Best Beers of March 2024

Time to get into the time machine and tab the top beers of March before we head into the April drinking session.

Honorable Mentions go to Long Beach Beer Lab for their Brewte (Brut) IPA, good to see this sub-style pop up on tap and this was a nice executed crisp, dry and pear version. Next to mention is the pilsner High 10 from Highland Park Brewery. The menu board had re-brews of past years and there were many High 10s to choose from but I really liked the West Coast Pilsner. I also quite liked the latest Short-Lived IPA from MadeWest brewed with Firestone Walker. Crisp and biting with nice fruit notes.

The March winners was the strawberry whipped Infinite Wishes from Smog City Brewing. Filled with berry notes and a slight touch of vanilla, it was luxury when paired with a bourbon barrel imperial stout.

Best Beers of February 2024

Well, if you read any of my Portland beer posts in the last week, then you know that this post is all about Duality Brewing in Portland.

And it wasn’t that they smashed a West Coast IPA or Bourbon barrel stout out of the park. No, they put Bergamot tea and Satsuma tangerine into a wheat beer and both featured ingredients shined like a laser, Then they took a Saison through a gauntlet of barrel aging, pine needle filtering and blending in cider and it was really excellent. Get thee to Duality!

I will say that a couple other beers deserve honorable mention. Radiant Beer Co.’s 3rd anniversary TIPA – All the Things We’ve Done was top notch and Santa Monica Brew Works Low and Slow Helles in partnership with Bludso’s BBQ was the perfect brisket accompaniment.

Best Beers of January 2024

Time to see what beers made an impression on me in the first month of 2024. My penchant for collaboration beers is certainly showing.

Here are my runners up:

Bagby Beer Co. wEYESsbier with Bierstadt Lagerhaus

Creature Comforts Winter Trees Cold Red IPA

Everywhere / North Park Retro Steps Forward DDH Hazy IPA

This month the most memorable was:

Brouwerij West / Harland Cosmic Gulp Tarted Fruit Ale – I guess I am a sucker for passion fruit which was strongly forward but what other than that, this sour was not puckery. I think I found a tart beer that doesn’t leave my stomach in backflips

Hop Merchants Tops

North Hollywood bottle shop and bar, Hop Merchants unveiled their customer best of list for 2023 and it’s an interesting mix of hip breweries and locals…

Good to see HPB come out on top and a little weird to see North Park so low but an interesting snapshot in time and I hope they do it again in years to come so the lists can be compared.

Best Beers of December 2023

I believe this will be a first for my Best of… lists. No IPA or barrel-aged stout taking the top spot.

But first, the runners up:

Enegren Brewing’s Single Hop Pilsner with Talus hops which I have had twice now and both times it sparkled. Next is Five Point Five Brewing and their Nitro version of their Proud Mary Irish Red which just showcased the foam and cream. Finally, Fremont Brewing’s 2023 B-Bomb. An old-school throwback bourbon barrel-aged monster.

But the winner was a draft taster of Bagby Beer Co.’s collaboration with Bierstadt Lagerhaus on a Weissbier, wEYESsbier. So good that I grabbed the last single can in the cooler.

The Best Beers of November 2023

I have three picks for this month. Two canned and one on draft.

In third with the bronze is the draft Bit-O-Sunny IPA from Eagle Rock Brewery. It was different from their other IPA options, it had a brightness, dare I say Sunniness to it that peaked it above the general IPA din.

Second was my second beer from GOAL Brewing with the long name of Shattered Backboard Ones. A San Diego hazy that like the Bit-O was bright and super fruity.

In first place is the Cold-ed version of Wookey Jack, Arctic Wookey from Firestone Walker. Big dark roast notes but the hops punched through it enough that it never became lopsided like so many black IPA’s can be. Maybe the missing link was the IPLing of the style.

Best Beers of October 2023

Some months there is a clear front runner for best beer of the month. Not October, so instead of closing my eyes and picking at random, here are the four beers that intrigued my tastebuds the most.

In no particular order:

  • Firestone Walker Credit Czech – malty and smooth
  • Riip Beer Pineapple Panacea – pineapple smoothie
  • Institution Ales Fall Seasonal IPA – multiple layers of flavors
  • Offshoot & Stone //Dolphins.Escape.Bikes IPA – filled with competiting fruit notes

Best Beers of September 2023

It was grand to have some draft Trillium this month so I need to put Headroom Hazy DIPA on the best of list for the month. I also have to shout out a dopplebock from Ventura Coast Brewing, Earth Day for being such a pleasant style change from all the hops. Speaking of, I was shocked to see that my AmaWhole FoodsZon had bottles of Russian River’s Hop Growers IPA – CLS Farms edition in their cooler. It was light and delicious.

But my winner is from Oregon, Cascade Brewing’s Tartini. Sour but not puckeringly so. And by goodness, it had botanicals not only in the beer description but in the beer itself. Lovely light spice note. On the nose for gin fans.

Best Beers of August 2023

OK, bit of a change-up for this month as I am picking the beer that was the most memorable upon first sip instead of my usual, rubric of best from first sip to the last.

Before we go there, here are my excellent runners up:

El Segundo / Enegren Gemeinschaft lager – great reddish tinted color and a malty easy drinker.

Chapman 7thAnniversary Dry Hopped Pilsner – I applaud any non-IPA anniversary beer

Bottle Logic A Quad IPA in this Economy? – big but not just in ABV. big on haze and fruit as well

Winner – Fremont Gose with cucumber and sea salt. You take a sip and that cucumber just hits you. Then you get a gentle touch of salt and a little tang of acidity. A wonderful spa Gose as it were. You will not forget the first sip.

Best Beers of July 2023

Well, even though i spent three weeks in Los Angeles and only one in Portland / Hood River, my best of is basically a list of what I drank up northwest.

Though I do give Pure Project’s Shake the Ground Murky Triple IPA an honorable mention that in most months would be good for at least 2nd place.

But the winner is Fracture Brewing’s Hype Machine Vol. 1 – Oat Cream Hazy.

Tied for second is Von Ebert’s Volatile Substance IPA which is worthy of the awards it has received. I also nod to Lichen West Coast IPA from Grand Fir Brewing. The last beer I want to mention is Jammy Pale Ale from pFriem Family Brewers as Hood River fandom.