Beer of the Year 2015: The Runners-Up

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
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