Egads, is it time for year-end best-of lists already? In the spirit of pumpkin beers in August, Draft Magazine publishes a list of the top 25 new beers of 2012. California beers make the list five times, but what really stands out among the list is all the creative use of farm-fresh ingredients and specialty malts.
The list is made up of “bottled or canned beers that were released or made available for the first time in the United States this year”, and there are a lot less IPAs among the top 25 than we would have expected. The hot style for 2012 looks to be the saisons and farmhouse ales that make up 20% of the list.
The other big trend among Draft Mag’s is the use of fruits, vegetables, and herbs! Five of the 25 beers feature different food ingredients from beer-friendly fruits like cherries to more unconventional produce like lemon verbena, cucumber, and even Hawaiian bread fruit. We’re even more excited for the 2013 edition of the Farmer’s Market FestiveALE at Blue Palms now!
California breweries are well represented on the list with five new beers among the top 25:
- Firestone Walker – Wookie Jack
- Stone Brewing Co – 16th Anniversary IPA
- Russian River Brewing Co – Row 2, Hill 56
- Drakes Brewing – Alpha Session
- Hangar 24 – Essence IPA
American brewers are getting even more creative with the ingredients they are using, and as new specialty grains become available to craft brewers we should see even more style-defying and ambitious brews. It’s a great time to be a craft beer fan!
Hit up the Draftmag.com post for the full list, and let us know what your favorite new beer of 2012 is.