Category Archives: Best Beers

Hoppy Boston Best Beers- Summer 2016

My summer best beers list is another short one, just three entries. Some of this is fewer beer reviews, some is that I’ve gotten more picky over the years. Another big factor is that I’ve run out of beers that I knew would make the list before I opened the bottle (due to previously enjoying the beer). The vast majority of my favorite beers already populate the My Favorite Beers page on Hoppy Boston, so the new additions tend to be new-to-me beers. It should also come as no surprise that the list is all Maine beers, I made three trips up north this spring/summer and all of these beers were purchased in Vacationland. As we move into fall I hope to mix in some more beers from other states, and some more malty options. Thanks for reading and feel free to pass on any suggestions!

Allagash Coolship RedAllagash Coolship Red: A wild fermented ale where the wort is cooled in an open fermenter and then aged in barrels with raspberries. Tart, fruity, funky, complex and delicious.

Mast Landing DDH Tell TaleMast Landing Double Dry Hopped Tell Tale: An unrepentant hop-bomb, huge hop flavors and aromas in a easy to drink beer. I love a well crafted, lower alcohol hoppy APA and this was a great one.

Foundation Cosmic BloomFoundation Cosmic Bloom: A delicious hop bomb pale ale from one of the emerging powers in the Maine beer scene. In contrast to the citrus forward juice-bombs you get a lot of strawberry and melon from the hops in this beer.


Hoppy Boston Best Beers- Spring 2016

It has been an interesting spring. This is always one of my favorite parts of the year, the weather gets warmer, coats and boots go into storage, and the porters and stouts in the fridge get exchanged for pilsners and saisons. I’ve had a great spring, plenty of good beers, some brewery visits, a trip to Maine. Through the last three months I’ve reviewed a number of tasty beers, and four have been good enough to take their place amongst my all time favorites. As always all of these beers have been added to the My Favorite Beers page. Feel free to pass along anything you’ve tried that you think I’ve missed. Cheers!

Aeronaut Robot Crush

Aeronaut Robot Crush: The gold medal winner at the Great American Beer Festival did not disappoint. Crisp and clear but full of flavor, beers like this are the reason that small batch pilsner is gaining popularity so quickly.

Lost Nation Mosaic IPA

Lost Nation Mosaic IPA: I am a sucker for Mosaic hops, they are one of my favorite varieties. This is an awesome NE style IPA with fruity hop flavor and aroma along with a mild bitterness and great drinkability.

Springdale Good N You

Springdale Good N’ You: I finally made a trip out to Springdale and I am ready for a quick return. I enjoyed all of the beers I tried but this was my favorite, a hop bomb that mixes the fruity flavors and aromas of the New England style with just a little more bitterness than some of the fruit-juice beers.

Cambridge Brewing Working Class Hero

Cambridge Brewing Co. Working Class Hero: Halfway through this beer my wife decided that it was going to be her go-to beer for the summer. A complex and flavorful saison that is still sessionable, this is a perfect beer to pair with grilling season.

HoppyBoston Best Beers-Winter 2016

One of my New Years resolutions for Hoppy Boston was to make an active effort to buy, drink and showcase more non-IPAs. This was partially motivated by the hype machine that is so IPA-centric, but it was also influenced by how hop-heavy the My Favorite Beers page on HoppyBoston has become. While it has been my goal from day one to discover and share underrated and readily available local beers, I am going to extend that goal to try and highlight some beer styles that don’t get enough attention. The going might be slow, I’ve had to cut back to two posts a week, but I am also focusing my posts on beers that I enjoy now. There have been a number of beers that I’ve intended to review and found them mediocre, so I declined. The beers on this list are far from mediocre, all are amazing and have been added to the growing list of my favorites. As always, if there is a beer missing from that list that you feel deserves consideration please pass it along in the comments, or on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram!

alchemist-focal-bangerAlchemist Focal Banger: I’m not one to chase down whalez, but my friend brought a stockpile of Alchemist beers to a recent guys weekend, and let us all take some home. Bold hop flavor and easy drinkability, I actually prefer this beer over Heady Topper.

