Everyone knows craft beer has caught on in a big way. Most people are pretty familiar with IPAs, stouts and pilsners by now, and they certainly are delicious. But why not branch out and try something different? Here are some obscure styles that you should definitely keep an eye out for:
This beer is so good, it’s illegal. Ok, not really, but only small microbreweries are allowed to make this highly concentrated beer due to its alcohol content, so don’t expect to see this style from Budweiser any time soon. Eisbocks are anywhere from sweet to spicy with minimal hops and a big, syrupy alcohol presence. We recommend Schneider’s Aventinus Weizen-Eisbock and Ramstein’s Winter Wheat Eisbock.
Arnold Palmers, shandy, black and tans – we do love mixing half-and-half drinks. Why not kick it up a notch and try braggot, which is half beer and half mead (honey wine)? Our favorite is Kuhnhenn’s Bourbon Barrel Braggot, which packs a serious punch at 16% ABV, so only drink this one when you’re ready for a serious party. We also love Brother Adam’s Bragget Honey Ale, which is pretty boozy as well.
Long before hops entered the beer scene, medieval Europeans flavored and preserved their beer with herbs and spices originally thought to increase sex drive and induce euphoria. Ok, whether or not that’s actually true, there are a few styles still being made that we love, including Professor Fritz Briem’s 13th Century Grut Bier, Williams Bros’ Fraoch Heather Ale and Brasserie Dupont’s Posca Rustica.
4. Smoked Beer
With the huge popularity of bacon, it is a wonder that smoked beer hasn’t caught on more widely. You might have seen Stone’s Smoked Porter, which is a great place to start, but have you tried The Bruery’s Smoking Wood, Captain Lawrence Smoked Porter or Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier?
5. Wild Ale
If you have a penchant for sweet and sour ales and strong flavors, you’ll love wild ales. Brewed with wild varieties of yeast and bacteria (we promise, it sounds a lot more gross than it is), these wild ales can develop some really funky flavors. This style isn’t for everyone, and you might want to taste it before ordering a full glass, but a lot of people really enjoy the strong, totally unique flavors. We recommend Russian River’s Consecration, New Belgium’s Lips of Faith – Le Terroir, and Jolly Pumpkin’s La Roja.