This floral GABF award-winning DIPA from Uberbrew in Billings, Montana, brewed with Chinook, Simcoe, and Citra is a local favorite. (Want the recipe? Get it here.)
Nebraska Brewing Company– Apricot Au Poivre Saison
One of the best saisons coming out of Nebraska, and a great interpretation of a Belgian-style saison. Brewed with apricot puree and black pepper before being aged 6 months in French oak chardonnay barrels.
Joseph James Brewing Company– Citra Rye Pale Ale
GABF award-winning 5% pale ale brewed with rye malt and Citra hops. The nose is tropical but it’s spicy on the palate– perfect for a fall day.
Smuttynose Brewing Company– Robust Porter
A hearty and extremely well-balanced porter with notes of coffee and chocolate.
Kane Brewing Company– Morning Bell
This once-a-year release is a porter made with locally-sourced coffee. It’s a local favorite every year, with mild bitterness, medium body, and dark, rich cocoa flavors.
La Cumbre– Elevated IPA
No Best Beer list would be complete without this classic award-winning IPA from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Orange and pine carry over from the aroma and saturate the flavor profile. How did our BJCP judges rate it? An impressive 96!
Brooklyn Brewery– Brooklyn Lager
A caramel-forward Vienna lager with dry-hopped aroma. The malt lends welcomed additional sweetness, and it’s a great representation of the style.
Burial Beer Company– Billows Kolsch
Burial Beer Co. is becoming a major destination a must-see in North Carolina’s craft beer-soaked neighborhood of Asheville. This Kolsch, one of our favorite beers of the year, is brewed with pilsner and flaked wheat and dry-hopped with an abundance of Mandarina Bavaria and Centennial.
Fargo Brewing Company– Stone’s Throw Scottish Ale
A nutty ale with slight coffee and chocolate undertones and a local favorite for NoDaks.
Fat Heads Brewery– Head Hunter IPA
This 5x award-winning beer has everything you’d want in a West coast IPA. It’s aggressive– in a good way– with clean, piney and citrus hops flavors and a memorable, bitter, and hoppy finish.
Prairie Artisan Ales– Bomb!
Since their founding in 2012, Prairie has been known to make some the most flavorful and memorable stouts that people all over the country enjoy. Bomb! Is no different– an imperial stout aged on espresso beans, chocolate, vanilla beans, and ancho chili peppers.
Deschutes Brewery– Obsidian Stout
A beer aptly named after a nearby volcano, this pitch-black and robust stout boasts intense layers of espresso and chocolate with a fantastic toasty finish.
Tröegs Brewing– Nugget Nectar Amber Ale
Another excellent beer from Tröegs. This imperial amber ale is intensified with whole flower Nugget hop, resulting in a pleasant explosion of citrus, resin and pine.
Coastal Extreme Brewing Company– Newport Storm ‘16
The sweetest of the annual releases with chocolate, vanilla, cocoa nibs, and milk sugar. An insanely drinkable stout worthy of opening with friends.
Westbrook Brewing Company– Gose
Is it too late in the year for a gose? I hope not. Westbrook’s interpretation of this beer style gave goses new life in America and is commonly referred to as the benchmark for all others brewed in the country since.
Hydra Beer Company– Unholy-Vanilla Stout
Unholy was a great base beer, but this 6.66% ABV devilish stout with added vanilla is a favorite variant for Hydra’s loyal patrons.
Yazoo Brewing Company– Sue
As Yazoo puts it, the south is famous for smoking everything, so why not their beer, too? Sue is a big, rich, smoky malt bomb of a beer with mellow smokiness coming from barley malts smoked with cherry wood.
Live Oak Brewing Company– Hefeweizen
One of our Best of Beer 2016 Editor’s Picks, Live Oak’s Hefeweizen is brewed with equal parts wheat and barley malts and few hops. It also features a unique yeast strain that produces well-balanced notes of clove, banana, and vanilla.
Epic Brewing Company– Big Bad Baptist
A big and bad 11.8% whiskey barrel-aged stout with coffee and cacao nibs and one of our favorites from the Utah-based brewery.
The Alchemist Brewing Company– Heady Topper
A famous brew from a famous brewery–The Alchemist Brewing in Stowe, Vermont. This Imperial IPA sits atop many beer nerds’ Best Beers list year after year and is a staple in the Vermont beer scene. Drink all you can, Vermont, while craft-beer drinkers outside the state watch with envy.
Hardywood Park Craft Brewery– Singel
According to the craft community in Richmond, Virginia, Hardywood Park is known to be the heart of the emerging beer scene. Celebrate fall with this Belgian Single with tropical fruit esters that perfectly complement its spicy hop aromatics.
Fremont Brewing Company– Dark Star
At 8% ABV, this imperial oatmeal stout is one of the darkest, richest, and smoothest widely-produced stouts made by the famous Seattle, Washington, brewery.
Mountain State Brewing Company– Seneca Indian Pale Ale
You can find this popular IPA at both brewery locations and all around town. The hops bill includes Galena, Cascade, and Amarillo, and is tuned perfectly to provide the hops bitterness explosion that East coast IPA fans seek without a lingering bitter aftertaste.
New Glarus Brewing Company– Spotted Cow
You know you’re in Wisconsin when you see the spotted cow. New Glarus offers a long resume of fantastic sours, but this cream ale is worth trying, as well.
Melvin Brewing Company– 2x4 DIPA
From the fun and adventurous group at Melvin Brewing comes one of the most flavorful and consistent award-winning Double IPAs this side of the country. We’re with Melvin on this one when they say, “You’re crazy not to drink it.”
Have you brewed this recipe? What did you think?
If You Don’t Like IPAs, There’s a Reason Why. Here’s 10.
While I wouldn’t go so far as to say that everything you think you know about IPA is wrong, there’s a movement taking hold of the beer world that’s creating a whole host of new options for those who dislike the intense bitterness of old.