allagash-hibernal-fluxusAllagash Hibernal Fluxus 2016: Allagash makes the best special occasion beers, incredibly complex Belgian style ales where every ingredient has a purpose and the flavors all meld together perfectly. Hibernal Fluxus is no exception, an exceptional dark Belgian Ale brewed with figs.

some-whoopie-pie-stoutSoMe Whoopie Pie Stout: Sometimes when a brewery tries to make a beer that tastes like a particular item of food it comes across as gimmicky (or terrible). This beer is the opposite, a flavorful stout where the adjunct ingredients add complexity but still let the natural chocolate flavors from the roasted malts shine through.

HoppyBoston Best Beers-Fall 2016

After an incredibly crazy summer life has settled down a bit this fall. I am back into somewhat of a routine with the new house, new job, new commute, etc. I’ve even found some time to visit a handful of breweries this fall. As part of the compromises that came with these changes I am writing a little less on Hoppy Boston, although I am still getting two posts up most weeks. Honestly, the three posts a week run I was on was probably unsustainable regardless of any life changes. Fewer posts means that I’ll probably have fewer new entries into my “Favorite Beers” list, but I am still committed to finding all of the great beers in New England, especially the ones that don’t require waiting in line to acquire. As always, the best beers I’ve reviewed this fall have been added to the My Favorite Beers page, and the links lead to the full review. Please feel free to recommend any beers that you think belong on this list and I haven’t had a chance to review yet. Cheers!

medusa-black-ale-projectMedusa Black Ale Project: The first in a series of beers (from different breweries) that will benefit charities that help veterans, and Medusa knocked it out of the park. A full flavored milk stout that is still easy to drink and not too boozy, I really hope this beer makes a comeback.

bbc-oktoberfestBerkshire Brewing Oktoberfest: A classic marzen, tons of malt flavor without being cloying, packs some punch but still super drinkable. Everyone should celebrate the fall with a few mugs of this beer.

notch-infinite-jestNotch Infinite Jest: The newest addition to Notch’s flagship lineup has quickly become a mainstay in my beer fridge. Big hop flavor, balance, drinkability, and of course it’s a session beer, making it perfect for all occasions.

oxbow-barrel-aged-farmhouse-pale-aleOxbow Barrel Aged Farmhouse Pale Ale: I am really glad to see Oxbow beers make their way down to Massachusetts. This saison aged in oak barrels with Brettanomyces has a complex mixture of flavors but everything comes together and makes a delicious beer.

Hoppy Boston Best Beers: Summer 2016

This summer was a little crazy for me personally, bought a house, lost my job, moved, started a new job, plus all of the day to day stuff that keeps me busy even in a “quiet” stretch. Due to the extra demands on my time Hoppy Boston actually went on hiatus for a month in June/July, so it should come as no surprise that the quarterly round-up of my favorite beers is a little light. It’s unfortunate, I had plans to review some of favorite summer classics and ran out of time, I guess it will have to wait until next summer. As always, these beers have been added to the My Favorite Beers page, feel free to pass on suggestions for beers that you think belong on that list (and I haven’t had a chance to review yet). Cheers!

Ipswich Riverbend PilsIpswich Riverbend Pils: I bought this beer at CBC Newton after one of the guys there gave a strong recommendation and it didn’t disappoint. Crisp, clean and easy to drink but still tons of flavor, this is what a pilsner should be.

CBC Pearls of WisdomCambridge Brewing Company Pearls of Wisdom: When Cambridge Brewing Company and Mystic collaborated to open a facility that focuses on barrel aged and wild ales this is the kind of beer I was excited for them to develop. Wild fermented, aged with Brett and then dry-hopped before bottling this beer is incredibly complex but everything works in harmony.

Trillium Melcher StTrillium Melcher Street IPA: I think Melcher Street is my favorite Trillium IPA. This beer highlights the Mosaic hop, really bringing out the tropical and citrus fruit flavors that have made these hops so popular.


