Draft Magazine's List of the Top 25 Beers of 2012

draft magazineAgree or disagree? How many have you had? Here’s how they judged this years’ list.  From draftmag.com:

To narrow it down, this time around we tweaked the rules: We focused only on bottled or canned beers that were released or made available for the first time in the United States this year. With the criteria set, we dug into our notes. We remembered some of the stunning new Belgian releases that arrived from Chimay, St-Feuillien and Westvleteren. We reminisced about the way Hangar 24 and Stone elevated the IPA with ingredients from the farm. And, most of all, we couldn’t forget the variety of exceptional farmhouse ales, from Cigar City’s Cucumber Saison to Ranger Creek’s smoke-infused Small Batch Series No. 2. It didn’t take long before a clear set of front-runners emerged, all defining the new look of craft beer.

Looking at this group as a whole, it’s evident that innovation is on equal footing with classic styles. Some releases reminded us that beer doesn’t have to be fancy to be awesome, while others weren’t just outside the box; they were nowhere near it. Brewers formed new partnerships that furthered the relationship between beer and the worlds of food and farms. Fruits, vegetables and specialty grains like oatmeal and rye reimagined old styles. Brewers perfected novel techniques, and found new ways to harness the power of wood aging and smoke. This list is about groundbreakers, and these are the top 25 new beers of 2012. -Christopher Staten

Onto the list:
– Cigar City Cucumber Saison

Bières de Chimay  Speciale Cent Cinquante – Belgian Golden Strong

– Sun King Brewing The Velvet Fog – Belgian Dark Strong

-Firestone Walker Wookey Jack – Speciality Beer

-Hangar 24 Essence – Imperial IPA/Fruit Beer

-Russian River Row 2 Hill 56 – Pale Ale

-Rogue Brewing Bacon Maple – Speciality Brew

-Fort George Sunrise OPA – Specialty Brew

-Ranger Creek Brewing Small Batch Series No. 2 – Smoked Beer

-Maui Brewing/Dogfish Head Collaboration  Liquid Breadfruit – Specialty Beer

-Brewery Vivant/New Belgium Collaboration Escoffier – Belgian Specialty Ale

-Funkwerks Brett Dream – Saison

-4 Hands Brewing Prunus Saison

-DuClaw Brewing X-1 – Speciality brew

Ölvisholt Brugghús Lava – Smoked beer

-Drake’s Brewing Alpha Session – Bitter

-Stone Brewing 16th Anniversary IPA

Brouwerij Westvleteren Trappist Westvletern 12 – Belgian Dark Strong

-Founders Bolt Cutter – Barleywine

-Boulevard Brewing Lovechild No. 2 – Wild Ale

-Left Hand Brewing Nitro Milk Stout – Sweet Stout

-Urban Chestnut Brewing Zwickel – Zwickelbier

-Heavy Seas Plank II – Wood-Aged beer

-Mikkeller 19 – American IPA

Brasserie St-Feuillien Grand Cru – Belgian Golden Strong

Anything you think is missing? I would like to have seen Stone Enjoy By on this list as well.

2 thoughts on “Draft Magazine's List of the Top 25 Beers of 2012

  1. beer counselor says:

    Where to start? Wookey jack is more than one year out i believe. Love child 2 was solid not stunning. Stone 16th was liquid pledge. Rouge maple bacon???? Do i need to discuss this as a top 25? This is a beer of near universal scorn.
    Stone produced 2 beers this year that were light years ahead of 16th anny. Ruination 10 th anny and best buy. Any list of the top 25 new beers for the year that ignores these examples of liquid ambrosia can not be taken seriously.
    This list fails to garner much credibility with me. Hell i am surprised they didn’t throw in budweiser’s project 12. Beer baron we should do a top 25 available in iowa this year for new years eve.

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