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Top 10 new craft beers

Craft beer has enjoyed phenomenal success in recent years with new breweries springing up across the world at a rate of knots.

Their success has not gone unnoticed by some of the world’s biggest brewers, many of which are now eyeing up craft brewers in order to gain a hold on a market they are increasingly losing out to.

In California alone the craft beer industry is now worth US$6 billion, according to the California Craft Brewers Association, which has said that the industry in the state is not only “thriving” but “growing”, with the number of fully operating breweries increasing by over 20% last year to 554.

And according to Jim Koch, the man behind US craft beer company Boston Beer, the rise of craft beer is unlikely to slow down anytime soon. His company sold 3.4 million barrels in 2013/14 financial year, making it the largest craft producer in the the US.

Whether you are late to the party or a craft beer veteran, summer is the perfect time to try something new. So why not try and track down some of these newly released, or very soon to be released beers.

Scroll through for some of the industry’s latest releases…

First Crush, Hangar 24, California

This sour ale with a red tint is the product of the Hangar 24 Craft Brewery in California. Its distinctive colour comes from Syrah grape juice which is added to the mix. It is then aged in red wine barrels that are 18 months old giving the beer a unique character.

The addition of Syrah grape juice after primary fermentation “adds vinous, tannic notes of red wine, ripe fruit and leather”, its makers claim.

Style: American Wild/Sour Ale, 8.5%

Barrel Roll Sanquinello Blood Orange Sour Ale, Hangar 24, California

Available from the same day as the First Crush, this new release gets its colour from blood oranges that have been aged in white wine barrels.

“The resulting beer is a beautifully hazy pink, balancing the tart base beer with the aromatics of citrus”, say its makers.

Style: American Wild / Sour Ale


Beer Barrel-aged Abraxas, Perennial Artisan Ales, St Louis, Missouri

T his special release is appearing for the third year in a row, having also been released in 2013 and 2014. It is an imperial stout aged 12 months in Rittenhouse Rye barrels with Cacao nibs, vanilla beans, ancho chiles and cinnamon sticks.

Style: Imperial stout, 11% abv

Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody

This beer has been brewed to mark the 40th anniversary of Queen’s hit Bohemian RhapsodyHot on the heels of the band’s official vodka Killer Queen, which was released earlier this year, comes Queen’s Bohemian Lager – a 4.7% pilsner.

The western half of the Czech Republic was once part of the of Kingdom known as Bohemia as far back as the Middle Ages, making it the ideal setting to brew this beer. It contains only three ingredients; water, Czech barley malt and Noble Saaz hops and is described as a “golden, hoppy lager” with an IBU of 33 and an abv of 4.7%.

It will be released initially in UK and Europe this summer with a worldwide release to follow.

Style: Pilsner, 4.7% abv

Grimbergen Blonde, Brasseries Kronenbourg, Carlsberg, France

Available in 33cl bottle and 20-litre kegs, Grimbergen is a new edition to Carlsberg’s “crafted” range which is being expanded this year to feature 39 beers – 10 more than last year.

According to Carlsberg, the recipe has been guarded by monks at the Abbey of Grimbergen, near Brussels, Belgium, for centuries.

Blonde Belgian ale, 6.7%

The Goat, Holy Mountain Brewery, Seattle 

This is the first of two new releases from Seattle-based Holy Mountain Brewery. A rustic brett saison, The Goat has been fermented in an oak foudre with several saison strains, and allowed to age in the tank for three months.

Brewed with barley, rye, oats, and wheat, and hopped heavily with European hops, the bottles were re-fermented with brettanomyces and allowed to condition for four months. 80 cases have been bottled and it will be available at the brewery’s taproom and in local outlets.


Style: Saison, 4.9%

Choir of the Sun, Holy Mountain Brewery, Seattle

Another saison from the Holy Mountain crew, the Choir of the Sun is a saison fermented in an oak puncheon with several saison strains and allowed to age for six months.

Only 39 cases have been bottled and it will only be available at the Holy Mountain taproom.

Style: Saison

reDANKulous, Founders Brewing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Founders Brewing Co. in Michigan’s Grand Rapids announced this week that it will be releasing its 13th beer in its Backstage Series, launched to help take boundary-pushing beers outside its taproom.

reDANKulous is a limited-release imperial red IPA made with a combination of Chinook, Mosaic and Simcoe hops giving it “spicy, piney and tropical” notes.

“Take a sip to have your palate simultaneously walloped and caressed in all the right places”, advise its brewers. “Combined, the hops take the beer to 90 IBUs. It’s not just ridiculous. It’s reDANKulous.”

Style: Imperial red IPA, 9.5% abv

Sourpuss, Newport Storm Brewery, Rhode Island, US

Rhode Island is the home of the Coastal Extreme Brewing Co. who have created the Sourpuss – a sour ale flavoured with cherries.

North American wheat malt, North American pale malt, Warrior hops and multiple strains of lactobacillus (a wild yeast) instead of just one strain, form the backbone of this beer, with 450 pounds of Oregon dark cherries added to give a “lip-puckering” taste.

Style: American Wild/Sour Ale, 5.6% abv

Born to Die, Brewdog, Scotland

Brewdog’s latest addition to its range of craft beers is this IPA, which drinkers are encouraged to consume before “its death”.

It has been delibrately brewed to be consumer within a limited timeframe, with a best before date of 4 July 2015.

Introducing the beer, the brewer said: “Compared with other BrewDog IPAs, Born to Die is more heavily whirlpool and dry-hopped, resulting in an increased pick up of volatile hop oils that are responsible for the intense taste and nose of the beer. With time, these essential oils lose their volatility, with noticeable effects on the taste of the brew.”

With a “savagely bitter and exceptionally dry taste”, Born to Die is backed up by aromas of resin, citrus and juicy fruit.

IPA, 8.5% abv


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