The Best Craft Beer

The Best Craft Beer – November 2017

November is a great month. The end of the year is quickly approaching and there are more special events to look forward to than I can count. And it’s a great month to come up with my list of the best craft beer.

With the weather getting colder, I expected a lot more dark beers to make my list but that didn’t happen. Maybe December will be the month when I start getting into heavier craft beers.

Here’s the Best Craft Beer I had last month:

Backwoods Bastard

Founders Backwoods BastardBrewery: Founders Brewing – Grand Rapids, MI

Style: Barrel-aged Scotch Ale

ABV: 11.2%      IBU: 50


Expect lovely, warm smells of single malt scotch, oaky bourbon barrels, smoke, sweet caramel and roasted malts, a bit of earthy spice and a scintilla of dark fruit. It’s a kick-back sipper made to excite the palate.

Why it made the list?

There are great beers and then there are beers that leave a lasting impression. And this one always comes to mind when people ask about my favorite beers.

It’s released every fall and I can’t wait to get my hands on some of it. This beer is rich, boozy, sweet and warming.

Every sip is a reminder of what a barrel-aged beer should be. There’s plenty of boozy notes but it doesn’t take away from the sweet, malty character of the scotch ale.

Tip: Drink this one near room temperature or at least sip is slowly so it warms up.

Read My Full Review Of Backwoods Bastard

Hazy Jane

BewDog Hazy JaneBrewery: BrewDog – Columbus, OH

Style: New England IPA

ABV: 7.2%      IBU: 30


Hazy Jane is a Vermont style IPA, with low background bitterness, loaded with intense juicy fruit character. Pineapple, stonefruit, mango, light resin and hints of lime peel – this juicy IPA is full-bodied and smooth, enhancing the soft ripe fruit flavours.

Why it made the list?

I’m a fanatic for New England IPAs but normally you have to buy them directly from breweries. So I was a little skeptical when I saw a larger brewery canning and selling one through retails stores.

But I took a chance and tried Hazy Jane.

I was not disappointed; this craft beer had everything a New England IPA should have. Tons of fruit aroma and flavor; primarily pineapple and mango. Very little bitterness. It was a little sweet and has a mouthwatering finish.

This was the first beer I’ve had from this brewery that recently expanded and built a location in the USA (Columbus, OH). I’m excited to see what else they bring our way.

Kelly’s Candy

Brink Brewing FlightBrewery: Brink Brewing – Cincinnati, OH

Style: English Barleywine

ABV: 10.0%      IBU: 25


This big beer happens to be one of Kelly’s (head brewer) favorite styles. Brewed with English Hops and Yeast, and 4 types of malt. The rich malts provide aromas of dark fruit, toffee, molasses and caramel. This complex beer hits many flavors – bready, nutty, toasty, chewy, and carmelly – it’s truly one to be savored. While seemingly sweet, this one will sneak up on you.

Why it made the list?

Black Friday is a day full of shopping for most people and that applies to the craft beer world too. Numerous breweries have special releases that day (including some brewery out of Chicago that will go un-named).

While many waited in line to get a bottle or two of a special release beer, there was only one place that I wanted to visit on Black Friday – Brink Brewing.

If you’ve read my page for a while then this brewery shouldn’t be new to you. It’s one of the closest to my house and they’ve been putting out some amazing beer in their first year. So when they announced that they would have their first barrel-aged beers on Black Friday, I knew I needed to get there.

Don’t get me wrong, their barrel-aged Duncan Clan (Scotch Ale) and Bulldog (Old Ale) were excellent. But Kelly’s Candy stole the show for me.

I don’t drink many barleywines but I normally enjoy them when I get the chance; especially if they are of the English variety.

And what’s even better, I saw a barrel in their taproom that was marked “barleywine” which tells me that we will get to drink a barrel-aged version of this beer sometime in 2018.

Juicy Nuggets

450 North Brewing Juicy NuggetsBrewery: 450 North Brewing – Columbus, IN

Style: New England IPA

ABV: 7.2%      IBU: 45


Double Dry hopped with Galaxy, Mosaic and Citra hazy New England- style IPA. Fruity Nuggets’ younger brother.

Why it made the list?

Call me a fan boy if you want but I can’t get enough of what 450 North Brewing is making. And they have once again impressed me with this one.

Juicy Nuggets is just as advertised – juicy. It’s mouthwatering and full of citrus fruit flavors. The color on it was quite impressive too.

The mouthfeel was full but soft. Beers like this seem to disappear way too fast from my glass.

And what about that artwork? This and Fruity Nuggets have some of the best labels I’ve seen in a while.

Holtman’s Apple Fritter Cider

March First Brewing Holtman's Apple Fritter CiderBrewery: March First Brewing – Cincinnati, OH

Style: Cider

ABV: 6.9%      IBU: n/a


On Wednesday, September 27, we’re releasing our Apple Fritter Cider in collaboration with Holtman’s Donut Shop. This cider is specially created with the same spices that flavor their excellent apple fritters and locally sourced apples, because we take pride in bringing you the very best.

Why it made the list?

I really struggled on whether to include this one or not. It’s a cider so technically it’s not beer. But it is too good not to include it.

Ciders are good but I rarely seek them out. I prefer beer quite a bit over ciders. But this one is different, the flavor truly replicates an apple fritter. Which just happens to be one of my favorite pastries.

There’s cinnamon, baked apple and sugar sweetness. But it’s also light and crisp just like a cider should be.

It was made in collaboration with Holtman’s Donuts which is a local favorite for all things donuts. It’s easy to fall in love with a beer that celebrates two local companies.

So there is it, the best craft beer I had in November.

It was a great month as November often is and the beer I got to enjoy reflected it well. I’m excited to get into December and enjoy the Holiday season as well as the beers that come along with it.

What Was Your Best Craft Beer In November?

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

See Last Month’s List Of The Best Craft Beer


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