June 2, 2006 to November 21, 2006
Throughout the past 30 years, craft brewing in the United States and abroad has expanded to encompass styles of great variety and sophistication to the delight of a growing body of beer connoisseurs, both men and women. To honor the creativity and technical expertise of so many world-class brewers, the Beer Fox selects the Craft Brew of the Week, and has listed each distinguished beer in the Beer & Brewing Newsletter at BellaOnline since December, 2004. As an easy reference tool, the Craft Brew of the Week Awards are listed by date, extending over each six month period.
Note: These are in their original context, and have not been updated to reflect any changes that might have occurred. (for example: retired beers, new brewery locations)
Beer Fox Craft Brew of the Week Awards June 2, 2006 to November 21, 2006
Craft Brew of the Week Award 06/02/2006:
Dominion Pale Ale - Old Dominion Brewing Company, Ashburn, Virginia, USA
Style - American Pale Ale
A glistening, clear, golden body emanates within a layer of copper sheen, not unlike a glowing moon on the horizon. Frothy, white suds sit atop this glimmer, fading slowly, yet leaving dots and webs of lace on the glass. The nose is filled with the light aroma of biscuits and yeast, somewhat sweet and toffee-like - then tempered with floral and herbal hops.
In the mouth, the malt backbone comes alive. Sweet caramel rises onto the platform, dressed with toffee. A floral, grassy hop bitterness tames the wild tiger, and serves as a delicate balance. Highly drinkable, crisp, clean, and satisfying!
Craft Brew of the Week Award 06/11/2006:
Batch 374 - Magic Hat Brewing Company, South Burlington, Vermont, USA
Style - American Amber / Red Ale
Its body shines with bronzed tea highlights beneath a creamy, off-white slather of a head with sticky, spotty lace. Your nose fills with an extraordinary surge of aromatic hops - pine, citrus, orange, earth, mint, herbal tea, and exotic pepper. What a shot of enticing power for the hophead! Whoa! I'm in heaven!
Blend all this hop magnificence with the rich, bready, malt sweetness - light caramel, dotted with a fruit background - and you have a GRAND SLAM into brewers heaven. A party in the mouth! Truly amazing!
Craft Brew of the Week Award 07/06/2006:
Bourbon County Stout - Goose Island, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Style - American Double Stout
Solid black body glows with an ethereal mahogany light, while its cocoa brown head surges up with foamy persistence. The olfactory senses are treated to a symphony of whiskey, black currants, molasses, imported chocolate, vanilla bean, leather and anise.
The tongue is numbed with an intense infusion of velvety bourbon-dressed chocolate, while coconut, apples and sweet, ripe berries wrestle with playful rhythms within the recesses of your mouth. Caramel, smoke, espresso and red wine join in the melee. A killer brew that'll knock you to the stars!
Craft Brew of the Week Award 07/23/2006:
Festive Ale - Rogue Ales, Brewers on the Bay, Newport, Oregon, USA
Clear, deep-amber body rests in the glass with a modest creamy head capping the top, while aromas of malt, oranges - or are they nectarines? - flowers and pepper rise to the nasal passages. A biscuity malt holds the base, while citric lemon, licorice, earth and yeast surge across the tongue, touched by an emphatic glaze of orange peel. Medium full mouthfeel with light effervescence makes for a complex, colorful, summer refresher.
Craft Brew of the Week Award 07/28/2006:
Temptation - Russian River Brewing Company, Santa Rosa, California, USA
Style: American Wild Ale
My mouth begins to water as the hazy golden liquid dives dramatically into the glass, topping the surface with quilted layers of white foam. The nose fills with a light yeastiness, lemons, cherries, wafts of wet hay, and pungent oak-barrel with the residual overlap of chardonnay. Sour, sour, sour - fruits of peach, apple, berries, and pink grapefruit mix with graininess, crisp oak, and subtle brett. A vinous character lingers in the sour, drawing you into her clutches. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, puckering and lively. Alive! Refreshing and satiating. Complex. One that will make you surrender to her imagination! Truly superb!
Craft Brew of the Week Award 08/10/2006:
Pure Hoppiness - Alpine Beer Company, Alpine, California, USA
Style - American Double IPA
A deep topaz body lies quietly beneath a dense, soapy foam head, embellishing the olfactory senses with earth, florals, and the sweet fruit of fresh apricots, mangoes and orange peel. Bubbles seem to slither up the sides of the glass, while a satiating maltiness peeks through the hop forest. With sudden urgency, a full chorus of hops cones break the silence, while the high alcohol sneaks in to warm an unsuspecting head. A refreshing experience of intense joy for the hophead!
Craft Brew of the Week Award 08/18/2006:
Pikeland Pils - Sly Fox Brewing Company, Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, USA
Style - German Pilsener
A balanced hop monster (Is there such a thing?), this sparkling body of golden straw is capped by a bright white head of foamy cream, with intricate lacing that sticks to the glass. Brewed with 100% German pilsener malts, flavors are bready in the middle with the heat of pepper sprinkled over grassy, floral German and Czech (Saaz?) hops. Small bubbles and light carbonation come alive in the mouth. Satisfying for the hophead, yet restrained enough to please a lager lover!