HoppyBoston Best Beers Spring 2016

My favorite beers this winter were predominantly big and malty, stouts, porters, quads and barleywines. As the weather started to warm I went back onto a hoppy beer kick, and this is reflected in my favorite beers of spring. As I move into summer I imagine my taste will go even lighter, hopefully adding a number of pilsners and other crisp and easy drinking beers to my favorites list. Here are my personal favorites amongst the beers I reviewed this summer. As always these beers have been added to the My Favorite Beers page and the links lead to the full reviews. Also a reminder that I am always open to suggestions, if you have a beer that you’d like to see reviewed on HoppyBoston send a message on twitter (@HoppyBoston) or Facebook ( Cheers!

Mayflower AldenMayflower Alden: Originally a one-off beer in the Cooper’s Series Mayflower brought this double IPA back due to it’s popularity. Tons of hop flavor and aroma, good balance and incredibly drinkable for a bigger beer.

Trillium Free Rise with CitraTrillium Free Rise with Citra: I’ve enjoyed a number of iterations of Free Rise, but the version dry-hopped with Citra is a standout. The natural citrus fruit flavors and aromas from the hops meld beautifully with the esters produced by the expressive Belgian style ale yeast.

Maine Beer Co  MoMaine Beer Company Mo: While so much attention is paid to MBC’s stellar IPAs this pale ale often gets overlooked. Huge hop flavors and aromas, just enough malt and the drinkability and lower bitterness you expect from an APA.

Trillium Fort Point Pale AleTrillium Fort Point Pale Ale: Possibly my favorite local beer (which is saying something). Huge hop flavors, smooth and easy to drink, everything you want in a pale ale. I’ve tried a number of different versions of this beer and each one is stellar.

Kent Falls EquinoxKent Falls Equinox: A dry hopped saison featuring the  Equinox hop which adds a mixture of fruity and herbal notes that form a complex and delicious interplay with the farmhouse yeast flavors. Kent Falls is making some unique and very tasty beers, this is amongst the best I’ve tried so far.

HoppyBoston Best Beers: Winter 2015/16

After a slow quarter in Hoppy Boston best beer additions this fall the winter came on with a vengeance, adding seven beers to my favorites list. There were a number of reasons for this increase, including the announcement that Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project was shutting down leading to a month-plus tribute where I reviewed a number of their beers. Pretty Things now has seven total entries on the My Favorite Beers list, a number that won’t be surpassed anytime soon. Also of note, there are no IPAs/DIPAs or other hoppy beers on my list this quarter, not something I did intentionally per se, but I have been making an effort to add more diversity. Without further ado, here are my favorite beers that I reviewed in the last 3 months, links lead to the full review. Cheers!

Goose Island BCBS 2015Goose Island BCBS 2015: There aren’t many AB-InBev products that beer geeks get excited for, but this is clearly one. Bold, boozy and still incredibly smooth, this beer is a sought after classic for a reason.

Pretty Things Baby TreePretty Things Baby Tree: One of Pretty Things flagship beers and one of the best quads on the market (at least it was), complex and boozy while still being drinkable and approachable. This beer will be missed.

Pretty Things Our Finest RegardsPretty Things Our Finest Regards: At absolute ode to malt flavor, intense and delicious. Probably my favorite barleywine.

Slumbrew Yankee Swap 2015Slumbrew Yankee Swap 2015: The 2015 version featured a quadruple aged in rum barrels, in my opinion the best combination of the three they’ve tried.

Brewmaster Jack Tennessee PrinseBrewmaster Jack Tennessee Prinse: Another barrel aged quad, this time in Tennessee whiskey barrels (fitting for a brewery with “Jack” in their name). Nearly flawless combination of malt, yeast and whiskey flavors.

Night Shift AwakeNight Shift Awake: I tried a number of coffee porters for porter month and this was my favorite, just enough coffee flavor to add complexity without overwhelming the beer.

Jack's Abby FraminghammerJack’s Abby Framinghammer: A boozy Baltic porter that packs huge flavor but is still dangerously easy to drink. Many swear by the barrel aged variants (which are great), but I still love the original.