Beer Buzz: 2012's Strange Beers

October 2012

Last year, we made a list of our favorite odd or new-to-us beers from the Great American Beer Festival. This year, we're adding nine more to this must-try list:

Like coffee? Give Naked City Brewery & Taphouse's Coffee IPA a try. The Seattle-based brew is the nighttime equivalent of your morning craving. Another option: Papago Brewing Co.'s Coconut Joe Coffee Stout.

North by Northwest Restaurant and Brewery in Austin, Texas gets the honor of making my favorite beer of the night. Blackjack is a black ale aged in a Jack Daniel's whiskey barrel. The result: A smooth whiskey-esque mouthfeel that's mellowed out by light flavors of vanilla and toffee.

For a light, summery brew, pick up Pagosa Brewing Company's Peachy Peach. Though I was disappointed to hear that the beer is made with "real peach flavor" instead of real Colorado peaches, it goes down smooth with a balanced peach-to-ale taste.

Another fruit-forward beer is Freetail Brewing Company's Fortuna Roja American Wild Ale. The berry-hued brew gets a bright boost from prickly pears. 

Mad Anthony Brewing Company's Ruby Raspberry Wheat, the gold medal winner in the fruit wheat beer category, has an intense raspberry flavor (thanks to fresh Oregon raspberries) without losing its more traditional wheat beer attributes.

Massachusetts' Watch City Brewing Company mixes an unexpected flavor combination: It trades hops for a smorgasbord of bee balm, lemon balm, and jasmine tea, which creates a light beer with a nice herbal aftertaste.

If earthy Mexican flavors please your palate, pour yourself a pint of Autumnal Mole Stout from Ska Brewing out of Durango. A traditional milk stout gets a boost of peppers, cocoa nibs, and spices. A spicier option: Elysian Brewing Co.'s Chocolate Chile Ale.

Photo: © Brewers Association

Follow assistant editor Daliah Singer on Twitter at @daliahsinger.