Best/Favorite Beers of 2018

Discussion in 'Great Lakes' started by ktr5010, Dec 13, 2018.

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  1. ktr5010

    ktr5010 Savant (1,016) Dec 12, 2014 Illinois

    I saw the Vinepair: 50 Best Beers of 2018 Article posted as a thread earlier and thought it would be fun to ask the Great Lakes group, what has been everyone's best/favorite beers you've drank this year? Think it's a nice way to wrap up the year and maybe see a few beers that are other people's favorites you haven't had or heard of. This group has been mostly where I've posted on BA and I've enjoyed a lot of the conversations we've had and tips we've given each other. Cheers!

    My rules are that it doesn't have to be a beer brewed in 2018 or your first time having it (although they can be), just one that you drank in the 2018 calendar year. Let's do top 10. I'll go first.
    1. Goose Island Backyard Rye - First time I've had this beer. One of, if not my favorite beers of all time. Between this and VSOJ, it's hard to pick.
    2. Revolution VSOJ - Far and away the best barleywine I've ever and probably will ever will have.
    3. Goose Island Double Barrel Brandy - Favorite BCS aside from BYR.
    4. Revolution 2017 Ryeway to Heaven - It's just so good and so different than anything else out there. I will shed a tear when my last can is consumed.
    5. Transient Kentuckley - Finally got to try it and it did not disappoint. I want more.
    6. Bottle Logic Fundamental Observation b4 - The hype was real and I love this beer.
    7. Goose Island 2013 Prop - Found by chance and it did not disappoint.
    8. Pipeworks Coconut Jones Dog - First year having anything barrel aged from Pipeworks and I do not understand how they do not have more hype around their barrel program. Excellent beer.
    9. Bells Barrel Aged Expedition - A great example of a non-adjunct, simple barrel aged stout
    10. Alchemist Heady Topper - Reminded myself that it's still my favorite DIPA of all time.
  2. Jplachy

    Jplachy Pooh-Bah (1,602) Feb 12, 2012 Illinois
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    I'll be releasing a Top 50 list in a couple weeks. I'll link it here. But this is a real sold list.
  3. SeanBond

    SeanBond Pooh-Bah (2,578) Jul 30, 2013 Illinois
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    Will add mine tomorrow; slowly scrolling through Untappd wouldn't look great at work, and I'm hoping to try Prop '18 tonight. Nice list.
    FBarber and ktr5010 like this.
  4. Lazhal

    Lazhal Pooh-Bah (1,804) Mar 13, 2011 Michigan
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    In no particular order

    Drafting Table - Mean Mallow Bean
    Revolution - VSOJ
    GI - Prop 18
    Revolution - Deth by Currants
    Witch's Hat - Boysenberry Ghost Pepper Night Fury
  5. ktr5010

    ktr5010 Savant (1,016) Dec 12, 2014 Illinois

    Thanks for playing! Haven't heard of your first and last. Gonna look em up
  6. SteelCranium

    SteelCranium Devotee (389) Jul 1, 2010 Ohio

    Columbus insane wanderer. Especially volumes 1 & 3. Bought more of this than anything else in 2018.
    Beer_Economicus likes this.
  7. loganburgh

    loganburgh Pooh-Bah (1,574) Nov 23, 2010 Michigan
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    1. FOb4 - lived up to the hype
    2. Willoughby Coconut Nut Smasher - up there with best non-BA stouts I've had
    3. Coconut B-Bomb - base beer and barrel perfectly matched with coconut
    4. Drafting Table Palatable - tremendous no-adjunct stout highlighting Weller barrels
    5. Transient Canuckley - maple and coffee balanced very nicely, crazy viscosity
    6. Westly - so much apricot balanced by so much oak and great acidity
    7. Saison du Fermier - Foedre Fermier - phenomenal complexity, perfect tartness
    8. Armand & Gaston - my favorite Geuze blend thus far
    9. Speciation Megatrajectory - stellar use of vanilla in a fruited sour
    10. Revelry Jackson with Guava & Pineapple - the juiciest barrel-aged sour I've had

    Four of these were ticked at Zwanze day at Jolly Pumpkin, a real testament to the absurd quality on hand at these events.
  8. pymarkley

    pymarkley Initiate (0) Dec 19, 2016 Michigan

    Drafting Table - Mean Mallow Bean (Waiting in line all night to get a bottle when out of the fog the head brewer shows up, cracks the mallow scented wax, and asks if I want a pour.)

