The Best Beers Of 2012

Alright, so I had plenty of beer in 2012. I tried a lot more than in previous years, a lot more. Thanks to Untappd, I can look back at what I drank and put together a list of my favorites from 2012. These are beers that were either new in 2012, or just new to me this year. So even though I drank plenty of Zombie Dust, Gumballhead and Heady Topper this year, they don’t make this list.

Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Plead The 5th

bourbonplead
For a long time I thought that nobody could touch the perfection that is Goose Island’s Bourbon County Brand Stout. That is until this years Bourbon Barrel Plead the 5th from Dark Horse. It is now the 1a to BCBS in the barrel aged stout category for me.

Founders Better Half
I already love Curmudgeon’s Old Ale, so when I heard they were aging it in Maple Syrup barrels I kind of went nuts. And it lived up to the hype for me, smooth, sweet and just amazing. I drank all mine, who wants to trade me theirs?

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Hill Farmstead Double Citra
I admit to loving most everything with a healthy dose of Citra hops but there is always something unique about a Hill Farmstead offering. It’s like a giant basket of citrus fruit in your nose and mouth, with a bitter finish that is just the right balance. Yeah, it’s that good!

Big Bad Baptist Imperial Stout
This might be the best coffee stout I’ve ever tasted. It’s dark, rich and fresh on tap. I know KBS is a coffee stout and of course Bourbon County Coffee is fantastic, but I just love this beer and pick it up whenever I see some on shelves.

Cigar City Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout
2012 was the first year I got my hands on some Hunahpu’s and man was it phenomnal. The rich vanilla and cinnamon tastes with just enough of the chile on the end made it really stand out and made me craze more of this hard to find beer.

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Stone Ruination 10th Anniversary
The best Double IPA Stone has ever released. And they put a lot of IPA’s on the market, especially this year. No offense to the 16th Anniversary and the Enjoy By releases but fresh Ruination 10th Anniversary was out of this world. A true palate wrecker that was instantly addictive.

Founders Backwoods Bastard
I’ve had Backwoods in previous years of course, but there was something about this years batch that did it for me. It didn’t feel as hot and boozy fresh as previous vintages and the smooth scotch ale flavors mixed with the barrel really made it shine.

Quaff Brothers Joseph
A bit of Cincinnati love on the list from Quaff Brothers. This bourbon barrel stout was aged in Elijah Craig barrels and had coffee added as well. It’s a mild stout that when at room temperature can stand up to some of the big boys in its category. In my opinion, it was the best thing to come out of Cincinnati in 2012. (Honorable mention to Quaff Sour Grapes and Rivertown Ojos Negros)

jackies
Jackie O’s Bourbon Barrel Nutted Brick Kiln
I’d really like to include just about everything in the Brick Kiln series, Bourbon Barrel and Rum Barrel but something about the Nutted version just stood above the rest. Jackie’s already has the market cornered on beers with walnut infusions but if you can try just one, I recommend this bad boy. Lets hope it gets bottled for a future release.

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Three Floyds Live A Rich Life
Yeah, I adored this beer in 2012. The collaboration with De Struise to honor former employee, Rich Sheppard, is a Belgian IPA and might be the best Belgian IPA I’ve tasted. Tons of citrus and plenty of IBU’s to enjoy throughout this 22 oz joy.

Fat Heads Head Hunter
I had my fair share of this once it became more available in the Cincinnati area this year. It ranks right up there with the best IPA’s you can get your hands on. Yeah, on the same plain as Heady, Pliny and other world class IPA’s.

Green Flash Rayon Vert
It’s a pretty bold move to make a beer like this, full of tasty tasty brettanomyces that are constantly changing in the bottle and making it a year round offering. And since it’s bold you might not expect it to be consistently good, but it really really is.

hillE

Hill Farmstead E.
Speaking of fantastic beers with brettanomyces, Hill Farmstead knocked it out of the park with E. This funky version of Edward, their Pale Ale, gets plenty of brett, galaxy hops and is aged on stainless for four months. My favorite farmhouse pale of the year, hands down.

Alpine Nelson
The award for best use of New Zealand Nelson Sauvin hops goes to Alpine Nelson. Seriously fresh hoppy and smooth every single time. If you see it, and its summer, don’t hesitate to snatch up as much as you possibly can.

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