2SP Delco Lager – Brewer Bob Barrar is known for hop monsters and imperial stout, but this easy-drinking amber lager deserves to be the new Delaware County brewery’s flagship.
Conshohocken Harbinger of Change – It’s a solid choice on draft, but in a 16-ounce can it emerged as my go-to IPA of the year.
Forgotten Boardwalk Funnel Cake – A cream ale with a smooth vanilla flavor was a summertime treat from the Cherry Hill, N.J., brewery
Jolly Pumpkin Ursae Majoris – A complexly flavored sour brown ale with cherry and wood notes, brewed specially for the mail-order Rare Beer Club.
Narragansett Innsmouth Olde Ale – A light-bodied dark rye beer with a surprisingly strong alcoholic kick, part of Narragansett’s series paying homage to Rhode Island homeboy H.P. Lovecraft.
Not Your Father’s Root Beer – I’m not sure it’s even a real beer, but with all the off-the-chart excitement it’s kind of hard to ignore this outrageously sweet, soda-like brew.
Samuel Adams Rebel Raw – A lush, strong (10 percent alcohol), unfiltered double IPA in a can stuffed with hops from A (Amarillo) to Z (Zeus).
Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest – This full-bodied Märzen made with Germany’s Brauhuas Riegele was as good as Oktoberfestbier gets.
Spellbound Palo Santo Wood-Aged Porter – A Great American Beer Festival medal winner whose chocolate malt is unexpectedly complemented by the coconut and vanilla flavors produced by aging on Palo Santo wood.
Stegmaier Grand Hoppa DIPA – A double India pale ale with tropical fruit flavors, it’s the first (and I hope not the last) in the pre-Prohibition brewery’s new Cellar Series.
Still more new brews I couldn’t get enough of in 2015:
- Brooklyn Defender IPA
- Dogfish Head Pennsylvania Tuxedo
- Flying Fish Exit 15 Coffee IPA
- Otter Creek/Wolaver’s Backseat Berner IPA
- Saucony Creek Belgian Style Imperial IPA
- Sole Artisan Clink!
- Tree House Alter Ego IPA
- Weyerbacher Sunday Morning Stout
- Yuengling IPL