    Transient - Canuckley (Mouthwatering motor oil on a near perfect June day in Bridgman.)

    Drafting Table - Maple Bourbon Barrel Aged Mean Vanilla Bean (Head brewer says with a sheepish smile that he also have this one to try.)

    Witch's Hat - Chocolate Expresso Night Fury (My favorite at Fury for a Feast, and the X in the name provided loads of bitter inebriated debate.)

    Bell's Brewery - Bourbon Barrel Aged Expedition Stout 2018 (Lusty, roasty, and chocolatey. Damn good beer. Pairs near perfectly with a Bell's spicy black bean patty burger.)

    Drafting Table - Palatable Batch 3 (Beer lines that extend along a major road are the best! For the 100th time, yes we are standing in this insanely long line and freezing our asses off for an outstanding beer that has just awoken from a long slumber in Van Winkle barrels.)

    Trillium - Peanut Butter PM Dawn (Makes loads of sense to drive 12 hours to get a pour of a near perfect PB stout that you are dying to try.)
  9. thegeneraltank

    thegeneraltank Initiate (0) Nov 28, 2017 Michigan

    Top Ten In No Particular Order based on my ratings from 2018:

    Drafting Table - Mean Mallow Bean
    Drafting Table - Palatable (B3)
    Transient - Kentuckley
    Shared - BA Coffee Shop Vibes
    Jackie O's - Appervation (B2)
    Voodoo - Black Magick (Silver wax)
    Kuhnhenn - BA Barleywine (2017)
    Goose Island - BCBS Rare (2015)
    Witch's Hat - Boysenberry Ghost Pepper Night Fury
    Bells - BA Expedition (2018) - Tasted better on draft!
    Amendm likes this.
  10. GuyFawkes

    GuyFawkes Grand Pooh-Bah (4,682) Apr 7, 2011 Illinois
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    This IS my favorite beer ever, and based on the bottle I had last week, it's holding up incredibly well.
  11. AndyChambers

    AndyChambers Initiate (0) Jan 25, 2017 Wisconsin

    Had a lot of good beers, but some beers that exceeded my expectations were:

    BA Expedition Stout (sensing a theme here)
    Central Waters Unsettled IPA
    Central Waters Peruvian Morning - so great compared to other sickly sweet messes I can't stand like like Untitled Art Coffee.
    Most IPAs from Eagle Park in Milwaukee. Finally we have a brewery I can brag about!
    BC Midnight Orange. Expected to hate it.
    CBS 17 - feel like it's only gotten better with time.
    Maine Lunch - price point is a little high but it's just such a "pleasant" IPA and nice to have around.
    Amendm and Number1Framer like this.
  12. I_Have_The_Runs

    I_Have_The_Runs Initiate (0) Nov 19, 2018 Illinois

    The Alchemist - Focal Banger

    The Alchemist - Crusher

    Pipeworks - Velocity of Light
    egrandfield likes this.
  13. MilwaukeeBeerMaker

    MilwaukeeBeerMaker Maven (1,406) Jun 30, 2014 Wisconsin

    Beers of 2018 that stood out for me:

    Brewery Vivant - Rum Wizard
    Funk Factory - De Bij
    Arclight - Soursmith Black Raspberry
    Transient - Barrel Aged No Cake
    Lost Abbey - Cable Car '18
    Alesmith - Speedway Stout w/ Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee
    Lost Abbey - BA Serpent's Stout
    Mikerphone - BA Softly Spoken Lies
    Untitled Art - BA Hazelnut Imperial Stout
    Schramm's - Heart of Darkness b6
    Speciation - Apomixis
    Ethereal - Coffee Baba Yaga
    Bell's - Captain Long Haul
    Transient - Canuckly
    Forager - Nillerzzzzz
    Speciation - March of Progress
    Bells's - BAE
    deGarde - The Broken Truck No. 4
    Speciation - Wine BA Magic Trait
    Prarie - Donkey Punch
    Amendm likes this.
  14. Sinzanasti

