Beer

Lost Coast Tangerine Wheat

Many breweries all over the country have a fruit beer of some sort as a summer seasonal, but for whatever reason tangerines are not even close to being one of the most popular fruits to use.

Founded in 1990 by Wendy Pound and Barbara Groom, Lost Coast Brewery is one of the only breweries in the United States that is both female-owned and female-operated. Now employing over 80 people, its beers are distributed in 22 states and 12 different countries.

Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA (2011)

Dogfish Head is a brewery that should need no introduction among craft beer enthusiasts. Although its slogan is "Off-centered ales for off-centered people," I would maintain that Dogfish Head is widely-known for its unique and very well executed American IPAs. The lineup consists of two year-round staples: 60 Minute (a standard IPA) and 90 Minute (an imperial IPA).

Cigar City Good Gourd

In a sea full of pumpkin beers it is certainly hard to stick out from the crowd. It seems like every brewer does some sort of pumpkin beer come fall and we are currently right in the thick of those beers dropping. With every trend though there are outliers, both the good, the bad and the please don’t ever brew that beer again. Good Gourd by Cigar City brewing is without a doubt in the good category. Originally released in 2009 it was solely available on draft for the first two years of production. Then from 2011-2013 it was made available in 750ml bottles and this past year it was bottled in 22-ounce bottles. Since its initial release Good Gourd has become a highly anticipated seasonal staple.

FiftyFifty Imperial Eclipse Stout — Maker’s Mark Barrel (2013)

In this day and age, if a brewery produces an imperial stout it's a virtual given that it will release a barrel-aged version of that beer at some point in the future. Some breweries choose barrels from a favored vintner or distiller and apply a single barrel treatment to their beer roughly once a year. Others vary their suppliers, effectively creating a new beer for consumers whether it be an annual release or part of a running line of limited edition brews. In the case of the FiftyFifty Brewing Co., they've made a yearly event out of aging their popular Imperial Eclipse Stout in multiple barrels for a simultaneous release in 22-ounce bottles.

Stone w00tStout 2.0

I grew up watching Star Trek: The Next Generation. One of the most memorable parts of the show, besides how insanely badass Picard waswas the whiny, annoying character Wil Wheaton played, boy-man Wesley Crusher. No matter the situation they would find themselves in, his character would find a way to make it more annoying, to the point where I would turn the episodes that featured him off rather than be forced to endure them.

Samuel Adams Triple Bock

When you hear the name Samuel Adams you might not think “craft brewery” or even a brewery that pushes boundaries with new things that we haven’t seen in beer before, but the reality of it is that they are some of the “O.G.’s” of the craft brewing scene and have been pushing boundaries for decades. Founded in 1984, The Boston Beer Company (or as it’s more commonly called, Sam Adams) went from producing 63,000 barrels a year in 1986 to 1.2 million ten years later, which was still a veritable drop in the bucket compared to the big breweries like Anheuser-Busch and Miller Brewing. Craft breweries however were exploding onto the scene in the 90s, with over 500 breweries opening their doors by 1995 and double that by 1996.

Funky Buddha Maple Bacon Coffee Porter

Funky Buddha Brewery is not afraid to tackle tough beers and it is constantly churning out some of craziest flavor combinations you will find in the craft beer world. Some of the company's most popular beers don't fit the mold—Apple Toffee Double Brown Ale made with apples and caramel, Banana Split Ale with bananas, cherries and vanilla, and one of their most popular, Last Snow which is a coffee porter brewed with coconut, white chocolate and caramel.

Anchorage Brewing Between the Staves

Let me start out by saying I have a long running obsession with Crooked Stave. Now that I have got that off my chest I can get started. Chad Jacobson is the head brewer for Crooked Stave in Denver, Colo. He is known in the industry as being one of the leaders in the world of brettanomyces (brett) fermentation. Many brewers use brett, but not many have the true understanding of the curious little organism like Chad Jacobson. He has spent his entire career researching brettanomyces and what it can accomplish and it shows in his beers. As a home brewer obsessed with brettanomyces I owe almost everything I have learned to Jacobson and his research.

Goose Island Proprietor’s Bourbon County Brand Stout (2013)

While you should always take online ratings with a grain of salt, there are times when the prevailing opinions about a beer you've just had simply cannot be ignored. Take the 2013 Proprietor's Bourbon County Stout from Goose Island for instance. For a time, prior to being labeled as "retired," the beer was listed among the upper echelon on the Beer Advocate list of the Top 250 beers. In fact, users of the site had it ranked as the third or fourth best beer in the world. Is it really that good? At least for the moment, let's pretend we've given the Magic 8-Ball a shake and been met with the answer of "ask again later."