Tell me about your latest beer crush

I recently discovered a wonderful little liquor store near my house that I moved into this summer. It’s always fun finding a little out-of-the-way place, especially one that’s packed to the gills with delicious beer.

On a beer run a few weeks ago, I was charged with stocking up for a party. I went through and grabbed about 10 different 4- or 6-packs. A friend of mine had mentioned getting into Saison-style beers. I had never heard of such a thing. But there on the shelf was a 4-pack of Harpoon Leviathan Series - Saison Royale, which I added to the cart. Well - no one at the party touched the stuff, and it sat in my fridge for a few weeks, until this weekend.

Holy shit this stuff is delicious! It’s not for mass consumption, that’s for sure. The alcohol content isn’t all that high (9%), it’s the richness of the flavor. It’s incredibly aromatic and complex. I can’t decide if it’s a refreshing summer beer, or a complex sit-by-the-fire winter beer. All I know is that “saison” has been added to my beer vocabulary.

Bell’s Sparkling Ale. Only comes out around Christmas time. I had a couple 6-ers last year, and this year, starting around Halloween, I’d check the liquor store every week. It’s HERE! Super-duper alcoholic, and very yummy. Just like you’d imagine, it’s a sparkly, fruity beer. Not sweet at all, though. I wish I had one right now.

Tis the season for yummy Christmas ales and toasty stouts! My favorite Yuletide beer is Poor Richard’s Tavern Spruce Ale (made by Yards)-- which actually dips a Christmas tree into the kettle during brewing. Very nice.

If it’s half as good as the Oberon, I’m buying a case! That sounds awesome.

Isn’t that wonderful stuff? My husband and I visited Boston in August, and toured the Harpoon brewery. Since we had road-tripped out there, we were able to return with a couple cases of beer in the trunk, including a significant amount of their Saison and Quad. Harpoon does sell beer in Illinois but only their standard lines - IPA, UFOs, that kind of thing.

My absolute latest (from yesterday) is Lagunitas’ Brown Shugga - high alcohol (over 9%) but doesn’t taste like it, and very well-balanced hop and malt characters. I’m typically a hop wuss but this stuff is crafted very nicely. I also had Duvel Green which is a lovely, light-tasting ale. Delicious stuff. Upon researching it seems that this is standard Duvel but its secondary fermentation is done cold rather than warm, in kegs, and is cold-filtered too.

Aussie dopers : Big Seppo fan of Victoria Bitter here! Light, refreshing flavor & really packs a punch! Can only seem to find it when I’m overseas. Seems like Foster’s is about the only Aussie brew that we can normally get here in the US, which I guess is ok, but nothing like VB! :smiley:

I’ve been liking the Brown Shugga, too. Yesterday I tried the Gouden Carolus tripel, which was awesome. And Boulevard’s saison is very good, too.

Found a six pack of it last night. It’s as advertised - a sparkly beer. It’s really good - but I’d prefer something hoppier. For those that don’t like hops though, it’s perfect.

Have you tried Bell’s Winter? It’s as good as the Oberon, and the loss of one means the beginning of the other.

Gotta try the Sparkling now, though. If it’s from Bell’s, it’s bound to be at least good and quite possibly excellent. I think they’re the most consistently good microbrewery in the U.S.

Mmmmm. I tried it about a week ago; thanks for the reminder, I’ll try to find a case.

We’ve been drinking Woodchuck Ciders (variety pack) for seasonal reasons. Not beer, but hey.:smiley:

I have to second the praise for Brown Shugga and Poor Richard’s Spruce Ale.

The beer I have been enjoying is Cowbell.

Voodoo Brewery’s Milk-Oatmeal-Imperial Stout. Very very good.

Unfortunately only 24 kegs were brewed, so you are probably not going to get any.

But it’s good. More cowbell.

(Yes, the tap does have a cowbell on it.)

Good suggestions! I’m basically living on St. Arnold’s Christmas ale until New Years, and had the Anchor Steam christmas ale the other day and it had a gingerbread taste in it that was unexpectedly awesome.

Haven’t tried the winter - I’ll add it to the list. And I agree with you about Bell’s - everything is wonderful. Though being an Indiana resident, I have to give a lot of props to Three Floyd’s for putting out consistently wonderful brews. And keep an eye out for Sun King, soon to hit your shelves in the next year or so. They’re a local brewery that just started up after poaching a number of top quality brewmasters from the area. They’re working on getting their bottling production up so they can start selling in stores.

Word. I only had one in a mixed sixer, but I’m definitely going back for more. Their Christmas Ale is spectacular, as well.

Another favorite from the mix was Anchor’s “Our Special Brew”, their yearly holiday offering. It’s dark without being heavy, with lots of chocolate malt and spice.

And, of course, I stocked up on Fat Tire when I was in NC a few weeks ago. (It hasn’t made it to KY yet, sadly.) I’m not wild about their winter offering (Two Below), since ESBs generally don’t move me, but the Amber Ale is still one of my favorites.

I’ll try the Christmas Ale if I can tear myself away from the Sparkling.

I hear you about the Fat Tire. I’m in Kentucky, too. Was pissed the first time I went to Liquor Barn, which has every beer in the entire world, but no Fat Tire.

Not particularly cred-worthy, but I grabbed a six of Sam Adams Blackberry Witbier the other day and really like it. Tasty and fruity. Not quite as cloyingly sweet as some.

I’m currently digging Dogfish Head’s Raison d’Etre. And Bell’s Best Brown is one of my favorite seasonal brews from them. Used to be able to find Bell’s everywhere when I lived in the Midwest, but I’m in the East now and nobody has even heard of them. For some reason people drink nothing but Corona around here.

Most recent? Drake’s Denogginizer. I like hops & IPAs, but most DIPAs/IIPAs tend to be either way too hoppy or boozey-tasting to me. But this one had a really nice, sharp floral, citrusy nose and taste. Like a regular, good IPA, but scaled up carefully not to have any one thing overwhelm everything else.

Tactical Nuclear Penguin

Probably tastes like shite, but it’s a great name.

I don’t know if I’d call it a crush (I mean, I don’t swoon or want to take it home to meet mom or anything), but I had a couple Berghoffs on Sunday and they were very good. I haven’t had one in a few months, but I haven’t been disapointed in one yet.