As I entered the fall I was a little burned out on hoppy beers and excited to mix in a bunch of malt-forward options. I was somewhat successful in the beers I drank, but local breweries decided to release a string of amazing IPAs this fall, and they ended up dominating my reviews. As a result, four of my five beers favorites of the fall are IPAs. I am going to change course this winter, I am planning on stocking up on porters, stouts, quads and other bold malty beers. If my favorite beers of the winter look anything like this list please feel free to call me out on it. As always, every beer listed has been added to my personal beer-review Hall of Fame, the Hoppy Boston My Favorite Beers list. Thank you for reading and feel free to pass along any suggestions!
Aeronaut Double Hop Hop: Instead of asking their customers to wait in line for the limited release of their new DIPA Aeronaut sold tickets online, buy a ticket and you can come and grab the beer at your convenience. This strategy is especially helpful because Double Hop Hop is a beer worth waiting in line for. This beer has the easy drinkability of a NEIPA and a fruit-forward flavor and aroma balanced by an array of other hop flavors.
Bog Iron Fancy French Name: Bog Iron has slowly ramped up their barrel aging program and this beer is a standout. A saison aged in French Oak barrels with Brettanomyces, Fancy French Name has a complex mixture of flavors that all work together, resulting in a delicious beer. If they make another batch of this it is worth the trip to Norton to check it out.
Lone Pine Brightside: I firmly believe that Lone Pine is a rising star in the New England beer scene, destined to become a brewery that people seek out. I tried a number of their beers this summer and enjoyed them all. My personal favorite was Brightside, a well crafted hop-bomb IPA that can hold it’s own with the biggest names on the market.
Mystic Voltage: After years focused almost exclusively on saisons and other Belgian styles Mystic branched out into hop-forward beers and the results have been exceptional. Voltage is a crisp and clean New England style IPA with big hop flavors and aromas. I hope they can find a good balance between these impressive hoppy beers and the stellar Belgian beers that are stapes at the brewery.
Idle Hands Six Seam: After years developing a stable of top-notch Belgian style ales and German lagers, Idle Hands added a number of stellar American styles to the lineup. The standout is Six Seam, an incredibly flavorful and smooth New England style DIPA. This is a limited rotational release, I highly recommend checking it out when they brew it again.