July 27 2009, 7:33 AM
The Brewers Association, an industry organization that provides support for craft breweries, recently told me that craft brewers aren't just weathering the recession, but the best-selling style of microbrews are no longer IPAs---they're seasonal beers. Which means that us craft-beer drinkers can congratulate one another: We've proven to have creative palates that will sustain our scrappy microbrewing industry, and now we've shown we won't just settle for our favorite beers; we want to know about the freshest, newest pours out there. Cheap Thrills would also like to celebrate the fact that buying a seasonal six-pack saves on the bar tab and buys you some insider cred at your friend's barbecue. Great Divide Brewery's Belgica---a rich and unique blend of Belgian beer (think of that cloudy, yeasty flavor) and a crisp, cutting IPA---is the beer you need to know about right now. It weighs in heavy at 7.2 percent ABV (alcohol by volume), and the brewery recommends pairing the full-flavored beer with Thai curry mussels, crab cakes, or roast turkey. Belgica is available only from May through July, so grab a six-pack (or three) soon.