April may be the cruelest month, but we’re pretty sure T.S. Eliot wasn’t referring to beer. A change of seasons means a wide variety of beer releases—from pitch-black imperial stouts still clinging to winter to fruit-forward sours dreaming of summer. This past month, we were blessed with an incredible diversity of offerings, including a couple of serious standouts destined to become classics. From a big, bold double IPA bursting with tropical notes to textbook English pale ale, here are the beers our reviewers are still obsessing over.
88: Almanac’s Dogpatch Currant
“Almanac does an amazing job accurately showcasing the flavor bomb those little berries can bring,” writes Tucker Anders of this “bright, fruity” sour that’s “imminently drinkable considering the amount of tartness and currant flavor” and boasts a “complex combination of wine, plum, and tart dark berries” in its flavor profile.
89: Great Divide’s Denver Pale Ale
“Denver Pale Ale is so much about the dank flavors. It's sticky and sweet without a ton of bitterness, staying true to style,” declares Tucker Anders of this “really solid, old-school” “Colorado beer” with a “flavor profile that perfectly captures its Denver roots.” “It's sticky and sweet without a ton of bitterness” and leans more towards “resinous and herbaceous,” than fruity.
90: DuClaw Brewing’s Strawberry Letter 23
“I’ve never wanted to write a love letter to a beer, but if I did, I might want to write one to DuClaw Brewing’s Strawberry Letter 23,” says Jesse Bussard, before proceeding to do precisely that, praising the fruit beer as “ridiculously good” and “deceptively delicious and drinkable.” Although it starts with “strong notes of fresh strawberries” it finishes “crisp and dry with a lingering sour berry taste that stays on the tongue and entices you to take another sip.”
97: Crooked Stave’s Trellis Buster
“This is maybe the lightest, creamiest double IPA I’ve ever had,” raves Tucker Anders of this “cushy, smooth-drinking beer with a pleasant orange flavor” that drinks like “mouthful of pine pillows.” This hazy number is “laughably light” for its 8.0% ABV and hits “nearly every note I look for in a beer.”
98: Deschutes’s The Abyss 2018 Reserve
“A decade and a half of perfection has not deterred Deschutes from putting out provocative editions of The Abyss year after year. It’s a beer that earns its legendary status with every bottling,” write Jerard Fagerberg of this highly anticipated annual release that tastes of “hot booze, bitter candy, kilned malt, and floral vanilla.” There’s nothing subtle about this “illustrious monster of a beer.” The barrel-aged imperial stout looks like “liquid charcoal” and its aroma “absolutely sucks you into your first sip.”