WHAT TO WATCH FOR – JANUARY THRU MARCH

Beers on a sled

I dreamt I was at the bottom of this hill. It was a good dream.

Yesterday, I wrote about the levels of craft beer consumerism. The premise was essentially that everyone who walks into a bottle shop looking for beer can be put into a few categories based on how far along they are in their transition to becoming a full-fledged alehead.*

*i.e. insufferable beer snob

One characteristic of those who’ve made the transition to level 3 is that they tend to know when certain seasonal brews come out. Well, here’s what I’m going to be looking for over then next several weeks.* It’s not an exhaustive list by any means. It’s not meant to be. Most of these are beers from the larger or more prestigious regional breweries, and they happen to distribute their wares in my quiet hometown. I realize I’m missing a bunch, but I’d argue that this is a good start.

*Note that I scoured the interwebsites of many of my favorite breweries to come up with this list. If you don’t see a brewery here, it may be because they don’t say anything about their production schedules. Or, sometimes they’ll say that something is seasonal, but won’t actually tell you what season. Seriously, Ommegang. There’s no excuse. More material for Kid Carboy’s list of worst brewery websites.

Alesmith: Yulesmith Holiday Ale

If you can find this, buy it. Immediately.

Avery: New World Porter

Brooklyn: Monster Ale Barleywine, Black Chocolate Stout

The Bruery: Four Calling Birds (as Doc pointed out last year, it should be colly birds).

Dogfish Head: Chicory Stout

Founders: Double Trouble, Imperial Stout

Great Divide: Grand Cru, Oak-Aged Yeti, Old Ruffian

Lagunitas: The Hairy Eyeball, Gnarleywine

Left Hand: Fade to Black Volume 3

If I were Adam, I'd have done the same.

Lost Abbey: Serpent’s Stout

Port: Midnight Expression, Santa’s Little Helper

Southern Tier: Gemini, Back Burner

Stone: Old Guardian Barleywine

Troegs: Mad Elf, Nugget Nectar

Victory: Old Horizontal

Weyerbacher: Heresy

And though they don’t distribute to eastern Massachusetts (yet…I’m still holding out hope that they’ll be out here someday soon), I’d suggest looking for these offerings:

Bell’s: Double Cream Stout, Java Stout, Third Coast Old Ale, Expedition Stout, Hopslam

Cigar City: Sugar Plum Brown Ale

Deschutes: Red Chair NWPA, Hop Henge, The Abyss

So, fellow aleheads. What did I miss? What else should I look for to ease the brutality the next few months are bound to inflict upon us?

Lord Copperpot

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10 comments

  1. I’ve seen some of these on shelves in Western PA already, including: Brooklyn Black Chocolate, DFH Chicory, Troegs Mad Elf (already sold out for weeks in most bottleshops), and Victory Old Horizontal.

    Troegs confirmed via Twitter that Nugget Nectar will be out in February (hooray!)

    I believe Founders Double Trouble pics from the bottling line emerged last week, and Hopslam release notes have been a jumbled mess. The most recent is here.

    Also, skip the Cigar City Sugar Plum… I’m as big a CC fanboy as they come, but that beer didn’t work in my opinion.

  2. Looks like Bell’s confirmed on Twitter this morning that Hopslam will start shipping this week and go through February in a distributed rollout.

  3. Kid Carboy Jr. · · Reply

    Ah, New World Porter, one of my favorite seasonals. Black IPA before black IPA was a thing.

  4. Agreed with Slouch – I had such high hopes for the CC Sugar Plum but there was some kind of weird sourness happening with my bottle that turned me off the whole thing. I like sours, when they’re intended to be sour, but this was something else.

    I thought I read somewhere about Victory not doing Old Horizontal this year?? I hope that was wrong!

    This year’s Chicory Stout is gorgeous.

  5. Sorry to hear about the Sugar Plum. Heading down to Miami in a few weeks and was looking to score some. Ah well, I suppose I’ll stick to a six-pack of Jai Alai for breakfast instead.

    Megan: I totally agree. The chicory stout is really tasty.

  6. I’m pretty sure Old Horizontal is not happening this year. Victory is apparently growing so quickly that they need to reserve capacity to brew their flagships…

    Dogfish Head has recently put out some World Wide Stout and 120 Minute IPA, which always seem to disappear quickly (and I heard some rumors about WWS taking a hiatus for a while)

    I think Weyerbacher’s quad comes out around this time of the year as well… (Never had it, but will be looking for it…)

    I missed out on Hopslam last year, and really need to find me some this year…

  7. Did you say The Hairy Eyeball??? I was late to the party on that one last year, i.e. I didn’t try it till July. But let me tell ya, I loved it! Hope to try it again.

    Hoppy New Beer!

    Cheers!
    G-LO

  8. Sorry G-Lo, I meant to comment on that as well… no Hairy Eyeball in 2012 because of the wreck of their brewhouse when it was being shipped from Germany. They’re doing another run of Lagunitas Sucks called “Holiday Leftovers”.

  9. Lagunitas Capucino Stout is a great annual holiday release too. Also one of my favs is Jolly Pumpkin Noel de Calabaza

  10. Over the next few months I’m looking forward to Hopslam, Nugget Nectar and All Day IPA. I’ve already had Bell’s Double Cream and Java, Brooklyn Black Chocolate and DFH Chicory.

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