The United States is the second largest consumer of beer, second only to China and the highest beer importer at a whopping figure of 37% of all world imports. It’s quite fair then, that this iconic drink of America gets such avid attention from the US Press. The consumption of beer is only increasing every year with a preference for the lighter brews, and with the launch of many new products, the US Press doles out lavish praise or critiques them appropriately making their presence in the market more pronounced, thus pushing up sales. One would see that most of the coveted and popular brands usually come with good Press back-up. They range from the featured beers at Oktoberfest to the more robust autumn brews. What the exposure does to the beers is to create an anticipatory demand in a country which waits for the next great brew to hit the market. Here are the ten most extolled beers that featured in the US Press.
10 New Glarus Brewing Co Strawberry Rhubarb
It’s a beer that has the double edged flavors of rhubarb tempering the sweetness of strawberry. It was chosen “Beer of the Week” last week in ‘USA Today’ by Todd Hafaer, aka ‘Beer Man’. Strongly strawberry in flavor with a tangy rhubarb finish, the malt just about manages to come through when the bubbles settle in the throat, giving you the feel that this is as much a beer as any other, but with a unique fruity freshness. The amber beer with delicate hints of pink finishes off with a burst of creamy malt taste to make you reach for another glass.
9 Shiner Oktoberfest Spoetzl Brewery
It’s the Beer Man’s favorite malt from the Oktoberfest range. He considers this the smoothest malt with a definitive flavour which is not overpowering but subtle, amazingly pronounced yet delicate. This beer has to its credit the lowest hop bitterness that is desirable to cut down on the after taste. Shiner emerges the favorite classic malt lager in the entire Oktoberfest range.
8 Anchor Liberty Ale
Evan Benn writes about the amazing citrus flavour of this craft beer which has helped it find its way into the Miami Herald. During the ageing process the beer is given a fruity twist when Cascade hops are added to it, as it matures .While one would expect the beer to be stronger with extra dryness, it in fact is crisp and fruity with barely any after taste. In fact its citrus taste with a hint of grape is a perfect accompaniment with fish and spicy barbecue as the fruity yet crisp bubbles glide down your throat refreshing, yet not overpowering in the least.
7 Victory Prima Pils
Evan Benn’s favorite Pilsner with its robust malt derived from German grown hops. For those past the low-hop variety of beer and wanting the bitter balanced beer that has wholesome body, Victory Prima Pils will not disappoint. The bitterness does tend to dominate the palate but with it comes its intense carbonation giving it a sound balance in flavour, stealing away the bitterness, leaving you with a subtle sweetness and light floral aftertaste.
6 Anchor Brewing’s Brekles’s Brown
This coppery brown beer with an intensely deep flavor is a true classic. Written about in the Washington Post by Daniel Frompson who has labeled it the ‘finest seasonal brew’, the ale does more than live up to its reputation. Frompson who tried five ales in all called this the winner hands down because of its unique blend reminiscent of the autumn season- a bit of nut, caramel, coffee, pine and distinct apricot freshness. One of the finest coming from Anchor’s 140 year old brewing legacy, the Brekles’ Brown is a beer with gusto, complex flavors and depth without the heaviness. It is indeed the classic single, hop malt.
5 Eagle Rock Brewery – Unity
Featured in the LA Times, wherein John Verive called it the brew of the LA Beer Week Gala, the Unity with its mild rich aromatic flavours seem to have gained intense appreciation. The mild red beer is the offering of this year’s LA Beer Week, an annual event which sees brewers come together to brew something special for the occasion and this year it was the ‘red mild’ combination of honey and hibiscus with a subtle fruity flavor with only 4% alcohol.
4 Beachwood Brewing + Drake’s Brewing-Mind Melder IPA
John Verive also eulogized the sharp dryness of this beer which has layered ‘hoppiness’ that finishes to a crisp and clean taste that is strong yet controlled. The Brew master’s have taken hopping to a new level in this beer using two distinctive hop varieties Nelson and El dorado, which found great adulation not merely form the press but also from all beer fans who crave to find the original hop bitterness .
3 Stone Brewing Company Levitation Ale
The rich caramel and citrus aromas overtake anything else in this mild coppery ale. It’s the toasted malt that comes in first which then converts to a more full bodied fruity citrus that has orange and fresh grass or pine hints. Picked by Michael Felberbaum as his favorite seasonal beer, this amber beer with a low alcohol content of 4.4% is recommended with any outdoorsy day, a hike, a nature walk and all which reminds you of crisp blue skies and tall pines.
2 Boulevard Brewing Co Bob’s ’47 Oktoberfest
A beer specially created to celebrate Oktoberfest, this conventional Munich style lager is brewed by the Master brewer Bob Werkovitch using traditional techniques with a resounding success. High on the praise list of the Press and the Oktoberfest’s much talked about brew, this beer with its deep amber color and full bodied malt and caramel taste, is balanced out with the mild hop-bitterness.
1 Finch’s Secret Stache Stout
The Beer that featured in the Chicago Mail with Josh Noel declaring it as the ‘beer of the month', one could expect a lot from this brew and not be disappointed. The winner of the gold medal at this year’s Beer Championship, it’s the best offering by Finch. The best in the Fall beer category or more strictly, a transit to Fall beer, this drink with its vanilla hop flavoring gives you a potency of 5.3% which can be called moderate, with a balanced, un-showy and very smooth finish. The Secret Stache with its pitch black color and soft beginnings finishes a little dry and goes perfectly with foods that need a bit of washing down like burgers and pastas.
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