Fresh Batch: 6 New Beers You Have to Drink Right Now

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Fresh Batch: 6 New Beers You Have to Drink Right Now

We’re well into the swing of 2017 and by now, you’ve probably abandoned all of your New Year’s Resolutions. Your gym membership has lapsed. You’ve started eating chili cheese fries again. If there’s one resolution you should totally keep, though, it’s the pledge to drink new beer. If that’s the case, we have some new candidates for you. The beers on this list run the gamut from burly, barrel-aged stouts you should really think about sharing, to a fresh lager that’s not meant to be shared at all. Keep it for yourself.

Stupid Flanders

Unknown Brewing Company
Charlotte, N.C. based Unknown Brewing manages to pay homage to The Simpsons while brewing a traditional Flanders red sour ale. They aged the hell out of this beer (16 months in French oak cabernet barrels) and the result is tart and tannic as hell. Red wine lovers take note—the level of wine and oak in this beer is off the charts. After it settled down in the glass, I discovered some softer caramel notes. Unknown released it in December. Grab it and let it sit for a while in your fancy beer cellar.

High West-ified Imperial Coffee Stout

Lagunitas Brewing Company
Man, this is a beer. Lagunitas partnered with Metropolis Coffee to brew a big, high ABV coffee stout, then put that stout in High West Rye and Bourbon barrels for 17 months. The beer smells like chocolate and coffee and booze and tastes like heaven. It's rich and boozy, with the whiskey barrels fingerprints all over it, delivering elements of vanilla, wood and the whiskey itself to an already great stout. It's 12.2% ABV, so pace yourself. But run out and get this beer now while it's still in stores.

Manta Ray

Ballast Point
When Ballast Point makes an IPA, you should pay attention. Sculpin kicks ass, and so do most of its variants. Hell, Grapefruit Sculpin practically launched a thousand fruit IPAs. So here we have Manta Ray, a brand new double IPA that's available year-round. The result is, well, awesome. There's nothing ground-breaking in the bottle—no fruit adjuncts or experimental hops—but it's a solid, citrus forward IPA with plenty of hop bite at the end. I don't often reach for double IPAs, because I have work to do and kids to raise, but when I do, this could easily be my go-to choice. It's 8.5%, and hitting the shelves this month.

Enjoy By 02.14.17

Stone Brewing Co.
Speaking of double IPAs, here's another that happens to be brewed with chocolate and coffee. Because it's Stone and Stone does what Stone wants. We've been reasonably impressed by Stone's Enjoy By series so far, and Chocolate and Coffee is no different. The hop bill is…robust…with 12 different varieties holding their own under the richness of the coffee and chocolate. It's dank, with plenty of tropical fruit from the hops, but the chocolate is strong enough to veer this beer into interesting territory. The thing about chocolate and IPAs, is they go together. A hoppy IPA and a good bar of milk chocolate is a hell of a pairing. Stone cut out the middle man and put the pairing in the bottle. It's unfiltered, and comes in at a hefty 9.5% ABV. Obviously, there's a clock ticking, so get out there while you can.

Pacific Wonderland

Deschutes Brewery
While the other beers on this list so far seem to be battling it out to see who can get me hung over the fastest, Deschutes goes the other direction with Pacific Wonderland, an easy-drinking lager that comes in under the radar at 5.5%. It's bright and crisp but has plenty of citrus from the hops (Tettnang Mandarina, Hellertau Herkules and Mittelfruh). Pacific Wonderland is a new member of Deschutes' year-round lineup. If you've been looking for a solid craft lager to sub for your Budweiser addiction, give it a try.

Café Racer 15

Bear Republic
We already have two double IPAs on this list, so why not finish it off with a third. Café Racer 15 has been around for a while, stacking up medals along the way, but this is the first time Bear Republic is releasing it in six packs. And it'll only be on the shelves and on draft for a limited time. This is one of those classic IPAs that everyone needs to spend some time with. It's all about the grapefruit; okay, there's a little bit of pine too, but mostly, it's grapefruit and the bitterness is off the charts. Balanced? Not really. But that's okay sometimes.