We drank our way through a lot of great beer in 2014. And while there were plenty of pints of old favorites, there were also a ton of new brews that found their way into our glassware. While we couldn’t possibly have tried all the tremendous beer that came out in 2014, we sure as hell tried. Out of all the awesome new brews we consumed, these were our favorites.

Maine Beer Co. – Dinner

It was going to take a special brew for us to have a new favorite beer from Maine Beer Company. Their IPA Lunch is so good, we had a hard time believing they could top it. Then we tasted Dinner. The Double IPA took our love affair with the young brewery and their simplistic labels to another level. It’s got all the characteristics of a great IPA with a slightly unique taste that we haven’t found in any other brew. Link

Double IPA • ABV: 8.20% • BA Score: 100

Goose Island – Bourbon County Vanilla Rye

The most buzzed about Bourbon County Brand Stout variant this year was Vanilla Rye. The first vanilla they made years ago was a fan favorite, and after going with Backyard Rye last year, the Goose Island team decided to give vanilla another go this time around. It didn’t disappoint. Link

Imperial Stout • ABV: 13.60% • BA Score: 100

Allagash – Saison

Even though it came out at the very end of 2013, Allagash Saison was one of the nice surprises of the past year. An all-year beer that’s readily available and doesn’t suck ass, Allagash’s Saison has become one of our go-to brews. Link

Saison • ABV: 6.10% • BA Score: 87

Boulevard Brewing – Love Child No. 4

The fourth Love Child iteration is Boulevard’s finest to date. Super fruity and tart, Love Child No. 4 was one of the best wilds we tasted all year. Link

Wild Ale • ABV: 9% • BA Score: 96

Sierra Nevada – Coffee Stout

Sierra Nevada had a busy year. They collaborated with what seemed like every brewery for their Beer Camp series, they toured the country, they opened a new location in North Carolina, and they brewed one of our favorite new beers of the year. Their Coffee Stout is roasty, creamy, and very approachable. It wasn’t some barrel-aged monster, it was just a really well-made stout that deserves some praise. Link

Stout • ABV: 6.90% • BA Score: 91

Neshaminy Creek Brewing – The Shape of Hops to Come

Neshaminy Creek Brewing Company doesn’t distribute to a large area, which is a shame because it means one of the best beers released this year probably didn’t make it to your local bottle shop. Pop the top on a can of The Shape of Hops to Come, and you’ll be greated with an intoxicating aroma thanks to the Citra, Apollo, Newport, Simcoe, and Topaz hops used to make the Double IPA. It rivals all those big names you’ve heard plenty about. Link

Double IPA • ABV: 8.5% • BA Score: 96

Anderson Valley Brewing Co. – Blood Orange Gose

The Kimmie, The Yink & The Holy Gose was already one of our favorite salty treats in a can, and then the fine folks at Anderson Valley dropped this gem on us. The latest Highway 128 Session Series beer packs some added citrus for the gose fan. Link

Gose • ABV: 4.20% • BA Score: 89

Stone Brewing Co. – Chris Banker / Insurgente / Stone Xocoveza Mocha Stout

Stone release a shit-ton of new beers this past year, and none were finer than this collaboration with their homebrewing competition winner Chris Banker and Cervecería Insurgente. Made to replicate the taste of Mexican hot chocolate, this Milk Stout is packed with notes of chocolate, cinnamon, and spice. And for a year where many spicy beers fell flat, this one exceeded expectations. Link

Milk Stout • ABV: 8.10% • BA Score: 96

Clown Shoes – Space Cake

We weren’t searching for a sweet Double IPA, but we sure as hell found one in Space Cake, and we’re certainly glad we did. Fruity, slightly sweet, and way too easy to drink. Definitely one of our surprises of the year. Link

Double IPA • ABV: 9% • BA Score: 90


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