Goddamn do I love me a good list! And since it is List Season, here are my top ten beers of 2014. Half of them are from Ohio (apologies non-Ohioans, you should wish you were here.) This is a list of beers that I found myself picking up again and again or beers that make me drool a little bit when I think of them.
10. Great Lakes’ Chillwave. This summer seasonal from Great Lakes Brewing actually made the list last year under the name Alchemy Hour. They changed the name after a copyright issue with another brewery, but the recipe for this strong but mellow double IPA remained the same. It is singularly responsible for me making it through every day in the summer, counting the minutes till I could sit on my porch with one of these.
9. Lagunitas’ Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale. Another beer I crave come 5:30, and also one I’m uncomfortable ordering at bars, for obvious reasons. This was my year-round go-to of 2014. It is pale-ish, but Lagunitas refrains from categorization, so it is what it is. Bright and smart and irresistible. If you ever wanted to make a Llalan trap, bait it with this.
8. Southern Star’s Buried Hatchet Stout. I wouldn’t have guessed a stout this hearty would come out of Texas, being so warm and all. But everything is big in Texas and so is this beer. I recently ordered one during a meeting (what, your meetings don’t happen in bars?) and had to admit to everyone that it was more beer than I had signed up for; I sat there for quite a while after everyone else had left, collecting myself.
7. Thirsty Dog’s Siberian Night. Same bar, different beer. Thirsty Dog’s imperial stout kept me warm many a night last winter. One of my favorite parts of the season is sitting in the window of Martini’s on Main, sipping this black warmth, watching bundled people hurry by. Continue reading