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The Best 20 Beers in 2021

Amid the ups and downs and gradual, stutter-step return to social life, we experienced some transcendent beers—beers that shone, beers that enlightened, beers that made us stop and remember what it’s all about. Here are the pinnacles of the craft.

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Recipe: Burke-Gilman The Hopsplainer

Courtesy of the brewing team at Burke-Gilman in Seattle, here is a homebrew-scale recipe for the double hazy IPA that won GABF gold in 2020.

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Recipe: Rip Current Hop Wine Quadruple IPA

Pushing IPA to its furthest physical limits requires close attention to fermentation and a lot of—well, a lot of everything. Thanks go to Paul Sangster and Rip Current Brewing for this unusual recipe.

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Recipe: pFriem Kölsch-Style Ale

Courtesy of Josh Pfriem, cofounder and brewmaster of pFriem Family Brewers, here is a homebrew-scale version of the beer that won gold at the 2020 Great American Beer Festival.

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Recipe: Antidoot Myrica Gale Ale

Tom and Wim Jacobs of Antidoot Wilde Fermenten in Kortenaken, Belgium, share this elegant homebrew recipe based on their early experiments with mixed fermentation and brewing with bog myrtle.

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Recipe: New Image Pure Isolate Double IPA

Courtesy of New Image founder Brandon Capps, here is a homebrew-scale recipe for Pure Isolate, a hazy double IPA that makes use of liquid hop terpenes.

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Recipe: PINTA Imperator Bałtycki Dry-Hopped

From Browar PINTA in Wieprz, Poland, this rich, big-bodied Baltic porter gets a long boil and tropical accents from dry hopping with Sabro and Strata.

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Recipe: Burial Our Hearts of Ruin

North Carolina’s Burial Beer calls this recipe a “mash-up of delightful keller-pils with dank West Coast IPA.”

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Recipe: Counter Weight Fest Bier

Following the golden path of modern festbier, this homebrew-scale recipe is closely based on Counter Weight’s GABF gold medal winner.

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Recipe: Wolf’s Ridge Clear Sky & Daybreak

Here is a homebrew-scale recipe for Wolf’s Ridge Brewing’s foundational cream ale—Clear Sky—plus directions on how to take it further, to brew a beer inspired by their award-winning coffee vanilla cream ale, Daybreak.