Beer is one of the most important beverages on the planet, brewed since the dawn of modern human civilization, and the diversity of beer in our world is reaching truly astronomical proportions. In this list, we tackle the American craft beer scene, making it a bit easier to understand by giving you 25 rare and special brews that any beer lover would be happy to quaff. Some of these American craft beers are so popular that they sell out in mere hours of their release. Some are so far beyond what most of us think of when we imagine beer that they seem like an entirely new beverage. Some have a high ABV (Alcohol by Volume), such as the Quadrupel Ale fermented over Pinot Noir oak chips, and some have a high IBU (International Bitterness Units: the measure of how hoppy/bitter a beer is), such as the licorice and anise flavored stout which drinks like a Double IPA (India Pale Ale).
Since it is impossible to truly rank beers as everyone has a different preference – some love porters while some hate their rich creaminess and opt for the more bitter IPA – the beers on this list have been organized (mostly) randomly. You can have no doubt, though, that these are some of the best craft beers in the world. Raise a glass and say cheers to these 25 American Craft Beers You’ll Immediately Want To Try.
Kentucky Breakfast Stout
Though Founders Brewing Company is well-known for its All Day IPA and Dirty Bastard Scotch Ale, their Kentucky Breakfast Stout is the craft beer which really deserves a place on our list. This stout beer combines the flavors of coffee, cocoa, and vanilla and is aged for an entire year in used bourbon barrels stored in former gypsum mines under the city of Grand Rapids.
Duck Duck Gooze
Though sour beers are comparatively rare to find in Belgium, they are extremely rare to find in the United States. Brewed in the Belgian Gueuze style of blending old and young Lambic beers before putting them to ferment a second time, The Lost Abbey’s Duck Duck Gooze has hints of leather and Brettanomyces: a tasty strain of yeast. If you like sour beers, prepare early – Duck Duck Gooze is only released once every three years.
For as much as the Boston Beer Company claims to be a craft brewer, they’re pretty massive, brewing over 4.1 million US barrels worth of beer annually. Despite their size, they haven’t lost their innovative, craft brewer edge. Their Utopias brand is one of the most awesome, amazing, ground-shattering, everything-you-ever-wanted types of beers. A blend of multiple barrel-aged beers, some almost 20 years old, Utopias is further aged in scotch, bourbon, port, and cognac casks after a bit of maple syrup has been added. It’s difficult to describe in words what kind of flavors come out of it. Make the choice for yourself, but watch out – one iconic brew kettle-like bottle can cost you up to $200.
When beer lovers think of good beers, they think of Ommegang Brewery in New York State. Their Three Philosophers beer is one of the most delectable beers on our list, made by blending 98% Ommegang Quadrupel Ale with 2% of a Kriek: a Belgian cherry ale. The flavor and aroma is rich, full of molasses, brown sugar, dark fruits, chocolate, and brandied raisins. This beer ages especially well as its hints of sherry and port intensify with time.
Hunahpu's Imperial Stout
Cigar City Brewing Co. has been making a name for itself in the Floridian and national beer scenes ever since it opened its doors. Though all of their beers are top notch, the Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout holds an extra special spot in infamy. Named for the Mayan Hun Hunahpu who was killed by the dark lords of the underworld after which his body turned into a cacao tree, Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout is an 11% ABV beer with hints of chocolate and espresso and touches of vanilla, cinnamon, tobacco, and chili.