Editor's Choice

Dogfish Head Raison D’Extra (2014)

In 1998, Dogfish Head created a Belgian-style brown ale called Raison D'Etre, which translated from French means reason for being. The name is a play on words of sorts, as it is brewed with raisins, along with beet sugar and Belgian-style yeast. This heavier 8 percent ABV beer was brewed with the intention of pairing it with steak much like you would a red wine. Fast forward nine years and Dogfish Head decided to take the Raison D’Etre recipe and add in even more raisins, malts and brown sugar to create what Dogfish calls its “Raison D'Etre, with a little extra,” aptly named Raison D’Extra.

The Bruery Black Tuesdsay (2014)

In 2009, The Bruery started a yearly tradition that continues to this day: the release of Black Tuesday on the final Tuesday of October. The imperial stout usually comes in between 18 percent and 19 percent ABV— the 2014 version is 19.7 percent ABV—and is packaged in 750ml bottles after being aged in bourbon barrels for over a year. In fact, Black Tuesday proved to be so popular that The Bruery has released quite a few variations, including Grey Monday, Mocha Wednesday, Chocolate Rain and Rum Barrel Black Tuesday, which as the name implies, is aged in rum barrels instead of bourbon barrels.

Brasserie-Brouwerij Cantillon Fou’ Foune (2013)

Originally founded in Anderlecht, Brussels in 1900, Brasserie-Brouwerij Cantillon's first brewer was Paul Cantillon. The brewery has stayed in the same family since then, and the present owner and fourth generation brewer is Jean-Pierre van Roy. Cantillon brews lambic beers exclusively in the traditional style and even houses the Brussels Gueuze Museum onsite.

Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Barleywine (2014)

The arrival of Goose Island’s annual Bourbon County series is one of the most anticipated and hyped beer releases of the year. For the last couple of years the lineup for the release has been the standard stout, a coffee version of the stout and a barleywine that all see pretty wide national distribution. There are also two much harder to get variants that change from year to year as well. This year’s stout variants were vanilla rye and Proprietor’s, which was a cinnamon chocolate stout this year. The beers are simultaneously released across the country on Black Friday. This massive release throws the beer nerd universe into temporary chaos with people waiting in line for hours to get their hands on the elusive bottles.

New Belgium Le Terroir

Over the past few years I have come across bottles of New Belgium's Le Terroir on shelves and for some reason never picked one up. I have had so many other offerings from New Belgium’s Lips of Faith series that it really surprises me how this one just slipped through the cracks. That all changed a few weeks back when it was on tap at one of my local watering holes.

Dieu du Ciel! Péché Mortel

It seems sort of appropriate to be writing about a beer called Péché Mortel around the anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition - which, incidentally, occurred on Dec. 5, 1933. You see, Prohibition sought to quell cultural vices in an effort to slow what some saw as the moral decline of American society. Ban the booze, they said, and we'd all be the better for it. As it turned out, they couldn't have been more wrong.