Top Beers of 2021

I have got to keep this simple, or it won’t get done…so here goes. There were 14 total beers that I rated 4.5 or higher in Untappd in 2021. And though that’s far from a perfect way to sort out my favorite beers last year, it happens to include a wide enough range of styles to satisfy my desire to reflect a broad palette of beers in my carousel of the year’s brews.

One’s not a beer, but the very best cider I had—and I’m going to include it anyway.

So, here they are, with my notes as I took them at the time.

Lagunitas The Waldo X Special Triple IPA

Lagunitas The Waldo’s Special Ale (5.0 on Untappd)
May 31, 2021 11,7% abv
“Golden to amber clear color,
Dried plush apricot honey sweet aromas,
Round stone fruits on the palate with a bitter wallop at the end… a wee bit boozy too.”

Tröegs Brewery Triple Nator

Tröegs Triple Nator (4.75)
March 28, 2021 13,2% abv
“Deep caramel color,
Boozy aromas tempered by vanilla bark, dark cherries, slate, burnt caramel
More burnt caramel on the palate, with vanillin, tupelo honey…evolving.”

DuClaw Brewing Co PastryArchy

DuClaw Brewing The Pastryarchy (4.75)
April 10, 2021 7% abv
“Dark brown color,
Layers of Ibarra chocolate with cinnamon and fried dough aromas,
More beauty on the palate with a brush of creaminess before the dark chocolate bitter finish.”

Dogfish Head World Wide Stout

Dogfish Head World Wide Stout (4.5)
January 30, 2021 18% abv
“Deep obscure brown color,
Molasses, plum, soy sauce aromas with a mineral streak
Savory tastes, plum paste, miso…a gorgeous barleywine.”

Bell’s Brewery Lampshade Party Ale

Bell’s Brewery Lampshade Party Ale (4.5)
February 19, 2021 9% abv
“Deep golden clear color,
Apricot turnover aromas,
Smooth peach and roasted lemon flavors…this sneaks up on you… “

Antietam Brewery Joie de Vivre Farmhouse Ale

Antietam Brewery Joie de Vivre Farmhouse Ale (4.5)
February 20, 2021 7.7% abv
“Golden hazy color,
Aromas of kaffir lime, coriander, cardamom,
Clove, ginger on the palate with apricot fruits.”

Brazos Valley Slippin’ Into Darkness Russian Imperial Stout

Brazos Valley Brewing Slippin’ Into Darkness (Cononut) Stout (4.5)
March 24, 2021 10.5% abv
“Nearly black obscure color,
All the co-co-co on the nose,
Lotsa coconut on the palate—like a Mounds bar with a roasty coffee back.”

Tröegs Freaky Peach Fruited Sour Ale

Tröegs Freaky Peach Fruited Sour (4.5)
March 27, 2021 7.5% abv
“Smoky peaches soaked in bourbon on the nose
Bright fruit on the palate with a boozy streak.”

Central Waters Brewing Cassian Sunset Brewer’s Reserve

Central Waters Brewing Co. Brewer’s Reserve Cassian Sunset (4.5)
August 7, 2021 11.7% abv
“Deep obscure brown color, little mousse,
Cocoa layered on bourbon brown bread
Molasses, dark cherry, cinnamon, with peaty scotch on the palate.”

Elder Pine L’Appel du Vide

Elder Pine L’Appel du Vide Farmhouse Ale (4.5)
September 5, 2021 7.5% abv “Basil, papaya on the nose
Papaya juice on the palate.”

Bell’s Brewery Double Two-Hearted Ale

Bell’s Brewery Double Two-Hearted Ale (4.5) September 6, 2021 11% abv
“Deep apricot color,
Resin and preserved lemon peel on the nose,
Roasted lemons, pine needles on the palate.”

KlosterBrauerai Weissenhohe Pure Festbier

Klosterbrauerai Weissenhohe Hersbrucker Pure Festbier (4.5)
September 23, 2021 5.2% abv
“Brilliant festbier with floral aromas and fresh, rich malts on the palate.”

Wheatland Spring Gemüt Reserve First Harvest 2019

Wheatland Spring Gemüt First Harvest 2019 Botanicals (4.5)
November 27, 2021 5.9% abv
“Basil, lemon verbena, sage
Golden round hazy color
Fresh, white florals, with verbena sprigs.” *apologies for the glass; I was going mad at the time*

Potter’s Craft Cidery Nelson Sauvin

Potter’s Craft Cider Nelson Sauvin Cider (4.5) December 5, 2021 5.5% abv
“Floral, citrus, stone fruit loveliness, bursting aromas.” *Cider of the Year*

Beer of the Year 2021

If you’ve made it this far, you deserve to know the beer that was my faithful friend, my best companion over the crazy 12 months of this year now past…

GearHouse The New OK IPA

GearHouse The New OK Imperial DIPA with Citra, Galaxy and Mosaic hops plus double-row barley. Like peaches off of our tree with a bit of resin on the nose and palate. Just right for another totally abnormal year.

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