Craft Brew of the Week Award 08/27/2006:
HopFish - Flying Fish Brewing Company, Cherry Hill, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, USA
Style - American IPA
On the pour, crystalline amber highlights activate the salivary glands, intensifying as the creamy, eggshell head of froth leaves curtains of thick lace on the glass. The head slowly falls to a thin cap, while aromas of grapefruit, pine forest, flowers and earth captivate the olfactory senses, backed by solid malt. Flavors of biscuits and honey touch the tongue, with sweetness pulled back by citrus flavors of orange peel, grapefruit and a lingering, gentle pinecone bitterness. A light, crisp mouthfeel adds to the drinkability. The slick and easy-going profile makes this a perfect session beer and Summer quencher.
Craft Brew of the Week Award 09/05/2006:
Bell's Expedition Stout - Bell's Brewery Inc/Eccentric Cafe & Beergarden, Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA
Style: Russian Imperial Stout
Lampblack India ink refuses to let any light through as a beautiful, frothy sepia-tone head beckons you to come closer. As your nose nears the glass, aromas of imported espresso, raisins, figs and chocolate fuse with alcohol, engaging you in a seductive trance.
Velvet slides past the lips, enveloping your senses in charry malt sweetness, rich coffee, dark fruits, wood and chocolate. Alcohol arises at the last moment, with a satiating bitter bite at the back of the throat.
Craft Brew of the Week Award 9/19/2006
Flying Scotsman Ruby Ale - Caledonian Brewery, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
Style: Scottish Ale
Deep ruby glistens in the glass, reflecting richer shades of chestnut and mahogany along the edges. Thick spots of off-white lace scatter from the head, as aromas of malt, spiced raisins, dried raspberry and caramel rise to your nose.
Rich caramel and burnt sugar lay in strong malt layers, with flavors of dark fruit, licorice and peat holding firm. Spruce pine resin lingers in the back, with a toasted, dry finish.
Craft Brew of the Week Award 9/26/2006:
Firestone Pale Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Company, Paso Robles, California, USA
Style: American Pale Ale
A glistening amber body gleams as it pours from the bottle, forming a thin head that leaves webs of lace on the glass. Aromas are crisp and citrusy, with solid malt toastiness. Flavor is brilliantly clean, slightly sweet, malty, and balanced with citrus peel hoppiness. Finish is pleasantly dry but lingering - a clean, highly drinkable beer.
Craft Brew of the Week Award 10/21/2006:
Hazelnut Brown Nectar, Rogue Ales Brewery/Brewers on the Bay, Newport, Oregon, USA
Style: American Brown Ale
Deep reddish walnut body lays dark and clear beneath a tight tan head. Seductive aromas of hazelnut and cocoa capture your attention, softly immersing you in sweet malt. Flavors of cocoa merge with a light fruitiness on the palate, richly accented with malt and nuts. Hops stay in the background, allowing the malt to hold attention, but assert themselves with a dry finish.
Craft Brew of the Week Award 10/27/2006:
Cottonwood Pumpkin Spiced Ale - Carolina Beer & Beverage LLC, Mooresville, North Carolina, USA
Style: Pumpkin Ale
A burnished body of rusted mahogany gives rise to a frothy head that dissipates to a thin layer. Carbonation is lively along the sides of the glass. The nose fills with cinnamon, a cooked vegetal earthiness, and pepper. Ah, the taste! Nutmeg, cinnamon, pumpkin earth, cloves, and clean citrus on the tongue. A lively mouthfeel enhances the experience. Delightful layers of complexity entice you into another go around. Nice seasonal treat!
Craft Brew of the Week Award 11/05/2006:
Epluche-culotte - Midnight Sun Brewing Company, Anchorage, Alaska, USA
A gigantic, off-white head of cream stands persistently above the rim of the glass, with a hazed, amber-peach body standing beneath, pushing tiny bubbles of effervescence through its length. Aromas of citrus - lemon and orange - blend with maltiness, banana, apple, peach and apricot. Bready yeast and spice grab the palate. Truly an ambrosia from the gods of Olympus! At 9% ABV, it is warming to the body. Yet, the light mouthfeel and effervescence add to its drinkable qualities.
Craft Brew of the Week Award 11/21/2006:
The Reverend - Avery Brewing Company, Boulder, Colorado, USA
Brilliant orange copper shines forth beneath a solid white, frothy head. Dark fruits - cherries, plums, raisins and boysenberries - mix with sweet, toffee malts and formidable body of alcohol - rum and sherry. Fresh hop presence is enhanced byelicate carbonation and dry finish. Incredible!
More Beer Fox Craft Brew of the Week Awards:
Beer Fox Craft Brew of the Week Awards December 4, 2005 to May 23, 2006
Beer Fox Craft Brew of the Week Awards December 20, 2006 to April 6, 2007
Beer Fox Craft Brew of the Week Awards June 5, 2007 to November 18, 2007