Sometimes the unthinkable happens. Our favorite breweries decide that, for whatever reason, the time is right to retire a beer. Maybe they are moving on to different styles or perhaps this beer just isn’t selling as well as it once did. It’s rough. We miss those cherished brews and hold onto hope that someday the brewers will bring them back. Until then, all we have are our memories. Here are 8 beers we wish they’d bring back.
You pretty much can’t go wrong with anything from Stone—and that’s saying a lot because they produce a ton of beer. They have been on the forefront of the craft beer revolution since its inception. A few years ago, the company retired its Levitation Ale. This 4.4% amber ale was subtle, sweet and very drinkable. On hot summer days, there are few beers we miss more.
This 9.3% Oktoberfest lager was a staple for many people until it was retired last year. This spicy, heavily malted brew was the perfect way to ring in Oktoberfest for those of us who prefer stronger brews, as your classic Oktoberfest beer normally clocks in somewhere between 4-7%. Looks like this Oktoberfest will get a little less wild.
This San Francisco-based brewery has been vaulted onto the national scene in recent years because of its exciting, well-made brews. Sadly, the brewery retired one of its flagship beers last year, Bitter American. We don’t think there could ever be a better time in history to bring back this 4.4% American pale ale. As far as sessionable beers go, this pale ale packed a lot of flavor, with grapefruit notes and the bitterness the name suggests.
Many beer fans were sad to see this 5.1% ABV Kölsch get retired. It was available year-round, but was perfectly suited for late summer imbibing. It felt like a perfect gateway craft beer, as there was still enough of a malt and corn presence to remind people slightly of a macro lager. It disappeared a few years ago and loyal fans are eagerly awaiting it’s return.
This 8.7% ABV Imperial IPA is one of the most sought-after retired beers. It was also a very highly regarded IPA in the craft beer community, garnering a 91 ranking from BeerAdvocate. It was only brewed once, but that doesn’t stop fans from wondering when and if it will ever return. We’re hoping that, like CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout), Founders will surprise us with a return.
This is one of the highest rated beers ever on BeerAdvocate with a 97 ranking. Sadly, this imperial sour stout that was brewed with cherries and cacao (before being aged in bourbon barrels), was only brewed one time. There’s no doubt if Cigar City ever decides to make this again, people will wait in line for days.
This 5.8% American porter is definitely missed by fans of Firestone Walker, of which there are many. This beer has a 95 rating from Beer Advocate and was full of toffee, caramel and chocolate maltiness. Hopefully, one day the folks at Firestone Walker smarten up and decide to release this coveted beer again. That said, we can’t fault the Cali powerhouse, as every release is pretty damn stellar.
At 5.5% ABV, this old Irish red ale was rich, creamy and full of flavor. It was a perfect red ale with hints of toast, brown sugar, honey and oats. It was a very well-balance brew with hops and malts in perfect unison. It’s most missed around St. Patrick’s Day. It’s also missed because it’s a style not often produced by the best craft breweries, and 3 Floyds is definitely one of them.