YOU KNOW that resolution you made to cut back on beer in 2015? Yeah, me neither. But for those who did, here are 16 brand-new resolution-breakers from area breweries.
2nd Story Wet Hop Pilsner. Owner Debbie Grady has two acres of hops planted on her farm in Pottstown, and they’ll be used for a fresh hop flavor when they’re harvested next autumn.
Baconator. The garage-based, Media-based Ship Bottom nanobrewery is hoping to expand to a larger space in 2015. Meanwhile, it’s begun bottling this whiskey-barrel-aged oatmeal stout flavored with coffee, chocolate, maple syrup and, yes, bacon. Look for it later this month in Philadelphia, and Montgomery and Chester counties.
Brandywine Barleywine. Saint Benjamin Brewing touts this strong (11 percent alcohol) ale, to be released in April, as an unheard-of white barleywine. “Hey,” said brewmaster Tim Patton, “if you can have every shade of IPA . . . “
He said it’s aimed at making a beer accessible to his wine-drinking friends.
Do Good Milk Stout. The Kensington start-up, already looking for a new space for expansion, will debut its second beer in February. Flavored with vanilla and caramel, the creamy stout will join Do Good Cream Ale in 21 locations in the city.
Dochter Seizoen. With little fanfare, Forest & Main Brewing has been releasing bottled versions of outstanding barrel-aged saison that previously had been available only at its Ambler brewpub. With its expansion into a warehouse next door, look for more floral farmhouse favorites, like this one, aged in a wine barrel.
Exit 3. The first new label in the Flying Fish Exit series since 2012 is a nod to the blueberry fields of nearby Hammonton. Coming in February, it’s a blueberry-flavored braggot, which is essentially a blend of beer and honey.
Free Will Mango Wheat. Now that the three-year-old Perkasie brewery is more than doubling its production space, much of the attention will be aimed at its well-regarded barrel-aged sour and wild ales. But don’t miss this crisp, refreshing fruit beer, to be released in March. An experimental version was the brewery’s No. 1 tasting-room seller in ’14.
La Colombe Tandem. ‘Til now, you had to drive (or cycle) to the Schuylkill River Trail to get a taste of Conshohocken Brewery. Now that they’re distributing cans, you can bring home this full-flavored, Belgian-style ale made with coffee from Philadelphia’s La Colombe roaster.
Misdemeanor of the Third Degree. It’s the third in a series of highly hopped IPAs that Prism Brewing calls the “baby brother” to its popular (and quite strong) Felony IPA. Made with a massive dose of Apollo hops, it’s nonetheless intended as a so-called session ale, with just 4.4 percent alcohol content.
Neshaminy Creek Sour (TBA). When you think of Croydon’s finest, you think mainly of superb German styles with a sprinkling of IPAs. But by the end of this month, Neshaminy Creek will have its hands on a pair of foeders (giant wooden barrels) for brewing and blending sour ales. They won’t be ready until later in the year, but stop in now and check out the new brewery tap and game rooms.
Smoked Butternut Squash Imperial Porter. Bucks County Brewery celebrates its first anniversary on Jan. 30 with this limited release of about 10 dozen large bottles. It’s made with sweet Argonaut butternut squash that was smoked over pecan and apple wood, then fermented for six weeks before going into a batch of strong porter and aged in rum barrels.
Summer Love. Victory Brewing continues to grow, adding fermenters to its new plant, in Parkesburg. That will enable Philly’s largest craft brewer to add new styles in large bottles, plus a new canned version of this summertime stalwart.
Tower 23. Cape May Brewing expects to be the state’s second-largest craft brewer (behind Flying Fish) when it triples capacity with a 30-barrel brewhouse at its new facility down the Shore. The expansion brings a new bottling line, which means that you’ll be able to enjoy this tart, low-alcohol (3.5 percent) cloudy wheat beer on your own deck.
Winey Dog. Stoudt’s sent its Fat Dog Imperial Oatmeal Stout into a wine barrel and came out with this limited release, available on draft and corked bottles in February. Look also for its benchmark Pils and popular APA to hit the shelves in cans next month.
Yin Yang Oatmeal Stout. Six-month-old Broken Goblet Brewery begins distributing to local bars in February. This one’s silky smooth and full of roasty goodness.
Yuengling Winter. Say goodbye to Yuengling Bock and, in late 2015, hello to a new winter seasonal. No word yet on the style, however.