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What's your "Non-Whale" surprise beer this year?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by henryspam, Nov 30, 2012.

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  1. A move from the midwest to New England left me on the hunt for new "go to" beers.

    Far and away my favorite though was Ipswich Oatmeal Stout.
    Also Flower Power in bottles, and Double Jack and Wolavers Alta Gracia Coffee Porter on tap
    Mandark, yeti123 and denver10 like this.
  2. Not sure this counts, but I was damn glad that Brown Shugga was back!
    mecummins, YogiBeer, robinsmv and 2 others like this.
  3. Steeeve

    Steeeve Savant (265) Pennsylvania Nov 16, 2010

    Schlafly Tasmanian IPA has got to be my favorite "pick something up you've never seen because you're in another state" beer of the year. The hop profile is really incredible, and it is exceedingly drinkable for a 7% IPA.
  4. BOBPINCH666

    BOBPINCH666 Savant (345) New York Feb 21, 2011

    Couple of good mentions already. I've gotta say, while certainly not my #1, De Molen/FFF's Zes Zes Zes = AWESOME. (But, then again I love pineapple-juice…)
  5. Boulevard 80 Acre Hoppy Wheat & ST 2XMAS
    DPMomutant likes this.
  6. Totally said the same thing to myself when I had this for the first time a fewmonths ago.

    Now, I only wish it was a bit cheaper :(
  7. I've developed an unexpected appreciation for a couple of beers that I turn to when I want to give my taste buds a rest:
    New Belgium Shift Pale Lager
    Sam Adams Noble Pils

    A bit more aggressive, but still not quite the stereotypical kick in the face:
    Southern Tier 2XIPA
    afrokaze likes this.
  8. SpeedwayJim

    SpeedwayJim Advocate (745) New York Jun 19, 2009 Beer Trader

    HF Everett. One of the best beers I've ever had.
    dap325, lucas1801 and Auror like this.
  9. Flower Power IPA - I'm not a huge fan of the style, but damn that was a good beer
    Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout - available, inexpensive, tasty and comes in a can!
    Old Engine Oil - amongst the best porters I've ever had (expensive, though)
    Konig Pilsener - best pils I've had to date (home consumption)
    Mackeson XXX Stout - saw this in LI and picked up a 6pk of it on a whim. Good stout, not too pricy and packs in a ton of flavor, so much so that you wouldn't believe the abv is only 4.9%
  10. pschul4

    pschul4 Advocate (680) Illinois Jan 7, 2011 Beer Trader

    Mine is absolutely Moat Water. It comes across as a thicker, oak aged FBS

  11. MO by Maine Brewing company. It is just such a great beer and completely blew me away first time I had it and still does.
  12. Brew33

    Brew33 Advocate (690) Ohio Oct 24, 2007 Beer Trader

    How is it possible that we've made it to page 2 and Stone Enjoy By IPA hasn't come up?
    UnknownKoger, wesdorris, Etan and 2 others like this.
  13. cjoc83

    cjoc83 Advocate (515) Pennsylvania Jul 31, 2010 Beer Trader

    Flying Dog's The Fear Imperial Pumpkin was a surprisingly good pumpkin ale that I tried a month or 2 ago, very reasonably priced, and the only pumpkin ale I've tried with a nice hop note in the finish.
    I'm not usually a fan of Sam Adams, but their Stony Brook Red was astonishingly good. A barrel-aged Flemish red at $12 a bomber...it's hard to get good sours (let alone barrel-aged ones) at that price. I went back to where I found it and picked up 2 more bottles.
    And finally Speedway Stout...I was blown away by that guy. Awesome coffee stout. Gives FBS a run for it's money.
  14. mjshearer1

    mjshearer1 Advocate (575) Michigan Dec 16, 2011 Beer Trader

    Founders All Day IPA. It's everything a whale should be; well rounded and balanced, full flavored, but it's also highly sessionable, inexpensive, and widely available. I was never super excited about Founders' IPAs until this one, and was definitely my surprise beer of 2012.
    GR_Rick, claspada and benjaminahudson like this.

    HANGOVER Aficionado (185) Nov 23, 2012

    Great lakes Lake Erie Monster, although I did drink the entire four pack in a sitting so this may have distorted my opinion.
    Lipsntoes and fmccormi like this.
  16. cjoc83

    cjoc83 Advocate (515) Pennsylvania Jul 31, 2010 Beer Trader

    Oh, almost forgot Flying Fish's Exit 16 wild rice DIPA. FF has always been a hit-or-miss brewery for me, but their latest Exit offering is terrific.
    RutgersBeerGuy and Hessian257 like this.
  17. tronto

    tronto Savant (270) Kentucky Dec 22, 2010 Beer Trader

    this is still one of my favorites but the cans are getting harder to come by and I think the bottles don't taste the same.
  18. I'll toss in NEBCO's 668 Neighbor of the Beast. Really great. Would love to get my hands on some Chardonneighbor of the Beast...
    DrewCapzz and koflaherty like this.
  19. 4 Hands' Prussia Berlinerweiss = 3.5% and DELICIOUS

    Civil Life's British Bitter = 4-ish percent abv% English Bitter w/tons of traditional flavor but Centennial Hops
  20. fmccormi

    fmccormi Champion (890) Florida Oct 24, 2010 Beer Trader

    Nope, one bottle is just as delicious as multiples. It's fantastic on draft, too.

