The Best Craft Beer

The Best Craft Beer – June 2017

The Best Craft Beer – June 2017

June was a busy month for me; both personally and with craft beer. On the beer side, I attended the Jungle Jim’s International Craft Beer Festival, Brewed Food Cincinnati, spent a day in Columbus and of course enjoyed a fair amount of craft beer elsewhere.

With all of that, choosing a handful of them to call the Best Craft Beer was not an easy task. But in the end, I was able to narrow my check-ins down to a manageable number. Make sure to read to the end and leave a comment about what was your Best Craft Beer of June.

Here’s the Best Craft Beer I had in June 2017:

Dire Wolf Yub Nub

Brewery: Wolf’s Ridge Brewing – Columbus, OH

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

ABV: 10.4%     IBU: 50


Dire Wolf infused with cinnamon and One Line Espresso

Why did it make the list?

Wolfs Ridge BrewingHave you read my article about my day trip to Columbus, Ohio? This beer was the highlight of that trip. Wolf’s Ridge Brewing makes a great Russian Imperial Stout called Dire Wolf. It is an amazing stout on its own but they make it even better when they start adding new flavors to it. Yub Nub is dessert in a glass. The cinnamon adds the feeling of sweetness while the espresso balances out the base stout. I am told that they release this in bottles once a year so I hope that I can get some bottles of this in the future.

Related Post: Craft Beer In Columbus: A Day Trip To Fourth Street

Mayan Latte

Brewery: Darkness Brewing – Bellevue, KY

Style: Golden Stout

ABV: 7.5%      IBU: N/A


Golden Stout brewed with cinnamon coffee and chilies

Why did it make the list?

Darkness BrewingI love my local breweries; especially ones that aren’t afraid of pushing the envelope. Darkness Brewing definitely falls into that category. This beer made me do a double take. It isn’t every day you find a golden stout. I am always impressed with the flavor that comes out of this light colored brew. The cinnamon coffee is the real star in this beer as it holds everything else together. It provides most of the flavor while the chilies add just a touch of pepper flavor that is more smokey and earthy than spicy.

This is a beer I would drink every time I visit them. And for reference, Mayan Latte is the lightest colored beer in the picture.

Dragon’s Milk Reserve: Mexican Spice Cake

Brewery: New Holland Brewing – Holland, MI

Style: Barrel-Aged Stout

ABV: 11%      IBU: 70


The “Mexican Cake” flavor has become a popular one in beer, combining flavors of cinnamon, chilis and vanilla. New Holland aged this beer for 3 months in bourbon barrels, with toasted chiles, cocoa nibs, vanilla beans and cinnamon.

Why did it make the list?

New Holland Dragons MilkNew Holland’s Dragon’s Milk barrel-aged stout is unique since it is one of the only beers of its kind that is available year round. Most barrel-aged stouts are annual releases and hard to get but New Holland pumps out a ton of this beer to make sure we can all get a barrel-aged beer year round.

This stout is then taken and infused with different flavors to create their Reserve series. They’ve had all types of variants including Vanilla Chai, Raspberry, and Coffee & Chocolate to name a few. The Mexican Cake is the most recent version that I’ve gotten my hands on. As stated above, Mexican Cake is a very trendy flavor profile and I was excited to see them join in on it.

The beer drinks super sweet with just a slight edge from being barrel-aged. The toasted chilies add more flavor than heat so it isn’t going to burn the taste buds like other pepper beers. Definitely wish I would have grabbed more than one bottle of this one.

Sour Noir

Brewery: Rivertown Brewery & Barrel House – Cincinnati, OH

Style: Sour Ale

ABV: 7.9%      IBU: 35


Dark Sour Porter with Lacto and Coffee

Why did it make the list?

Rivertown Sour NoirI enjoy trying craft beer that really stretches my taste buds and my knowledge of what beer is (or can be). So naturally sours are a style that I continually explore. I am lucky to have Rivertown Brewery in my area because they do excellent work with their sour program. A few times a year, they have a one-time release of a super funky, unique beer. These normally are not your standard sours and Sour Noir definitely falls into that category.

Sour Noir is a sour ale that features coffee as one of it’s main flavors. What I really enjoyed about this beer was how it developed. The aroma and taste were initially all sour notes. In fact, the sourness had almost a tongue numbing feeling to it. Then it takes a turn and finishes with a subtle coffee flavor. This really helped prepare me to for the next sip.

As I drank it, the coffee notes grew while the sour level remained consistent. I took my time and drank the 750ml bottle over a two hour period. It is a beer to enjoy while watching a movie or sitting on your back porch.

Check out my write up on this beer that was featured on

Transatlantique Kriek

Brewery: New Belgium Brewing – Fort Collins, CO

Style: Kriek Lambic

ABV: 8%      IBU: 8


In a never-ending quest to create new beers and defy category, New Belgium Brewing and Brewerij Boon of Belgium have partnered together again to create Transatlantique Kriek – a spontaneously fermented lambic ale made with Polish cherries. This authentic kriek beer began life in the oaken vessels at Frank Boon’s brewery in the Lembeek region of Belgium. After more than two years aging, Boon’s offering shipped across the Atlantic and found its way to the intuitive palate of New Belgium’s Brewmaster Peter Bouckaert. After much sampling and internal consultation, Peter and his brew staff created a full-bodied golden lager to round out the light-bodied kriek. The cherry nose gives way to a pleasingly sour flash across the palate that rolls gently into a slightly sweet finish. Crisp, effervescent carbonation keeps the mouthfeel bright and delightfully tingly.

Why did it make the list?

New Belgium Transatlantique KriekI got to try this beer as part of the Brewed Food event. This event used brewing techniques and ingredients in cooking. It was a great experience filled with amazing food and craft beer. This beer was a stand out for the evening and reminded me of how much I love New Belgium’s beers.

I am a huge fan of cherry; it’s probably my favorite fruit flavor across all food and beverages. So krieks (cherry Lambics) have always been a go-to style for me. Not sure why I’ve never tried Transatlantique but I’ll definitely be seeking it out in the future. In fact, I may have already snagged a bottle and am saving it for the right night.

Citra Rainbows

Brewery: 450 North Brewing – Columbus – IN

Style: New England IPA

ABV: 8%      IBU: 50


We brewed this DDH DIPA after the NE style DIPA’s and created our very own Citra bomb. It boasts aromas of strong tropical fruit, orange and peach. We double dry hopped Citra Rainbows with ample amounts of Citra lupulin powder. It will have you seeing rainbows for sure!

Why did it make the list?

450 North Citra RainbowsIf you follow any of my social media profiles, then you know I am a huge New England IPA fan. But as we all know, there are only a select few breweries that have jumped on this trend. 450 North Brewing is one of them. I’ve had a few others from them in the past and was thrilled to get some Citra Rainbows.

Citra is a hop that many enjoy so I had high expectations for this beer. And it didn’t disappoint me. The nose is full of mango and papaya followed by a super soft mouthfeel with the same flavors. It finishes with a slight bite from the ABV which I think led me to want more of it. 16 ounces was not enough of this one.

What’s interesting is cinnamon was an added flavor in three of the beers from this month. So either cinnamon is on the rise in craft beer or I am just a huge fan of it. Either way, it had a huge impact on my Best Craft Beer list this month.

What Was Your Best Craft Beer In June?

Comment Below And Let Me Know What Beer I Should Be On The Look Out For


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