Just to be clear, we’re big proponents of Dry January and a little mindful sobriety. Maybe you spent the last month rekindling old hobbies or maybe you discovered that the latest generation of non-alcoholic beers is lightyears beyond ye olde O’Doul’s. Maybe you’ve even decided to extend it a bit, in which case, may we suggest this game-changing, non-alcoholic West Coast IPA? For those of you, however, who are ready to restock your beer fridges with cans over 0.5% ABV, our review team has the perfect lineup. From a velvet-black Russian imperial stout to a beautifully balanced hazy IPA to an exceptional double pale ale, these beers are worth the month-long wait.
82: Maplewood’s Charlatan
“Charlatan is a straightforward pale ale with just the right punch of refreshing citrus hop flavor,” says Jesse Bussard of this Chicago-made brew that “pours a brilliant clear gold out of the can with a big, bright layer of off-white foam.” Its flavor profile is “crisp and bold on the palate and starts off with the flavor of bitter grapefruit” that “subsides quickly and gives way to bready malt flavors balanced by strong hop flavors of lemon, orange, and earthy pine”
91: WeldWerks' Juicy Bits
“I could do for a bit more juiciness in a beer called Juicy Bits, but I’ll take the right balance of brightness and bitterness,” says Tucker Anders of this “memorable IPA in a crowded field” in which “sweet, tropical, and citrus fruits hang around in the background to remind you this is indeed a New England-style IPA.” “There's no mistaking this beer for a glass of orange juice” with its “beautiful, bright orange-golden body” that “reflects the light in the room like few beers can.”
93: New Glarus’ Moon Man
“Moon Man should be nationally recognized as one of the best pale ales in existence. It should be a gameday go-to for anyone who wants something flavorful,” declares Jerard Fagerberg of this Midwestern exclusive with notes of “apricot and lemon curd” and “a soft undercurrent of pine” in the aroma. Although it’s not widely distributed, there’s something for beer-lovers from every part of the country, from New England-friendly “grapefruit and mandarin orange” to “resinous bitterness” for Californians, all rounded out with an “even-keeled dose of honeyed malt.”
94: Half Acre’s Double Daisy Cutter
“Double Daisy Cutter is like a turned-up version of the original. It’s boozier, thicker, and fuller, ratcheting up the familiar flavors of its predecessor at a much higher volume, and there is nothing at all wrong with that,” writes Tucker Anders of this practically perfect double pale ale. “Juicy citrus plays backup to a wallop of stone fruits and white grape” in the aroma, while the flavor profile "features much more of the grassy bitterness with the fruit flavor veering more toward the skin and oily pith as opposed to the sweet flesh."
94: Great Lakes’ Blackout Stout
“It’s not hard to see why this beer is so highly acclaimed. Blackout Stout is a case study in how to layer roasty, bitter, and sweet flavors in an imperial stout, and the beer’s trophy case full of gold and silver medals backs that up,” raves Tucker Anders of this 9.9% ABV “deep and inky black” Russian imperial stout. The aroma is rife with “roasty char, bitter chocolate, and a little boozy heat” and the balanced flavor profile tastes like a “s’more that subbed burnt chocolate chip cookies for the graham cracker.”