    I'm excited to see what their double IPA in the spring will look like, considering Nosferatu is essentially a red/amber DIPA and Erie Monster is already a great double IPA in its own right. And, admittedly I am a bit sad to see the Doppelrock go. That beer's like drinking liquid barley, which was surprisingly enjoyable for me as someone who really tends to be more of a hophead, when it comes to American styles. I'm not even that keen on barley, to be honest.
  21. creepinjeeper

    creepinjeeper Champion (950) Missouri Nov 8, 2012 Subscriber Beer Trader

    Hey, everyone! Creepinjeeper, the noob, here. What exactly is a whale in beerspeak?
  22. Vonstein15

    Vonstein15 Savant (330) Ohio Jan 15, 2010

    That is a beautiful statement,I will add Narwhal as mine.
    wesdorris likes this.
  23. smutty33

    smutty33 Advocate (705) Connecticut Jun 12, 2009

    I'm gonna go w/ New England Brewing's:

    Galaxy hopped Pale ale

    4.8% a.b.v. w/ a massive flavor explosion-Tasty,stuff.

    Cheers All......
    DrewCapzz likes this.
  24. bld81

    bld81 Savant (260) Missouri Mar 9, 2009 Beer Trader

    second the JP iO saison
    Bell's The Oracle
  25. starrdogg

    starrdogg Advocate (650) District of Columbia Jun 21, 2010 Beer Trader

    Stillwater's Table Beer really surprised me. I had no expectations and it turned out to be the best beer that Stillwater's ever done.
    vurt and fmccormi like this.
  26. cjoc83

    cjoc83 Advocate (515) Pennsylvania Jul 31, 2010 Beer Trader

    A rare, hyped, and/or expensive beer. The point of this thread is to appreciate the less hyped and reasonably priced beers that we've tried that 'wowed' us.
    creepinjeeper likes this.
  27. FosterJM

    FosterJM Champion (890) California Nov 16, 2009 Beer Trader

    Jacks Abby Mom & Pops Wet Hop Lager.

    Good lord that was tasty.

    Patrick likes this.
  28. fmccormi

    fmccormi Champion (890) Florida Oct 24, 2010 Beer Trader

    Ha! For a second, I thought your avatar was a Tauntaun.

    Anyway, non-whale surprise beer for this year . . . Epic's Utah Sage Saison, Stillwater's Cellar Door, and Jack's Abby's Hoponius Union were all outstanding.
    luwak likes this.
  29. bifrost17

    bifrost17 Initiate (0) Washington Dec 16, 2011

    I forgot to list the new belgium/alpine super IPA in my earlier post.
    arcook11 likes this.
  30. Logsdon Seizoen Bretta. An absolute joy to pour down ones throat.
  31. Either everyone on page 1 expected it to be good and wasn't surprised when it was or they haven't had it yet (like me)?
  32. HeyJim

    HeyJim Savant (395) Pennsylvania Sep 22, 2012

    I got into craft around this time last year, starting with SNPA. So, this was my first full year of craft drinking. That said, I was surprised and pleased very often, though the "newness" of craft drinking is wearing off. With that said, here are some of my first year surprises :

    - Founder's Breakfast. I hate absolutely hate coffee. The first sip of FBS I had, I didn't like it, but I paid for it and was going to finish it. After sitting for a while, I sipped again and fell in love. This is a mainstay in my fridge and probably a top 3 overall for me.

    - Ithaca Flower Power. I like IPAs, but most of them taste pretty much the same to me. FP is an exception. Like orange juice with hops soaking in it or something. Probably my current favorite beer.

    - Hating BCBS and most sours. I have a few bottles of BCBS and Duchesse De Bourgogne that I'm not sure what to do with. Also had my first Berliner and couldn't finish it.
    wesdorris likes this.
  33. mynie

    mynie Champion (800) Massachusetts Jun 22, 2004 Beer Trader

    I didn't even know Serendipity was a thing until I did my twice-annual New Glarus run last week. And then I complained loudly because I wasn't going to be able to have my Thanksgiving Belgian Red. And then I shut right the hell up because it's the best thing that's ever happened.
    allouez86 likes this.
  34. Sarlacc83

    Sarlacc83 Advocate (640) Oregon Mar 2, 2008

    No mentions of Sierra Nevada Narwhal, yet? We finally have a (fairly) inexpensive RIS that's better than Old Rasputin and almost as readily available right now?

    Also, Logsdon's Fresh Hop Seizon.
  35. Goosey

    Goosey Aficionado (240) Missouri Jan 18, 2012

    Perennial Abraxus- probably the best spiced stout I will ever have
    Founders RIS
    Fantome Saison
    Not exactly sure what qualifies as a non-whale, but those are the three beers I was most blow away with that I think aren't whales?
  36. DJButters

    DJButters Savant (330) California Jun 23, 2010

    Sun King Pappy Van Muckle
    Jon and airmike like this.
  37. kraddel

    kraddel Aficionado (160) Belgium Jul 20, 2012

    viven imperial IPA. real nice stuff there ! way to small and unknown brewerie, they have like maybe 4 kinds of beer i guess, are 'unfindable' due to its unknown-being, not cause they're extremely wanted or such. cheap cheap beer, but can compete with some of the best IPAs , double and imerial IPAs out there. soesnt beat heady, but price/ quality... well.. this is THE beer
  38. NickyDee21

    NickyDee21 Savant (490) Pennsylvania Dec 23, 2011 Beer Trader

    Brux was something I found to be tasty but underwhelming. I am saving my second bottle because I'd really like to see what the Brett will do to it in another year or so.
  39. Itoclown

    Itoclown Savant (320) Michigan Jun 19, 2008 Beer Trader

    Everything I've tried from Marble Brewing Co out of New Mexico. Had a generous BA send me an IPA, a red, an anniversary(I think) and a Barrel Aged Imperial Stout. All have been exceptional. The Imp Stout was the best beer I've had in a while. Over BCBS, BA Pt5, KBS, etc.

    Any locals can surely send me more of these brews and I'd be glad to send you MI brews. :)
    deskim likes this.
  40. I'd be happy to trade for the BCBS.
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