The Best Craft Beer

The Best Craft Beer – May 2017

The Best Craft Beer – May 2017

Another month; another list of great craft beer. As usual, I am taking the time to look over my Untappd check-ins to see what was the best craft beer I drank last month.

Here is the best craft beer I had in May 2017:

Bourbon County Brand Stout

Brewery: Goose Island – Chicago, IL

Style: Barrel-Aged Stout

ABV:  13.8% – 15%    IBU: 60


A liquid as dark and dense as a black hole with thick foam the color of a bourbon barrel. The nose is an intense mix of charred oak, chocolate, vanilla, caramel and smoke. One sip has more flavor than your average case of beer.

Why did it make the list?

Goose Island Bourbon County Brand StoutI know this beer and brewery are considered controversial because they are now owned by AB InBev but the reality is I wasn’t going to let good beer go to waste. On Memorial Day weekend, myself and a friend tried the 2016, 2015 and 2012 versions of this beer.

The experience was amazing. There was a dramatic difference between the 2016/2015 versions and the 2012. The 2012 flavor and aroma was all barrel but this was a good thing. It drank very smooth yet thick and the 15% was almost undetectable. The 2016 and 2015 were very similar to each other with the latest release being a bit more sweet. Both had nice chocolate tones and noticeable alcohol level to it.

I am not sure if I will continue to seek out this annual release by Goose Island but am very glad I got to experience it. And luckily, I have a bottle of their barelywine variant left to enjoy as well.

 Related Post: Five Barrel-Aged Stouts To Try

Fruity Nuggets

Brewery: 450 North Brewing – Columbus, IN

Style: New England IPA

ABV: 7.2%     IBU: 60


Double dry hopped, Citra, Mosaic and El Dorado, hazy New England-style IPA.

Why Did It Make The List

450 North Brewing Fruity NuggetsYou may have noticed that I like New England IPAs so when you see a picture posted of a can that looks like one of your favorite childhood cereals; you make it a point to get some of it.

Being a limited release at a brewery that isn’t close to me, I didn’t think I was going to be able to get any of it. However, I was lucky to find a four pack of it sitting on a shelf at a liquor store just across the Ohio/Indiana state line.

I don’t think it ranks up there as one of the best NE IPAs that I’ve had but it probably makes the top ten list. The aroma was tropical while the flavor was smooth, fruity and mouth watering. Mouthfeel was soft and the ABV was just where I would want a beer like this to be.

It’s easy to love a beer that tastes that good and had some amazing branding too.


Brewery: Urban Artifact – Cincinnati, OH

Style: Fruit Beer

ABV: 8.5%     IBU: 42


A double version of our classic Berliner Pale Ale (A tart pale ale) infused with over 2,200lbs of tropical fruit per batch, roughly 1.2 lbs. per gallon! Pineapple, kumquat & white guava give this beer huge tropical juice flavors and aromas with just enough tartness to balance it all out. Great in the morning, noon, or at night.

Why Did It Make The List

Urban Artifact PalmistryI am quickly becoming more of a sour fan; especially if they feature the amount of fruit flavors of Palmistry.

Tropical fruits dominate the aroma and flavor. It tastes closer to fruit juice than beer which makes sense considering the 2,200 lbs of fruit that go into each batch. I get a strong effervescent feel while the ABV disappears amidst everything else that it has going on.

And yes, there is a nice tartness throughout. Drink this one fresh as the fruit flavors will fade with time.


Brewery: Magnify Brewing – Fairfield, NJ

Style: Session IPA

ABV: 4.2%     IBU: N/A


IPA hopped intensely with Citra, Amarillo, Simcoe, & Centennial hops.

Why Did It Make The List

Magnify Brewing BabysitterWhen I got a few Magnify Brewing beers, I never expected the session IPA to stand out. And while all the beer I tried from them was excellent, this made my list because it caught my attention the most.

As the description states, it is intensely hopped. I rarely get this much hop aroma and flavor from any IPA, let alone a session. While I normally expect the aroma, flavor and body to be minimal in this style; this beer steps it up and proves that a session can have all of the features of a higher ABV beer.

I got a lot of citrus and tropical notes along with a slight resin, bitter finish. I with this was available in my area.

Related Post: The Haze Craze: Why The New England IPA Is So Popular

Ms. E

Brewery: Listermann Brewing – Cincinnati, OH

Style: New England IPA

ABV: 7.1%     IBU: N/A


New England IPA with Citra and Jarrylo

Why Did It Make The List

Listermann Brewing Ms. EI couldn’t let a month go by without recognizing one of the great NE IPAs that came out of Cincinnati. Ms. E is part of the continual IPA series that Listermann has been releasing since the beginning of this year. Most of these IPA fall into the New England style and most have a rap theme to them. This one being Ms. E (think Missy Elliot).

The beer is made with Citra and Jarrylo. I think this is the first time I’ve had a beer with jarrylo in it; learn more about this hop here.

As you would expect, it has a nice hazy appearance, tropical aroma and flavor. Super low bitterness and the softest mouthfeel yet from them. They have been doing a great job so far and am always looking forward to trying their next release.

Did you try some great craft beer in May?

Comment below, tweet at me, email me, or whatever you find easiest to tell me about the Best Craft Beer you had in May.

Is there a beer that I need to try? Let me know and maybe it will make it onto The Best Craft Beer list in the future.

Leave a Reply