    Sinzanasti Zealot (656) Apr 3, 2014 Ohio

    Transient - Canuckley
    Revolution - VSOJ & Straightjacket
    Bell's - BAE
    Fremont - Coconut B-Bomb & Cowiche Canyon
    Jackie O's - Vision is Lost without Eyes to See it Through, Cellar Cuvee 1 & Polycephaly 3
    Hoof Hearted - Dragonsaddle & Roller Blabe 3DH
    Urban Artificact - Squeezebox
    Columbus Brewing - Insande Wanderer Vol.1
    Hill Farmstead - Society & Solitude #9
    Old Nation - DDH M43
    Side Project - Fuzzy
    Dancing Gnome - Triple Lustra

    At least 2018 has been a great year for beer
    egrandfield and Amendm like this.
  15. cmjohst

    cmjohst Initiate (0) Dec 19, 2017 Illinois

    1 Canuckley- best beer of the year hands down. I’d drink this beer and no other for the rest of my life
    2 assassin 18 - TG stouts are great, and hold up to the hype. There’s a reason they’ve succeeded
    3 VSOJ- best barleywine I had all year, beat out ADWTD DO
    4 Coconut Vibes B2- best non BA stout
    5 BA Oltella- pulpit rock hazelnut goodness. Very underrated beer
    6 Really thin pancakes- amazing maple beer, I’d take it over any other voodoo
    7 Raspberry Jam slushee- just a fruit smoothie in a can, don’t like most 450N but this was stellar
    8 Stray light- HV makes the best IPA in the country, hands down.
    9 BA helms deep- if you’re looking for a rich non adjunct bourbon stout, go find this.
    10 Benthic- half acre should get more credit, this beer is one of the best stouts in Chicago

    Had some other amazing stuff but this gave a variety of styles and barrel vs non that I thought worked
  16. Slush

    Slush Initiate (0) Dec 4, 2015 Illinois

    These are some of the standouts for me from 2018, in no particular order. All 2018 vintage where applicable.

    Noon on Marz (Marz/Noon Whistle) - Probably my favorite IPA of the year.
    Double Barrel V.S.O.D. Select (Revolution)
    OFMYD (Westbrook/Evil Twin) - Expected this to be weird/good, but it was just great.
    Russian Imperial Stout (Tombstone) - Phenomenal non BA, no adjunct stout.
    V.S.O.J. (Revolution)
    King of Borgs (Pipeworks/Marz)
    Mosaic Dank Juice (Odd Side)
    Sump (Perennial)
    Mosaic Monsoon (Corridor)- Enjoyed it more after a week in the crowler than fresh.
    Preen (Half Acre)
    Parabola (Firestone Walker) - Great every year.
    Green Clouds (Saint Errant)
    Unwind Your Mind (Hop Butcher)
    BCBS (Goose Island) - Always one of my favorites, always stock up. Top cost/quality stout.
    egrandfield, Amendm and ktr5010 like this.
  17. HouseofWortship

    HouseofWortship Pooh-Bah (2,557) May 3, 2016 Illinois
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    Chicago Beers that impressed me in 2018:
    Hop Butcher-
    Double Grid and Tavern Cut
    Velocity of Light and Infinite Galaxy
    Half Acre:
    Haunting Pattern
    migue81 and SeanBond like this.
  18. Al_Fresco

