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Top 10 beers in the US press

The LA Times this week featured its favourites from the LA Beer Gala, while the Washington Post’s beer man revealed his favourite seasonal brew.

Although beer recommendations are not yet as popular as those for wine in the US, with the release of a number of autumnal beers, many writers have written about their favourites.

From Oktoberfest beers to seasonal fruity beers and warming autumn stouts the US beer writers have picked a range of beers, with many craft brewers featuring ahead of those considered more mainstream.

Click through the following pages to find out which beers have been recommended in the US press recently.

New Glarus Brewing Co Strawberry Rhubarb

Todd Haefer, aka the Beer Man picked this as his “beer of the week” in USA Today. He wrote: “The pairing of the two fruits in the new 4% abv offering satisfies the requirements of those who like sweet-sour beers. New Glarus uses the natural tartness of the rhubarb to temper the sweetness of the strawberries.”

He added: “The beer was amber with pink hints to it, and the head was a bit pinkish, dissipating fairly quickly. The aroma was nearly all fresh, ripe strawberries and some of the effervescence from the bubbly pour actually tickled my nose. The taste was ripe, juicy, sweet strawberries, with the rhubarb in the background, but still obvious. Behind these flavours is a slight malt presence telling you that yes, this is still a beer. The carbonation is slightly more than average and manages to be a bit fizzy, yet with a creamy body and dry finish.”

Shiner Oktoberfest Spoetzl Brewery

This beer was also highlighted by Haefer, who tried a selection of specialist Oktoberfest beer. He wrote: “The Shiner, which turned out to be my favourite. It had the most pronounced specialty malt flavour, the best hop aroma and flavour and a very clean finish and aftertaste. The malt flavour was accented by the lager having the lowest hop bitterness of the bunch.”

Anchor Liberty Ale

This is one of the beer picked out by Evan Benn in the Miami Herald, he highlighted that “Liberty was the first U.S. craft brew to use Cascade hops, which provide a big dose of citrus aroma and flavour. And it brought back the practice of dry-hopping, in which fresh hops are added to a beer while it’s ageing.”

In describing the beer he added: “Not quite as bitterly hoppy as an IPA, Liberty stands out among pale ales for its champagne-like bubbles, creamy head and crisp flavour. Pairing: Liberty Ale won’t overpower delicate fish dishes, and its grapefruit notes are a perfect match for foods with a little citrus. The swordfish carpaccio with Florida citrus at Macchialina in Miami Beach simply sings with a bottle of Liberty Ale.”

Victory Prima Pils

Benn described this been as “one pilsner that’s worth your attention.”

He added: “It’s brewed with German-grown hops and malts for a balanced flavour that’s not over-the-top yet still unforgettable. Hands-down, Prima is my favourite American-brewed pilsner. Pairing: For a classic pizza-and-beer pairing, have a Prima Pils with a wood-fired pie from Fratelli La Bufala in Miami Beach. The beer’s subtle bitterness cuts through the unctuous cheese, and primes your palate for another bite.”

Anchor Brewing’s Brekle’s Brown

This is the seasonal beer highlighted by Daniel Fromson in the Washington Post. He wrote: “I urge you to consider the most seasonal beer that is rarely branded a ‘fall seasonal’: the brown ale.”

Fromson tried five different brown ales, writing that “the clear winner was Brekle’s Brown, from San Francisco’s Anchor Brewing. It was smooth and nutty, with hints of maple, caramelised apple, coffee, pine and an apricot-like fruitiness. ‘Richness and complexity without heaviness,’ its label says. That’s exactly what brown ales can offer.”

Eagle Rock Brewery – Unity

The LA Times‘ John Verive headed to the LA Beer Week gala and highlighted a selection of the many beers that are available there. In describing this beer he wrote: “The official beer of L.A. Beer Week is a ‘red mild’ that uses honey and hibiscus, and the light and easy-drinking brew strikes a great balance between malt, honey, and the fruity hibiscus. I couldn’t get enough of this refreshing beer at the festival, and, at just over 4% alcohol by volume, the beer is made for enjoying multiple pints.”

Beachwood Brewing + Drake’s Brewing – Mind Melder IPA

Vervie also highlighted this beer, writing: “Perhaps the stand-out India pale ale of the show, there seemed to always be a knot of beer fans around the Beachwood station even when lines were otherwise nonexistent. Mind Melder features the layered-hop character that Beachwood’s IPAs are known for with Drake’s signature dry and clean finish.”

Stone Brewing Co Levitation Ale

Another writer picking out his favourite seasonal brews was Michael Felberbaum in the Augusta Chronicle. He wrote: “This amber ale has a lower alcohol content (4.4% abv), which makes it just right for a hike through the woods or other outing to enjoy fall colours. But Stone’s Levitation Ale still packs a lot of flavour, blending malty sweetness with pine and citrus flavours from the hops. Pair it with chicken wings, pork, apple pie and cheesecake.”

Boulevard Brewing Co Bob’s ’47 Oktoberfest

Felberbaum also highlighted this beer, writing: “Bob’s ’47, created to celebrate the annual Oktoberfest beer festival, is an amber beer with toasted malt, nutty, caramel flavours with hints of hops to balance it out. It really wants pretzels with mustard but also is content with hamburgers, pizza, smoked cheese and roasted chicken or pork.”

Finch’s Secret Stache Stout

And finally Josh Noel picked this as “beer of the month” in the Chicago Tribune. He wrote: “Pouring pitch black with a thick tan head, Secret Stache has an easygoing, medium body that boasts a dry roast and mild vanilla sweetness. It adds up to an approachable softness, even as Secret Stache finishes a bit dry and ashy (the good ashy). Unshowy, steady and balanced, Secret Stache is a fairly easy drinker while remaining interesting until the bottom of the glass. Big stouts taste best when approaching room temperature, but the relative lightness of Secret Stache makes it no such beer — it is a tasty refresher best enjoyed cold.”

In terms of food pairing Noel added: “An easy-to-pair food beer, Secret Stache sits well beside any food with a bit of heft, be it a thick hamburger or spicy pasta.”

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