This week, America went to the polls and made their voices heard on which craft beers we should know about this week. And yes, like any good democracy, we at Five Craft Beers to Know HQ counted each and every one of those votes! Then, after briefly leaving the room for an undisclosed amount of time, we re-emerged with the final, unimpeachable list. As of this morning, the final loser beers conceded their races and we can confidently declare these five beers the beers you should know this week. Believe us, these are the best beers. Please be sure to send us news on your own really great beers from an undisclosed location in Russia to [email protected].
OK, so Palmetto stuffed the ballot box, but how could we deny them? South Carolina’s oldest brewery celebrates 25 years of great beers with a week-long 25th anniversary party, and there’s a week of awesome beers lined up.
- Friday, 11/9: Save Crab Bank Benefit hosted by the Driftwood Foundation. $1 per pint will go toward replenishing the bird habitat near Shem Creek. Small Batch Beer Release: Tangerine Sour
- Sunday, 11/11: 50 percent off draft-pours for veterans, as the brewery salutes those who have served in our military. Small Batch Beer Release: Imperial Pumpkin Ale
- Monday, 11/12: Open Mic Monday with live music from talented local musicians. Small Batch Beer Release: Spicy Margarita Gose
- Wednesday, 11/14: Charleston’s Original Craft Beer gets the royal treatment with a special anniversary beer release party! Small Batch Beer Release: Oak-Aged Imperial Amber Ale
- Thursday, 11/15: Pink Boots Society Night and fundraiser beer release. $1 per pint benefits the Pink Boots Society of Charleston, who collaborated on an American Amber Ale with peaches, dry-hopped with Vic Secret and Citra. Small Batch Beer Release: Peach Dreams are Made of Briess
- Friday, 11/16: Special barrel-aged release of Palmetto’s flagship India Pale Ale. Small Batch Beer Release: Tequila Barrel-Aged Huger Street IPA
- Saturday, 11/17: Pints & Paws for a Cause. Palmetto and the Perseus Foundation are raising money for a four-year-old Charleston pup named Yuki Saluki, who was diagnosed with lymphoma and is in need of a life-saving bone marrow transplant. Bring your dogs and contribute to his treatment! Small Batch Beer Release: Pink Peppercorn Wit
- Sunday, 11/18: Palmetto wraps up the week with one more specialty beer release, in honor of 25 years! Small Batch Beer Release: Rhubarb Gose
Heavy Seas Beer finds new IPA land
Baltimore-based brewery Heavy Seas Beer is entering a new phase of development following its small-batch beer project, launche in July 2018. In 2019, the brewery will continue to focus on innovation with releases including a Hazy IPA twist on its flagship Loose Cannon, a Brut IPA and a barrel-aged sour. The brewery will also introduce limited can releases to the program. The first 16-oz can release, a Triple IPA, will debut in four-packs this December in celebration of Heavy Seas’ 23rd anniversary.
Heavy Seas believes the small-batch project is a true reflection of its commitment to innovation, creative freedom and imagination. Included among the first experimental beer releases brewed in the newly added 15-bbl brewhouse were a raspberry sour, honey ale with cherries and a dual sour release featuring lemon meringue and cranberry tart.
Don’t forget this Harpoon winter classic
At the CBB offices, holiday time always reminds us classic craft beer seasonals. Because when a brewery like Harpoon Brewery first introduced its Winter Warmer in 1988, let’s just say that people weren’t exactly sure what to make of it. But after close to three decades of production, this beer has become a New England seasonal classic. Cinnamon and nutmeg dominate the aroma, and the taste is a rich combination of the holiday spices with a hearty malt backbone. There’s also a few other Harpoon seasonals to know about this time of year.
MacGuffin: A member of Harpoon’s 100 Barrel Series, this beer balances right on the edge of darkness. Brewed with fresh thyme and honey, this is one enigma of an ale.
Catamount Bourbon Barrel Aged Porter: Available exclusively on Harpoon Brewery’s Vermont and Massachusetts’s brewery locations, this brew features a unique combination of eight different malts and is barrel-aged for 11 months in bourbon barrels. Notes of vanilla, a robust, smooth character and roast-sweet aroma.
Blue Blaze Brewing cans its Sherpa
To kick off November, Charlotte, N.C.’s Blue Blaze Brewing released its Sherpa Winter Porter in cans for the first time and on draft in an exclusively small batch (psst, including on nitro). Sherpa Winter Porter is a light-bodied dark brown porter style with very light hop flavor and aroma. Blue Blaze has also introduced subtle notes of your favorite winter tastes: vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, tiramisu, and hazelnut along with light sweetness, caramel and chocolate.
Dogfish Head stuffs its Holidays Variety Pack with IPAs
Ok, it’s a lot more than five beers to know this week, but that’s what happens during the holiday marketing season. Variety packs are always big this time of year, and Dogfish Head Craft Brewery recently announced the release of an impressive set of IPAs for its Holidays variety 12-pack.
Available in early November (that’s now!), the holiday pack contains four varieties of IPA goodness in a special box. It also features two exclusives — Sixty One and Viniferous IPA — along with a duo of fan-favorite IPAs — 60 Minute IPA and 90 Minute Imperial IPA. Particulary interesting, the white beer-wine hybrid, Viniferous IPA, is fermented with Riesling & Viognier grape must and hopped with Hallertau Blanc, Huell Melon and El Dorado to match the dry, fruity complexity of a Riesling with the hoppiness of an IPA. Sixty One, the “red” beer-wine mashup, is a marriage of two Dogfish Head innovations — beer-wine hybrids featuring Syrah grape must and continually hopped IPAs.
It makes a great gift for the holidays, but maybe just keep it for yourself.