    Al_Fresco Devotee (306) Mar 15, 2015 Wisconsin

    Another vote for Transient’s Canuckley. Hands down favorite.
  19. SeanBond

    SeanBond Pooh-Bah (2,578) Jul 30, 2013 Illinois
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    HB - Tavern Cut, Galaxy Bowl
    Corridor - Color of Life (Squeezit too, but it feels like cheating)
    GI - Midnight Orange
    HA - Sailor's Kush
    Rev - Code Switch, SJ, VSOJ, Vanilla DBVSOD (they had a good year)
    TG - Morning Delight
    Moody Tongue - BA Gingerbread stout (for real)
    Amendm, Number1Framer and ktr5010 like this.
  20. ktr5010

    ktr5010 Savant (1,016) Dec 12, 2014 Illinois

    I like your list
  21. Wolvmar

    Wolvmar Initiate (0) Jul 2, 2014 Michigan

    Ok, not a list but...are Triansient beers available anywhere other than the brewery?
  22. darktain

    darktain Crusader (464) Dec 1, 2015 Illinois

    Angry Chair/Prairie - Adjunct Trail
    Holy Mountain - Hazlenut/cocao Midnight Still
    Prairie - Stuft b1
    Goose - Midnight Orange
    Holy Mountain - Guava Gin Table
    Jester King - Gin Nocturn
    Pips - Blue Sandals
    Side Project - Anabasis b2
    Side Project - BBT b1
    Angry Chair - BAIGCC

    I am fortunate to be in a nice share group
    egrandfield and Amendm like this.
  23. thing85

    thing85 Initiate (0) Jul 8, 2012 Illinois

    I don't have a list, but I would love to see a version of this same thread but for "best readily available beers you've had this year" - i.e. if I see something on your list I haven't tried, I could go out to Binny's and likely get it. Probably would be less interesting, but still something I'd like to see.
  24. Dansac

    Dansac Pundit (866) Dec 6, 2014 California

    Alvarado St - Nelson Baby is pretty high.
  25. Number1Framer

    Number1Framer Pundit (884) Mar 13, 2016 Wisconsin

    Listed in no particular order and hand picked from my top Untappy ratings.

    Beer Barrel Time B1
    Rare 2015
    Black Gold 2017
    BA Expo 2017>2018 but both awesome
    Backyard Rye
    Funky Buddha Morning Wood
    Cycle Wednesday 2018
    Double Barrel VSOD
    Ryeway to Heaven 2017
    Westbrook Cabernet BA 6th Anniversary
    De Garde Law of Motion
    RR Consecration
    The Veil Dub Razz Tastee
    Block 15 Sticky Hands
    FSW Sucaba (finally ticked this beast!)
    Cigar City Madeira BA Barleywine
    M-43 Tart Strawberry
    Pipeworks Infinite Galaxy

    Huge hat tip to @DoctorZombies for all the down south stuff!

    Also it looks like I need to get my greasy mitts on some of this damn Canuckley!
    Amendm and Beer_Economicus like this.
  26. flat_lander

    flat_lander Pooh-Bah (2,362) May 11, 2016 Illinois
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    Interesting. I have a bottle of this someone gave me as an extra. One of my favorite traders actually.
  27. Number1Framer

    Number1Framer Pundit (884) Mar 13, 2016 Wisconsin

    The combo of wine/hazelnut doesn't sound great or even good, but if you like fruited stouts you'll be into it. Was like dried fruit + Nutella with the wine coming off dry and cherry-like.
    flat_lander likes this.
  28. AllOfTheCats

