This list is definitely not for the Coors Light or Bud crowd. If that’s your thing, sorry but you clicked on the wrong link. These "10 Beers You’ve Never Heard Of", are more for the adventurous type, with a taste for taste. They’re substantial ABV, extremely hip and relatively hard to get your hands on. Cheers !
Each is a flavor experience you’re not soon to forget as well as uber craft beer cred.
1. NOA PECAN MUD CAKE STOUT
Style: Stout - Imperial / Double
Like to drink dessert and seriously tie one on at the same time? Noa is 11% ABV and tastes exactly like the name promises. It’s death by chocolate, 21+ style.
The guy behind Omnipollo (Sweden) is called Henok Fentie. He is a creative maniac who makes elaborate and insane flavor combinations in his beers. Never seen ice cream in an IPA before? Swing by his bar in Stockholm, it’s frequently on the menu. See a lot of other breweries selling a ‘burger and fries’ beer?
Omnipollo brews beers so cutting edge you’ll slit your tongue on them. Handle with care.
IPA - Imperial / Double
Adroit Theory is a nano brewery in Virginia that secretly produces a lot of really sick beers of extremely high quality. EBK is kind of a rotational series, each released with a different ‘Ghost Number’ to identify… the batch? The details are unclear.
What is clear is the bottles have the most righteous demons on them and the beers inside are incredible. EBK is a presently bitter, citrusy rine-like NEIPA with a healthy 8% ABV. I sampled Ghost 523 - Production Batch and it was just like bitter fruit cocktail. If that isn’t enough, they make another beer called Now I Am Death Destroyer Of Worlds.
Is there something wrong with these guys? Are you selling your soul to the devil? Strong probably on both counts.
3. AECHT SCHLENKERLA RAUCHBIER- MÄRZEN
Universally touted as the best smoked beer in the world, expect a real woodfired sauna experience with this one. Its list of accolades is so long it needs no further introduction.
But I’m a liar, so here’s more. According to Untappd, “...brewed with Original Schlenkerla Smokemalt from the Schlenkerla maltings and tapped according to old tradition directly from the gravity-fed oakwood cask in the 14th century brewery tavern.”
So authentic you hipsters out there just started actually sweating.
All the cred (get a snack, you’ll need it):
IPA - American
Susan is the perfect wingman. She never lets you down, keeps an eye on your keys and phone once you’re hammered, and she’s always pleasant and supportive when you need her. This is one of the hottest breweries on the planet right now so really any selection of theirs is a solid choice for a memorable beer.
Susan has a 6.2% ABV, 80 IBU, and a very respectable Untappd rating of 4.34. Everyone always seems super happy to meet her on Instagram. She’s got a hot following over there.
5. DOUBLE DRY HOP PSEUDO SUE
Pale Ale - American
Be not fooled by Toppling Goliath’s attempt to pass this off as a mere pale ale. That’s so they can secretly hoard them for themselves. In reality, this is an epic NEIPA. The Double Dry Hop version with Citra makes me more excited than regular Pseudo Sue, but both are excellent.
Even NEIPA haters will enjoy this beer if you give it a chance. It’s near perfection: incredibly juicy, balanced, just shy of moderately bitter and extremely aromatic with citrus for days and a 6.8% ABV. Toppling Goliath makes this beer in collaboration with The Field Museum of all places. The name comes from The Field Museums’ dino sized bag of bones: Sue.
6. DOGPATCH SOUR
American Wild Ale
Almanac, via Untappd, explains that their motto is, "Farm-to-Barrel", which means they’re dedicated to brewing awesome beers with local ingredients. They have a huge reputation in the craft beer community and aren’t impossible to get your hands on, but not widely available either.
Their wild ales are particularly special and Dogpatch enjoys a 4.11 rating. It contains 4.11 ABV. It’s tart and funky in the Flanders style and named after the brewery’s San Francisco neighborhood. Pucker up.
7. COLOR FIELD
Sour - Ale
Grimm sours are the top of the game for technical execution, innovation and overall taste. They balance all of these elements while still being exciting. I never miss a chance to have a new one.
Living in New York State has some benefits and access to Grimm is one. If you’re jonesing outside the area, try services like Tavour who sometimes toss real gems up for grabs.
Color Field is a dry hopped sour ale which works out in a beautiful, delicate dance that delivers the cutest pop directly in the nose when you step on its foot. Slightly spunky perfection with a subtle 4.7% ABV.
IPA - American
The Main Beer Company calls this their “East Coast” version of a West Coast-style IPA. I call it a semi-hazy NEIPA with fistfulls of citrus. It has a moderate bitterness but is fresh, crisp and dry without a heavy malt presence.
It isn’t complicated, but it’s excellent with a manageable 7% ABV. I mean, who doesn’t like liquid lunches?
9. 1000 IBU
IPA - Imperial / Double
You must ask yourself, young grasshopper, if you truly have what it takes to possess this theoretical beer with 1,000 IBUs. It’s slightly like a throat punch from a hop cone but you asked for it so you can’t press charges. A beer like this should come with a medal, merit badge or t-shirt at the least.
If you’re the kind of masochist that likes how this sounds, see also Oso Brewing’s Hop Whoopin’. Yes, I’ve had both. 1000 IBU is much maltier which also makes it more drinkable even if, like me, you don’t like malty IPAs.
Untappd reports that 6½ kilogram of alpha-acid extract was used og 10 kilograms of simcoe-pellets per 1000 liters beer! It’s 9.6% ABV but honestly you’ll barely care because the hops are so distracting.
IPA - American
This could be the least known beer on the list, which makes it a winner but you all losers because you can’t just drive down the road to get it like I can. Local loyalty notwithstanding, this beer is exactly as the brewery describes, a little bit east coast and a little bit west coast.
These two sides meet in the tropics to absorb the sweet, rich taste of guava and lychee nectar without rolling around and picking up too much malt during their travels. It’s amazing and totally memorable and 6.2% ABV.
HONORABLE MENTIONS: NUGGET NECTAR
You may scream for ice cream but I knew a guy once who literally screamed for Nugget Nectar. It’s true that it’s seasonal appearance, slightly after the poor groundhog, is euphoria inducing.
This is an amber/red ale with substantial nugget hops that’s both a rebel and a trusted friend. My friends and I make it an absolute point to seek it out each spring like ritual. If you get a chance, try it! It’s iconic.