Best New Craft Beers of 2019
As first published in Bloomberg, in an article written by Justin Kennedy, December 17, 2019, Mr Kennedy explores the “Best New Craft Beers of 2019“. In his article, he discusses recent trends of 2019, and The 11 Best Beers Brewed This Year. We found his article very interesting and have excerpted it here.
“Craft beer got weird in 2019. Not only did two of America’s most well-known and well-loved breweries get sold—Delaware’s Dogfish Head for $300 million to Boston Beer Co.; New Belgium Brewing to a subsidiary of Japan’s Kirin Holdings—but earlier this month, Constellation Brands jettisoned Ballast Point Brewing for a fraction of the $1 billion it paid for it in 2015. The buyer was a largely unknown Chicagoland concern called Kings & Convicts Brewing, whose production was approximately 600 barrels this year (minuscule by any scale) and who had a total of just nine employees.
As head-scratching as this all seems, it’s entirely indicative of an increasingly cutthroat beer market. As with 2018, overall beer consumption this year is projected to be down. But among the vast majority of the 8,000-plus breweries in operation in 2019, production volumes and sales were up, an indication that the big players (namely Anheuser-Busch Cos. and MillerCoors) bore the brunt of the market’s decline. One of the major factors was the summertime explosion of the hard seltzer industry that saw even well-regarded cult breweries such as Monkish and Fonta Flora try to combat White Claw.
Still, innovation continued to flourish among small brewers. Hazy IPAs, fruited sours, and dessert-evoking stouts were de rigueur, but classic styles—grisettes, lagers, mixed-fermentation ales—were back in a big way, and better than ever.
Once again, after sampling hundreds of bottles, cans, drafts, and tasting pours at breweries, bars, restaurants, and festivals throughout the country, we have collected a smattering of our very favorite new American beers. released in 2019. Like last year, they cover a wide range of approaches, techniques, and brewing philosophies. Inevitably, many are available only in certain markets in limited batches, but each represents one of the many reasons you can’t keep good craft brewing down.”
Fonta Flora Nebo pilsner
Style: Pilsner-style lager, 5.2% ABV (alcohol by volume)
Brewery Location: Morganton, N.C.
Oxbow Sap Haus
Style: Smoked dark lager, 7% ABV
Brewery Location: Newcastle, Maine
Dutchess Ales Ghost beer
Style: Pale ale, 4.8% ABV
Brewery Location: Wassaic, N.Y.
Half Acre Bodem
Style: American IPA, 6.7% ABV
Brewery Location: Chicago
Green Cheek Swim Test
Style: Triple IPA, 10.2% ABV
Brewery Location: Orange, Calif.
Tired Hands Adaptive Distortion
Style: Table beer, 3.5% ABV
Brewery Location: Ardmore, Pa.
“Despite the “session beer” designation being all but passé, brewers continue to find innovative ways to pack big flavors into low-alcohol beers.”
Off Color Very, Very Far
Style: Mixed-fermentation ale, 6% ABV
Brewery Location: Chicago
Suarez Family Brewery Crescent
Style: Saison, 4.7% ABV
Brewery Location: Livingston, N.Y.
Burial Portal Beyond Nonexistence
Style: Imperial stout, 15% ABV
Brewery Location: Asheville, N.C.
“I’m skeptical of beers fortified with umpteen ingredients—a dash of nutmeg here, a sprinkle of chipotle there—often assuming the add-ons are meant to hide a flaw or mask a brewery’s ineptitude. That’s not the case with this behemoth of an imperial stout from North Carolinian stalwarts Burial Beer.”
Allagash Barrel & Bean
Style: Tripel with coffee, 10% ABV
Brewery Location: Portland, Maine
And that sums it up. You can read more about the descriptions of the The 11 Best Beers Brewed This Year in Mr. Kennedy’s full article.
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