    AllOfTheCats Initiate (0) Mar 27, 2018 Wisconsin

    I gave the following between 4.75-5 stars on Untappd this year -

    Bottle Logic FOb3, FOb4, Jam the Radar, Darkstar November 2017, FOMO, and FOCOCO
    Rip Current Black Lagoon 2017 and 2018, BA Java Storm, No Hope for Rescue
    Goose Island BCBS Prop 2017, BCBS 2018
    Mason Ale Works Second Son, BA Baracus
    Toolbox Rustique d' Abricot b2, Equilibrium
    Epic Big Bad Baptist, Triple Barrel Baptist
    Funky Buddha Morning Wood
    Pipeworks Grand Guignol
    Three Magnets WOOHOO! Xtreme
    Abnormal Maple Mornings
    Fremont Coconut B-Bomb 201
    Lagunitas High West-ified 2016 and 2017
    Evil Twin Even More Coco Jesus
    Firestone Walker Parabola 2015 and 2017
    Founders IS 2014 and 2015
    More Henna
    Perrin No Rules
    Ritual BA Big Deluxe
    AleSmith Vanilla Vietnamese Speedway
    Nogne O Eternal Rest
    Noon Whistle Gummypocalpyse
    Madhouse El Jefe
    Wiseacre Astronaut Status
    Hailstorm Vlad the Second BA Coconut RIS
    3 Sheeps The Wolf
    Nickel Brook Cafe Del Bastardo
    Bell's Expedition Stout 2015
    ChicagoJ likes this.
  29. sculls65

    sculls65 Zealot (653) Dec 15, 2008 Michigan

    But then there would be no humblebragging:worried:
  30. osseo222000

    osseo222000 Zealot (599) Jan 26, 2016 Illinois

    My top 10 beers I tried for the first time this year.

    1. Monster Tones b1 - best beer I've ever had
    2. Vanilla Rye - best beer my fiance has ever had
    3. Fundamental Forces
    4. Coconut Medianoche
    5. Foggier Window - Probably the thing I miss most about LA is Monkish
    6. Modem Tones Vanilla 18 - Modern Times took a huge step forward this year in my opinion, and this was the first beer they released to start the year. Membership has its perks
    7. Darkstar November 18 - most underrated beer BL makes
    8. Mornin Delight b5 - really amazing how much better this was than b4
    9. Black Tuesday Reserve 15
    10. BCBS Reserve 18 - top variant of 2018 for me
    ChicagoJ likes this.
  31. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Grand Pooh-Bah (5,159) May 30, 2005 Michigan
    Pooh-Bah Society

    Most of these are draft-only beers, but I'm giving props where it is due. (All are Michigan breweries.)

    1. Bell's - BBA Expedition Stout '18

    A distant second place ranking for all of the rest of the list:
    2. Latitude 42 - Double Chin Wig Imperial American Strong Ale
    3. Old Nation - Boss Tweed NEIPA
    4. Old Nation - M-43 NEIPA
    5. Ozone's – Black Roses BBA Imperial Stout
    6. Wax Wings – Big Bend Milk Porter
    7. Wax Wings – Joyful Noise Saison w/ Brett
    8. New Holland Knickerbocker – Sour, Inc. Apple Rhubarb Gose
    9. New Holland Knickerbocker – Moo La La Rum Barrel Imperial Milk Stout
    10. Roak – BBA French Toast Devil Dog Oatmeal Stout
    11. Roak – Little St. Nick Cranberry Gose
    ChicagoJ likes this.
  32. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Grand Pooh-Bah (5,159) May 30, 2005 Michigan
    Pooh-Bah Society

    Such a list could be very lengthy since there are so many great beers in the market, so you'd have to ask everyone for 2-3 top recommendations. You should start the thread and see what you get.

    An alternative might be the Top Beers in each State list on the right side of this page. You should be able to recognize ones easily available on store shelves:
    Beer_Economicus likes this.
  33. HouseofWortship

    HouseofWortship Pooh-Bah (2,557) May 3, 2016 Illinois
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    Brett Kavanaugh?
    Franfab, thing85 and croush like this.
  34. Dactrius

    Dactrius Pooh-Bah (2,325) Apr 23, 2012 Netherlands Antilles
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    In no particular order:

    Lounge against the Macromachine
    Fundamental Observation
    The Broken Truck
    A Deal with the Devil - Double Oaked
    A Deal with De Molen
    Canuckley & Bring the Ruckley
    Modem Tones Vanilla
    French Toast - Hubbards Cave
    Double Barrel VSOD Select
    Horus Deepest Shade
    Central Waters XX
    JFresh21 likes this.
  35. cmiller4642

    cmiller4642 Initiate (0) Aug 17, 2013 West Virginia

    This year (going off beers I tried for the first time this year).

