Top 10 Beers of the Year

Featured Contributor: Beth Pickard @brewcitybiker1 

It’s been a good year of beer. This list compiles the most memorable, and highest IMG_6564Untappd rated brews, I tried in 2015. Some of these beers make the list because they are simply fantastic and others because they come with stories and memories.

Many of the beers that made this list I had the opportunity to try because of friends sharing them with me. Beer is better shared with friends. That’s why on my birthday, I opened the granddaddy of them all — Westy 12, as a celebration of the spirit of sharing and the joy of beer and its ability to bring us together. Oh, and it was my birthday so I was feeling nice. The rest of the fantastic beers that made my list were made possible through my travels. I spent a month in Europe in January and some chance meetings brought me to places with really good beer.

Without further ado, I present Brew City Biker’s Top 10 Beers of the Year (in no particular order):

  1. Mikkeller 1000 IBU: I was lucky enough to make it to Mikkeller while visiting Copenhagen. This beer wasn’t my favorite of the 12 I tried, but it certainly was the one that I remembered most! The bartender explained the IBUs to me saying after a certain point you just can’t be sure about the exact number of IBUs. Why not slap a 1000 on there, right?
  2. IMG_6563Trappist Westvleteren 12: Sitting on the counter at a beer store in Barcelona was a case of unmarked brown bottles. I asked the worker checking me out at the register what they were. “Some people say this is the best beer in the world,” he said. “One please,” I replied.
  3. Goose Island BCBS Backyard Rye (2013): Bottle shares are the bomb. This beer was fantastic and shared by my friend. Aged in rye whiskey barrels, the added mulberries, marionberries and boysenberries add a jam-like character to the thick imperial stout.
  4. To Øl Long Time No See: A 12.8 percent stout with a great story — I’ll let them tell it to you. I wandered into a bar that was having a tap takeover in Barcelona filling its 30 taps with To Øl’s amazing Danish beers. This one was one of my favorites.
  5. Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout: This beer was gone in less than an hour at a special tapping I attended. I didn’t make it in time, but my friend knew the owner and he got a glass saved for him so I got a sip that night. The funny thing is that I got to drink more three days later at a beer festival when my friend handed me a good 8-10 ounces after double fisting the stuff.
  6. The Bruery Chocolate Rain: I’ve been hearing about this beer for years. I finally got to taste it and am happy to report that it is as good as people say it is.
  7. Sam Adams Utopias 10th Anniversary (2012): When you’re drinking something you will never again drink in your lifetime, that’s a special moment. My friend’s raid the cellar birthday party was one of those moments. Thanks Bill.
  8. Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA: While pursuing local beer bars on BeerMenus in February (hey, we have to get through our Wisconsin winters somehow), I spotted the elusive 120 minute IPA. I have nothing more to say other than it was fantastic and go out of your way to try it if you ever get the chance.
  9. Surly Pentagram: I was in Minneapolis for a bike ride and my friend and I paid a visit to the brewery. This Brett beer aged in red wine barrels was funky and complex and stood out compared to the rest of their lineup. And then I had it again at the Great Taste of the Midwest, the largest (and best) beer festival in Wisconsin.
  10. Hailstorm Dominatrix: I say that the Great Taste of the Midwest is the best beer festival in Wisco because it brings in breweries I’ve never heard of like Hailstorm, a fairly recent addition to Illinois’ budding craft beer scene. My friend and I turned to each other after taking a sip and proclaimed, “Best beer ever!”

You may have noticed a trend in my top 10. I’m a hop head with a taste for super bitter IPAs as well as Imperial Stouts. We all have different taste perceptions. What are some of your favorites from 2015?

Beth’s Bio:


“Biking is part of my daily life as well as a passion that I take with me on adventures. And craft beer has challenged me to learn. I am a homebrewer and beer judge. Thank goodness these two passions cancel each other out calorie wise!”

#craftbeer #beer #biking #brews

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Beth Pickhard

Beth Pickhard

I have a passion for beer, bikes and travel and write about these things on my blog, Brew City Biker. My mission is to explore the world of craft beer by bike and involve newbies in these activities. I am a homebrewer and BJCP Certified Beer Judge.

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Beth Pickhard

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