In the September/October issue of Imbibe, the editors selected their 99 favorite beers in different categories, such as seasonals or beers to drink with a burger. In “Imbibe Vs. Beerspotter,” Y&H’s Beerspotter takes each list to task.
Offer a beer for a limited time, and beer lovers will chase it, as was the case last spring when Troegs Nugget Nectar and Bell’s Hopslam lit up Beerspotter’s Twitter feed like someone caught the Real World-ers sipping it. I look forward to them every year, as well as the nominated Anchor Christmas Ale and Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale.
But Imbibe left out at least two important seasonal styles: doppelbocks and barleywines. Brewed by German monks for sustenance during Lent, doppelbocks are as central to spring as March Madness (and for NFL fans, February’s postpartum depression). Ayinger Celebrator is the standard-bearer for the style, while the Lager Heads have their eye on the rarer Weltenburger Asam Bock. Both, though, will fill your belly with raisiny and chocolate-cake malts while you’re holding out for penitence.
Snifter-worthy barleywines show up at summer’s end and linger until the last days of winter. They’re fireside beers, often with malt and hops both pushed to a balance extremes, like extinguishing an overly spicy dish with a gob of mayo. Sierra Nevada Bigfoot and Anchor Old Foghorn are stand-bys; Bigfoot boasts an apricot sweetness while Old Foghorn subtly plays out with the dark fruit and anise notes of Anchor’s Christmas offering. If your cognac habit is outpacing your bank account, switch to barleywines and you’ll never look back.
What’s your favorite seasonal? We’ll never know if you don’t tweet @Beerspotter.
- Alesmith Yulesmith
- Anchor Christmas Ale
- Avery Kaiser
- Delirium Noel
- De Ranke Pere Noel
- Dogfish Head Punkin Ale
- Bell’s Hopslam
- Sierra Nevada Celebration
- Widmer W Series
- Troegs Nugget Nectar