    Jackie O's (long list because I go all the time):

    See Foam
    Purple Wolf
    Curtain Call
    Who Cooks For You
    Mandala Citra
    Vision Is Lost Without Eyes to See it Through
    Bourbon Barrel Oro Negro (finally got it for the first time this year)

    Masthead: IPA
    CBC: Insane Wanderer Volume 1
    Lawson's: Sip of Sunshine
    Evil Twin Brewing: Imperial Biscotti Break
    Goose Island: Bourbon County Brand Midnight Orange
    ChicagoJ likes this.
  36. kylenabilcy

    kylenabilcy Devotee (399) Aug 10, 2010 Wisconsin

    Seconded. I've been trying to corral my thoughts on 2018 beers, and this was one that jumped to very nearly the top.
  37. thing85

    thing85 Initiate (0) Jul 8, 2012 Illinois

    Fair point, I might start that thread. It would be interesting to read about everyone's top 2-3 favorite shelfies. I know I could Google some existing lists or read BA's top list, but it's more fun to read through a "current" discussion.
    PapaGoose03 likes this.
  38. Mwils8

    Mwils8 Initiate (0) Dec 1, 2017 Illinois

    Veil - BA Whangdoodle
    More - Henna B1
    More - Henna B4
    Long Live - The All Seeing Eye
    Trillium - BA TrillBOMB
    GI - Prop 17
    Perrin - No Rules 17
    Revolution - Vanilla Double Barrel VSOD
    Beer_Economicus likes this.
  39. ChicagoJ

    ChicagoJ Grand Pooh-Bah (3,881) Feb 2, 2015 Illinois
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    Beyond the California trip beers, most of these are readily or can get if I show up on release beers in Chicago and or pay attention to the BA Great Lakes Message Board.

    4.5 + overall rated beers consumed in 2018, in alpha order (45 in total):

    AleSmith 2018 BA Speedway Cin/Vin
    AleSmith Reformed XXI
    AleSmith BA Speedway Cof, Cin, Vin
    AleSmith Speedway Jamaica Coffee
    BFM Abbey De Saint Bon-Chien
    BL Gravity Rush Wee Heavy
    BL Fundamental Observation
    BL FO w Maple
    The Bruery BA Share This
    Dogfish 120 IPA
    Founders 2017 CBS
    GI 2014 Templeton Rye
    GI 2014 Vanilla Rye
    GI 2015 Rare
    GI 2015 Regal Rye
    GI 2018 Bramble Rye
    GI 2018 Coffee Barleywine
    GI 2018 Proprietor
    GI 2018 Reserve
    GI Double Barrel BCS
    GI Double Barrel Brandy BCS
    GI Tart Cherry Stout
    Half Acre BA Bethnic Coconut & Cin
    Half Acre Vanilla Big Hugs
    Hopnuts BBA Omniscient Stout Nitro
    Mikerphone Interventions & Lullabies
    Mikerphone SISLBS w Maple & Cof
    Mikerphone The New Workout Plan
    Modern Times Deeds & Exploits
    More Henna-Karma
    MT Devil’s Teeth IS Straw/Vin
    Prairie Christmas Bomb
    Prairie Pirate Bomb
    Revision Finite Madness
    Revolution Cafe Deth
    Revolution Deth by Currents
    Revolution Deth’s Tar
    Revolution Double Barrel 2017 Lynott’s
    Revolution Double VSOD
    Revolution Jamo-Nilla
    Revolution Unsessionable
    Revolution VSOJ
    3 Sheeps BA Uber Joe
    Unibroue 2017 Grand Reserved
    Werk Force Farmhouse Vultures w Blackberries & Raspberries
    AllOfTheCats and PapaGoose03 like this.
  40. HouseofWortship

    HouseofWortship Pooh-Bah (2,557) May 3, 2016 Illinois
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    This thread has devolved from favorite beers of 2018, to every beer people have tried in 2018....
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