Stone Brewing Co., in continuing to lead the craft industry in over the top, and unique brews, has always wowed the consumer with its "odd-year releases." In 2011, it released Old Guardian BELGO Barleywine and BELGO Anise Russian Imperial Stout. In 2015, it released Chai-spiced Russian Imperial Stout. Awesome beers, but let's focus on the 2013 gem, Espresso Russian Imperial Stout.
American sour beer may very well be the fastest growing segment in the craft beer renaissance. Any brewery that is worth its weight in wort and wishes to remain relevant has a sour program.
The brainchild of head brewer and owner Dan Carey, Enigma was originally brewed in 2003, but was first bottled and released in 2006 as part of the Thumbprint Series of beers at New Glarus. The Thumbprint Series, according to Carey, “…are still brewed with the beer enthusiast in mind. Thumbprint beers are brewed in small batches that are intended to be available for one time only. However, popular demand has caused some styles to return. This is my own thumbprint, to let everyone know this is a real New Glarus handcrafted beer! Cheers.”
Evil Twin Brewing is a gypsy brewery originating from Copenhagen, Denmark with headquarters in Brooklyn, N.Y. In order to fully understand the origins of Evil Twin, one would need some knowledge of the relationship between founder Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergso and his identical twin brother Mikkel Borg Bjergso, founder of Mikkeler Brewing. The intent of this article is not to go into detail about the brothers and their somewhat tumultuous relationship, but if you were particularly interested, I would suggest looking at this piece from The New York Times
It is arguably the most famous, sought after, talked about and otherwise storied brew of this proverbial craft beer renaissance. Spanning a full decade this beer has won two bronze and three gold medals at the Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup, as well as, being voted the number one commercial beer in the world by the homebrewing publication Zymurgy for six years straight. That's right, I said six years straight. It is also credited with spawning the immense popularity of the double India pale ale—or imperial India pale ale—style.
de Garde Brewing is located in the tiny town of Tillamook, Ore. It has only been brewing commercially for around two years now, but excellence knows no age. Brewing partners Trevor Rogers and Linsey Hamacher opened up de Garde in the form of a 7bbl system brewery.
In 2008, Allagash Brewing Co. built one of the first commercial koelschip—or coolship, as it is known in America—in the country. In simple terms, a coolship is a large, shallow steel pan about a foot deep that is used to both cool down wort after it is brewed and to expose the resulting concoction to naturally occurring yeasts and bacteria that are in the air. This is a traditional method used in Belgium, and very few U.S. breweries have the expertise, time or money needed to work with one.